Women in Montgomery County

Montgomery County, Maryland is home to 1,058,810 residents according to the latest estimates from the US Census Bureau (July 1, 2017), making it the largest jurisdiction in the State of Maryland. The County counts  547,028 women among its population, accounting for 51.7% of all County residents and for 17.5% of all women in the State of Maryland.

Age Groups

Women have a median age of 40.6 years, 2.9 years older than men. This is primarily due to longer life expectancy, with women making up 65% of County residents over the age of 84. Women also slightly outnumber men in the working adult age range of 18-64, representing 51.4% of the total population in this cohort. Girls (under 18) account for 22.1% of females; 16.4% of County women are 65 years old or older; and the remaining 61.5% of County women are between the age of 18 and 64.

Diversity

Montgomery County is a majority-minority community, with 56% of women identifying as an ethnic minority in 2016, up from 45% in 2006. Hispanic and Black/African American women are virtually tied as the largest ethnic group, accounting for more than 100,000 women and girls each. 
As the charts below show, Montgomery County is home to over a third of the State's Hispanic women and more than 4 in 10 of the State's Asian women. The number of women who identify as White non-Hispanic has dropped by 11 percentage points, from 55% to 44% since 2006, with Hispanic women growing at the fastest rate (+5 percentage points). 
The racial and ethnic makeup of County women and girls differs dramatically by age. For instance, White Non-Hispanic residents make up 34% of girls under the age of 18 compared to 61% of women aged 65 and over.

Immigration

Immigrants account for 33% of women and girls in Montgomery County (up 4 percentage points since 2006) and for 40% of adult women. The County's immigrant share of the population is more than double the rate observed for the State of Maryland. 55% of women immigrants are naturalized US citizens (up 8 percentage points from 2006). Montgomery County accounts for 37% of the State's immigrants and 38% of the State's immigrant women. Asia is the largest source of immigrant women, followed by Latin America. These statistics largely align with the statistics for male immigrants. Across genders, the largest countries of origin for County immigrants are -- in order -- El Salvador, China, India, Ethiopia, and Korea. 
In line with the general population's high levels of education attainment, over 48% of County immigrants aged 25 and older hold a college degree (in comparison, 67% of US-born residents hold a college degree). Immigrant families live in slightly larger families (3.6 members vs. 3.2 for US-born residents) and households (3.3 members vs. 2.5 for US-born residents).
Among full-time workers, immigrant women have a median income of $46,000 vs. $54,000 for immigrant men and $71,000 for US-born women. Immigrant women without US citizenship earn only $34,000. (Note that these figures have a margin of error of as much as $4,000). 
Census data from 2016 shows that 37% of immigrant residents (equal to 14% of the total population) have limited English proficiency. Overall, 41% of Count residents speak a language other than English at home -- up 5 percentage points since 2006. The most spoken language after English is Spanish, spoken at home by 17% of County residents (and by roughly half of all residents with limited English proficiency). A distant second is Chinese, followed by French, Amharic and other Afro-Asiatic languages, Korean, Vietnamese, Western African languages, Persian, Russian, and Hindi. The County is home to 24,400 households, equal to 6.5% of the total, that are language-isolated, meaning that no one in the household over the age of 13 speaks English very well.

Household Composition and Marital Status

51% of County women over the age of 15 are married, while 30% have never been married (compared to 34% for men). 
Marital Status for Women
% of Women Married by Ethnicity
Marital Status by Age
The chart below tracks the marital status of women as they age, from 15 to 100. Among women aged 65 and over, 29% are widowed (compared to 8% among men).
Single Parent Families

Single parent households have become slightly more common over the past 10 years, with 25% of children living with a single parent in 2016 -- up 4 percentage points since 2006. The share of children living with a single mother has stayed mostly the same at 17%, with almost all of the growth occurring among children living with single fathers which today stands at 8% of all children. In total, 61,200 children in the County live in a single-parent household (up from 48,400 in 2006), including 42,400 who live with a single mother (up from 38,000 in 2006). 

Among families with own children under 18, Black or African American families are most likely to be headed by a single mother (36%) -- three times the rate observed among White residents. Single motherhood among Black or African American families, however, has notably decreased over the past decade, dropping 6 percentage points between 2007 and 2017, while the rate for other races has remained largely within the margin of error. 
Even accounting for population growth, the decreasing rate among Black or African American single mothers has resulted in a decline in their absolute numbers from 8,900 in 2007 to 7,800 in 2017.  Due to macro demographic changes over this time period, the number of White single mothers with own children under 18 has also dropped (by 600), while the number of Hispanic single mothers has increased from 3,900 to 6,000.
Same-Sex Households
While data on gay and lesbian households is often incomplete, the Williams Institute of the UCLA School of Law used Census Bureau data to estimate that there are 2,184 same-sex couples in Montgomery County, of which 1,161 (53%) are lesbian couples. In the State of Maryland, only Baltimore City has more lesbian coupes (as well as more gay and lesbian couples).
The share of gay and lesbian households in Montgomery County represents a slightly higher share of all households (6.1 per 1,000) than the State of Maryland (5.8) and the nation (5.6), but a smaller share than Baltimore City (10.7) and Prince George's (6.3) in Maryland -- and below Washington, DC (18.1). 73% of the County's gay and lesbian households are White, 11% are Hispanic, 8% are African American or Black, and 5% are Asian. 20% of the County's gay and lesbian households are raising children, compared to 22% in Baltimore City, 28% in Prince George's, and 9% in Washington, DC.  Overall, the State of Maryland ranks 19th for the share of gay and lesbian households and 14th for the share of lesbian households.
The Williams Institute used a different dataset based on Gallup Survey data -- available only at the State level -- to estimate that 3.7% of the State of Maryland's population is LGBT, 26% of whom are raising children. The State ranks 29th on the share of the population that is LGBT; Washington, DC ranks first at 10.8%.