Town of Emmitsburg
300A S. Seton Ave Emmitsburg, Maryland
21727
240-629-6300

 Emmitsburg Comprehensive Plan
A General Plan for Emmitsburg, Maryland

Chapter 1: Introduction
Chapter 2: The 1974 Comprehensive Plan for Emmitsburg
Chapter 3: Demographic Element
Chapter 4: Land Use Element
Chapter 5: Transportation Element
Chapter 6: Housing
Chapter 7: Economic Development and Renewal
Chapter 8: Community Design Element
Chapter 9: Community Facilities
Chapter 10: Environment and Sensitive Areas
Chapter 11: Implementation Strategies

Chapter 3: Demographic Element

Characteristics of Existing Population

Population Trends and Forecasts

As of January 1997, Emmitsburg's population was estimated to be 2,096 persons. This indicates that the Town grew by 544 persons, or a 35 percent increase, from 1980 through January 1997. The July 1995 housing estimate is 855 units and the average household size is 2.59 persons within the Town of Emmitsburg.

During the period from 1980 through January 1997, the average population growth rate for Frederick County municipalities was 67 percent. This figure reflects the high growth rates for the municipalities of Frederick City (71 %), the Frederick County portion of Mt. Airy (395%) and Walkersville (114%). Within the planning region, Thurmont experienced a 62 percent population increase from 1980 through January 1997.

Historically, Emmitsburg's population trends indicate very limited growth throughout most of the 20th Century. Emmitsburg experienced an increase of only 634 persons in the period between 1910 and 1990, including two decades with declining population rates (i.e., 19101920 and 1940-1950). The addition of 544 persons during the period from 1980 through January 1997 indicates a remarkable change in Emmitsburg's population trends in light of previous growth during the Twentieth Century.

Frederick County has also experienced consistent population growth since the 1 920's, although the percentage has risen above 30% since the 1 970's. This growth rate is primarily due to spill over housing demand from the Washington/Baltimore metropolitan areas. This trend is expected to continue through the Year 2020.

Since 1970, County growth rates have consistently been above 30 percent. Emmitsburg has only recently begun to reflect this trend, posting a 35 percent population gain from 1980 through January 1997. County projections indicate that Emmitsburg's population growth will exceed 34 percent through the decade of the 1 990's, although Emmitsburg's population is projected to grow at a lesser rate through the Year 2010.

The Frederick Region is expected to continue to be the leading growth area within Frederick County into the next century. The New Market Region is also expected to experience a high rate of growth through 2010, fueled by growth in and around Mt. Airy and Lake Linganore. The Urbana Region is likely to experience substantial population growth, partially as a result of continued growth along the 1-270 corridor. This trend will also heavily impact the Adamstown and Walkersville Regions and will be felt by the other regions in Frederick County. The Thurmont Region is expected to grow at a more modest rate of 17.5 percent through the year 2000.

It should be noted that the 1995 adopted Thurmont Region Plan indicates substantial areas of potential growth within Emmitsburg's 20 Year Growth Limit Line. Under the Regional Plan scenario, a possible population increase of up to 5,600 persons over the next twenty years could occur in the immediate Emmitsburg area. Such a high level of population growth for Emmitsburg is not anticipated in this Comprehensive Plan.

POPULATION CHANGE FREDERICK COUNTY & MUNICIPALITIES 1980-1997

  1980 Census 1990 Census January 1997 Increase
1980-1/97
% Increase
1980-1/97
Brunswick 4,572 5,117 5,306 734 16%
Burkittsville 202 194 190 -12 -6%
Emmitsburg 1,552 1,688 2,096 544 35%
Frederick City 28,086 40,148 48,045  19,959 71%
Middletown 1,748 1,834 2,307 559 32%
Mt. Airy 540 1,497 2,675 2,135 395%
Myersville 432 464 883 451 104%
New Market 306 328 327 21 7%
Rosemont 305 256 263 -42 -14%
Thurmont 2,934 3,398 4,753 1,819 62%
Walkersville 2,212 4,145 4,737 2,525 114%
Woodsboro 506 513 803 297 59%

Municipal Total 43,395 59,582 72,385 28,990 67%
           
Non-Municipal 71,397 90,626 110,660 39,263 55%
           
Frederick County 114,792 150,208 183,045 68,253 59%

Source: Frederick County & Municipal Building Permits, April 1997

Age Characteristics

The Town of Emmitsburg shares similar age characteristics with Frederick County as a whole. For example, residents who are age 17 or younger comprise 26.5 percent of Emmitsburg's total population. This figure is also true for Frederick County.

Chapter Three: Demographic Element

The largest segment of Emmitsburg's residents are between 25 and 44 years of age. This trend is also indicated for the County as a whole. Much of this cohort is indicative of first time homebuyers and families with school-age children. Additional recreational and educational facilities should be considered to meet current and projected population increases by young families.

Table 111.2 FREDERICK COUNTY POPULATION PROJECTIONS 1980 2010

  1980 Census 1990 Census January 1997 Projected 2000 Projected 2010
TOTAL 114,792 150,208 183,045 203,170 243,600

Source: U.S. Census & Frederick County Planning Department, April 1997

Table 111.3 HISTORIC AND PROJECTED POPULATION GROWTH - 1900 - 2010
TOWN OF EMMITSBURG & FREDERICK COUNTY

  Town of Emmitsburg Frederick County

Year

Population % Increase Population % Increase
1900 829   51,920  
1910 1,054 24.1% 52,673 1.5%
1920 940 -10.8% 52,541 -0.2%
1930 1,235 31.4% 54,440 3.6%
1940 1,412 14.3% 57,312 5.3%
1950 1,261 -10.7% 62,287 8.7%
1960 1,369 8.6% 71,930 15.5%
1970 1,532 11.9% 84,927 18.1%
1980 1,552 1.3% 114,792 35.2%
1990 1,688 8.8% 150,208 30.9%
2000* 2,273 34.7% 203,170 35.3%
2010* 2,495 9.8% 243,600 19.9%

 Sources: U.S. Census, Frederick County Planning Department and Maryland Office of Planning

* Population Projections - Frederick County Planning Department

Chapter Three: Demographic Element

Residents who are age 65 and above comprise 11.4 percent of Emmitsburg's total population, whereas the same age cohort in Frederick County comprises only 9.5 percent of the County population. It is projected that the percentage of Emmitsburg residents age 65 and above will increase over the next two decades. The planning process should take into consideration the needs of retired and elderly residents in terms of pedestrian accessibility, emergency services, transportation and recreational opportunities.

Table 111.4 AGE CHARACTERISTICS - 1990 CENSUS
TOWN OF EMMITSBURG & FREDERICK COUNTY

Age Group Town of Emmitsburg Percentage Frederick County Percentage
0 5 139 8.2% 11,902 7.9%
5 17 309 18.3% 27,829 18.5%
18 20 63 3.7% 6,826 4.5%
21 24  124 7.3% 8,798 5.9%
25 44 794 35.2% 53,626 35.7%
45 54 139 8.2% 16,045 10.7%
55 59 61 3.6% 5,642 3.8%
60 64 67 4.0% 5,331 3.5%
65 74 114 6.8% 8,475 5.6%
75 84 61 3.6% 4,342 2.9%
85 + 17 1.0% 1,392 0.9%
         
TOTAL 1,688   150,208  
         
Under 18 448 26.5% 39,731 26.5%
         
65 Years + 192 11.4% 14,209 9.5%

Source: 1990 U.S. Census, Maryland Office of Planning

Planning Implications of Emmitsburg's Demographic Trends

Development pressure will need to be balanced by concerted planning in order to identify and accommodate the growing population. The full implications of the projected growth in and around Emmitsburg needs to be anticipated in order to develop planned responses.

The January 1997 population of Emmitsburg is estimated at 2,096 persons. With population projections in the area of (and possibly exceeding) 2,500 persons by 2020, evaluation of the impacts of growth on the Town must take into account the Town's service base and include areas outside of the existing corporate limits.

Population growth in Emmitsburg and its immediate vicinity will place new demands on local community services and facilities such as fire protection and law enforcement, the transportation network, water and sewer, education and library facilities, recreation facilities, and open space areas.

Emmitsburg is impacted by growth in Frederick County, in south central Pennsylvania, and throughout the entire region. Thus far, most of the growth in both the Town and the region is in the residential sector, although substantial acreage exists east of US 15 within Emmitsburg to further develop the local employment base. Emmitsburg has the largest amount of employment-designated land in northern Frederick County, which can be serviced by water and sewer.

Residents who are age 17 or younger make up over one quarter of Emmitsburg's total population. In addition, nearly 36 percent of Emmitsburg's residents are between 25 and 44 years of age. Expansion of recreational, educational and library facilities should be a priority to meet current and projected population increases by young families and children.

Since it is projected that the percentage of Emmitsburg residents age 65 and above will increase over the next two decades, special consideration should be given to the needs of retired and elderly residents in terms of pedestrian accessibility, emergency services, transportation services, library facilities, and recreational opportunities.

Chapter 1: Introduction
Chapter 2: The 1974 Comprehensive Plan for Emmitsburg
Chapter 3: Demographic Element
Chapter 4: Land Use Element
Chapter 5: Transportation Element
Chapter 6: Housing
Chapter 7: Economic Development and Renewal
Chapter 8: Community Design Element
Chapter 9: Community Facilities
Chapter 10: Environment and Sensitive Areas
Chapter 11: Implementation Strategies