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
First settled1714; 310 years ago (1714)
 • 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.

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.[3] 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".[4]

By the turn of the 20th century, Potomac was growing. 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.[5]


Historical population

As of the 2010 census,[8] 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[9] 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.[10]

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%.[11]

In Potomac, the age distribution was 25.3% under the age of 18 (2010),[10] 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.


The median income for a household in the CDP was $187,568 in 2017 dollars. Men had a median income of more than $100,000; women, $78,442. 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.[9]

Arts and culture

Potomac has a branch of the Montgomery County Public Libraries.


Winston Churchill High School
Connelly School of the Holy Child

Public schools

Schools operated by Montgomery County Public Schools in Potomac include:[12]

Private schools

Religious schools

Notable people

Main article: List of people from Potomac, Maryland

In popular culture


  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. ^ Montgomery County equity records, Judgment 1823-1826/67
  4. ^ Montgomery County Post Office records
  5. ^ "Potomac, Maryland Köppen Climate Classification (Weatherbase)". Weatherbase.
  6. ^ "Census of Population and Housing". U.S. Census Bureau. Retrieved March 19, 2007.
  7. ^ "QuickFacts: Potomac CDP, Maryland". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved August 17, 2021.
  8. ^ "QuickFacts:Potomac CDP, Maryland". United States Census Bureau.
  9. ^ 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.
  10. ^ a b "Potomac CDP QuickFacts from the US Census Bureau". United States Census. Retrieved November 28, 2015.
  11. ^ "Potomac, MD | Data USA". datausa.io. Retrieved October 20, 2021.
  12. ^ "List of Schools" (PDF). Montgomery County Public Schools. Retrieved September 15, 2023.
  13. ^ "2010 CENSUS - CENSUS BLOCK MAP (INDEX): Potomac CDP, MD" (1) (Archive). U.S. Census Bureau. Retrieved on June 19, 2015.
  14. ^ "2010 CENSUS - CENSUS BLOCK MAP (INDEX): Potomac CDP, MD" (0) (Archive). U.S. Census Bureau. Retrieved on June 19, 2015.
  15. ^ "Home." Norwood School. Retrieved on June 19, 2015. "8821 River Road :: Bethesda, MD 20817"
  16. ^ "The Real Housewives of Potomac". Bravo TV Official Site. Retrieved January 26, 2016.
  17. ^ "The real Potomac is nothing like 'Real Housewives' — except for the money". Retrieved February 2, 2016.
  18. ^ "Potomac 20854: A made for TV drama unfolds in the DC suburb". Retrieved March 6, 2018.
  19. ^ "12 things you never knew about 'Beverly Hills, 90210'". Retrieved March 6, 2018.