Potomac, Maryland
Location of Potomac in Maryland
Location of Potomac in Maryland
Coordinates: 39°1′N 77°13′W / 39.017°N 77.217°W / 39.017; -77.217
Country United States
State Maryland
County Montgomery
 • Total26.58 sq mi (68.85 km2)
 • Land25.14 sq mi (65.12 km2)
 • Water1.44 sq mi (3.73 km2)
361 ft (110 m)
 • Total47,018
 • Density1,869.95/sq mi (721.99/km2)
Time zoneUTC−5 (Eastern (EST))
 • Summer (DST)UTC−4 (EDT)
ZIP Codes
20854, 20859
Area code(s)301, 240
FIPS code24-63300
GNIS feature ID0591056

Potomac (listen ) is an unincorporated community and census-designated place (CDP) in Montgomery County, Maryland. As of the 2020 census, it had a population of 47,018.[2] It is named after the nearby Potomac River.

Potomac is the seventh most educated small town in America, based on percentage of residents with postsecondary degrees.[3] In 2011, Bloomberg Businessweek labeled Potomac as the 29th richest ZIP Code in the United States, stating that it had the largest population of any U.S. town with a median income of more than $240,000.[4] In 2012, The Higley Elite 100 published a list of highest-income neighborhoods by mean household income, which included four neighborhoods in Potomac; one of these neighborhoods, "Carderock-The Palisades" was ranked the highest-income neighborhood in the United States, followed by "Beverly Hills-North of Sunset" in Beverly Hills, California and "Swinks Mill-Dominion Reserve" of McLean, Virginia.[5] More recently, two Potomac neighborhoods were ranked among the ten wealthiest neighborhoods in the country by CNBC in 2014.[6] In 2018, data from the American Community Survey revealed that Potomac was the sixth-wealthiest city in the United States.[7] Many Potomac residents work in nearby Washington, D.C., and Northern Virginia.


Great Falls Tavern

The land that is now Potomac was first settled by Edward Offutt in 1714 after he was granted a 600-acre (2.4 km2) land grant of a region known as Clewerwell by Lord Baltimore. His grant of land was by the Tehogee Indian Trail, an Indian trade route built by the Canaze Native American nation in 1716[citation needed]. Throughout the 18th century, what became known as "Offutts Crossroads" was a small, rural community which served planters and travelers. In the 19th century, a few small dwellings had been built along with a tavern established in 1820.[8] By the time of the Civil War, the community contained two general stores, a blacksmith shop, and a post office which served a community of 100.

Offutts Crossroads was renamed "Potomac" in 1881 by John McDonald. An Irishman and veteran of the Civil War, McDonald settled in Potomac around that time. He petitioned for the name change since postal officials were asking for brief names and there were already several other communities in the area with the name "crossroads".[9]

By the turn of the 20th century, Potomac was experiencing a period of growth. Thomas Perry, an operator of a nearby general store, built a house on the corner of Falls and River Roads in 1902. More residential structures were built on the northern section of Falls Road throughout the 1920s and 1930s. During the 1950s, Potomac was one of many communities in Montgomery County to experience suburbanization because of its proximity to Washington, D.C. Potomac quickly transformed from a rural farming community to a suburban community from the mid- to late 20th century.

Numerous original buildings within Potomac Village have been demolished for the construction of strip malls and modern office buildings. However, in the surrounding area, many of the old farmhouses remain, though some are confined within suburban developments. The Perry Store has been restored and still stands as part of a bank, although the building was moved 21 feet in 1986 to allow for a project to widen the intersection of Falls and River Roads.


Potomac's geographical focal point is Potomac Village, a small cluster of shops and businesses at the intersection of Maryland State Highway 189 (Falls Road) and Maryland State Highway 190 (River Road) northwest of Washington, D.C.

According to the U.S. Census Bureau, Potomac has a total area of 26.6 square miles (69 km2), of which 25.2 square miles (65 km2) are land and 1.4 square miles (3.6 km2), or 5.33%, are water.[1] It includes the ZIP Code 20854 for properties and 20859 for US Post Office Boxes.


The climate is characterized by hot, humid summers and generally mild to chilly winters. According to the Köppen climate classification system, Potomac has a humid subtropical climate, abbreviated "Cfa" on climate maps.[10]


Historical population

As of the 2010 census,[13] there were 44,965 people living in Potomac, including 16,093 households. The population density was 1,790 inhabitants per square mile (690/km2). There were 16,642 housing units at an average density of 633.9 per square mile (244.8/km2). A 2017 ACS 5-Year Population Estimate[14] cited 45,780 people living in Potomac.

As of 2010, the racial makeup of the CDP was 75.8% White, 4.6% African American, 0.1% Native American, 15.9% Asian, 0.01% Pacific Islander, 0.90% from other races, and 2.6% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino residents of any race were 6.4% of the population.[15]

Of the 16,093 households, 38.4% included children under the age of 18, 74.8% were married couples living together, 6.6% had a female householder and 16.8% were non-families. Fourteen percent of all households were made up of individuals, and 5.9% were persons living alone who were 65 or older. The average household size was 2.84 and the average family size was 3.10.

In 2019, the median property value in Potomac, MD was $893,000, and the homeownership rate was 87.6%.[16]

In Potomac, the age distribution was 25.3% under the age of 18 (2010),[15] 4.6% from 18 to 24, 21.3% from 25 to 44, 34.0% from 45 to 64 and 13.8% who were 65 or older. The median age was 44. For every 100 females, there were 91.6 males. For every 100 females 18 or older, there were 87.3 males.

Income levels

The median income for a household in the CDP[14] was $187,568 in 2017 dollars. Males had a median income of $100,000+ versus $78,442 for females. About 2.5% of families and 3.3% of the population were below the poverty line, including 3.6% of those under the age of 18 and 3.6% of those 65 and older.


Thomas S. Wootton High School
Winston Churchill High School
Connelly School of the Holy Child

Public schools

Montgomery County Public Schools operates the public schools in the area.

Private schools

Religious schools

Popular culture

Notable people

Main article: List of people from Potomac, Maryland


  1. ^ a b "2022 U.S. Gazetteer Files: Maryland". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved June 7, 2023.
  2. ^ a b "P1. Race – Potomac CDP, Maryland: 2020 DEC Redistricting Data (PL 94-171)". U.S. Census Bureau. Retrieved June 7, 2023.
  3. ^ Jacqueline Detwiler (January 5, 2009). "In Depth: America's Most Educated Small Towns". Forbes.
  4. ^ Joel Stonington, Venessa Wong. "America's Richest Zip Codes 2011". Bloomberg Businessweek. Archived from the original on January 7, 2012.
  5. ^ PhD, Stephen R. Higley. "The Higley Elite 100: Variance & Stability in the American Community Survey 2008-2012 | The Higley 1000". higley1000.com. Retrieved February 3, 2016.
  6. ^ "Surprise! These are the richest US neighborhoods". CNBC. Retrieved February 3, 2016.
  7. ^ "The 10 wealthiest cities in the United States". Fox 2.
  8. ^ Montgomery County equity records, Judgment 1823-1826/67
  9. ^ Montgomery County Post Office records
  10. ^ "Potomac, Maryland Köppen Climate Classification (Weatherbase)". Weatherbase.
  11. ^ "Census of Population and Housing". U.S. Census Bureau. Retrieved March 19, 2007.
  12. ^ "QuickFacts: Potomac CDP, Maryland". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved August 17, 2021.
  13. ^ "QuickFacts:Potomac CDP, Maryland". United States Census Bureau.
  14. ^ a b "ACS DEMOGRAPHIC AND HOUSING ESTIMATES 2013-2017 American Community Survey 5-Year Estimates: Potomac CDP, Maryland". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved October 26, 2019.
  15. ^ a b "Potomac CDP QuickFacts from the US Census Bureau". United States Census. Retrieved November 28, 2015.
  16. ^ "Potomac, MD | Data USA". datausa.io. Retrieved October 20, 2021.
  17. ^ "2010 CENSUS - CENSUS BLOCK MAP (INDEX): Potomac CDP, MD" (1) (Archive). U.S. Census Bureau. Retrieved on June 19, 2015.
  18. ^ "2010 CENSUS - CENSUS BLOCK MAP (INDEX): Potomac CDP, MD" (0) (Archive). U.S. Census Bureau. Retrieved on June 19, 2015.
  19. ^ "Home." Norwood School. Retrieved on June 19, 2015. "8821 River Road :: Bethesda, MD 20817"
  20. ^ "The Real Housewives of Potomac". Bravo TV Official Site. Retrieved January 26, 2016.
  21. ^ "The Real Housewives of DC". Bravo TV Official Site. Retrieved January 26, 2016.
  22. ^ "The real Potomac is nothing like 'Real Housewives' — except for the money". Retrieved February 2, 2016.
  23. ^ "Potomac 20854: A made for TV drama unfolds in the DC suburb". Retrieved March 6, 2018.
  24. ^ "12 things you never knew about 'Beverly Hills, 90210'". Retrieved March 6, 2018.