Maryland is a state in the Mid-Atlantic region of the eastern United States, bordering Virginia, West Virginia, and the District of Columbia to its south and west; Pennsylvania to its north; and Delaware and the Atlantic Ocean to its east. The state's largest city is Baltimore, and its capital is Annapolis. Among its occasional nicknames are Old Line State, the Free State, and the Chesapeake Bay State. Maryland possesses a variety of topography within its borders, contributing to its nickname America in Miniature. It ranges from sandy dunes dotted with seagrass in the east, to low marshlands teeming with wildlife and large bald cypress near the Chesapeake Bay, to gently rolling hills of oak forests in the Piedmont Region, and pine groves in the Maryland mountains to the west. In 2007, Forbes.com rated Maryland as the fifth "Greenest" state in the country behind three of the Pacific States and Vermont. Maryland ranks 40th in total energy consumption nationwide, and it managed less toxic waste per capita than all but six states in 2005.
The Bureau of Economic Analysis estimates that Maryland's gross state product in 2016 was $382.4 billion. According to the U.S. Census Bureau, Maryland households are currently the wealthiest in the country, with a 2013 median household income of $72,483 which puts it ahead of New Jersey and Connecticut, which are second and third respectively. Two of Maryland's counties, Howard and Montgomery, are the second and eleventh wealthiest counties in the nation respectively. Maryland ranked No. 1 with the most millionaires per capita in 2013, with a ratio of 7.7 percent.
Tourism is popular in Maryland, with tourists visiting the city of Baltimore, the beaches of the Eastern Shore, and the nature of western Maryland, as well as many passing through on the way to Washington, D.C. Baltimore attractions include the Harborplace, the Baltimore Aquarium, Fort McHenry, as well as the Camden Yards baseball stadium. Ocean City on the Atlantic Coast has been a popular beach destination in summer, particularly since the Chesapeake Bay Bridge was built in 1952 connecting the Eastern Shore to the more populated Maryland cities. The state capital of Annapolis offers sites such as the state capitol building, the historic district, and the waterfront. Maryland also has several sites of interest to military history, given Maryland's role in the American Civil War and in the War of 1812. Other attractions include the historic and picturesque towns along the Chesapeake Bay, such as Saint Mary's, Maryland's first colonial settlement and original capital.
Education Week ranked Maryland #1 in its nationwide 2009–2013 Quality Counts reports. The College Board's 9th Annual AP Report to the Nation also ranked Maryland first. Primary and secondary education in Maryland is overseen by the Maryland State Department of Education, which is headquartered in Baltimore. Maryland has a broad range of private primary and secondary schools. Maryland has several historic and renowned private colleges and universities, the most prominent of which is Johns Hopkins University, founded in 1876 with a grant from Baltimore entrepreneur Johns Hopkins.