Quick Government Facts


Allegany County was formed in 1789 from Washington County, Maryland, the westernmost county in the state at that time (Chapter 29, Acts of 1789). The name Allegany comes from the Indian word "oolikhanna," which means "beautiful stream."

Brief Economic Facts

View some Brief Economic Facts (PDF) provided by the Maryland Department of Commerce.


68,106 - 161.3 people per square mile (2020 US Census Bureau)

County Seat and Municipalities

Cumberland is the county seat. Other municipalities are Barton, Frostburg, Lonaconing, Luke, Midland, and Westernport.

Chief Elected Officials

The Board of County Commissioners of Allegany County has three members. These members are elected at large and serve a four-year term. The three members vote to select one of their own to be the President of the Board of County Commissioners of Allegany County. There are not any term limits.

Code of Allegany County, Maryland

Read Allegany County Code on E-Code 360.

Form of Government

Code Home Rule. Three forms of government exist in counties in the state: code, commissioner, or charter. Since 1915, counties in the state have had the option of governing under code home rule, which enables them to exercise broad local legislative authority (Chapter 493, Acts of 965, ratified November 8, 1966; Constitution Article XI-F). Allegany County adopted code home rule government in 1974.

Learn more by reading Code Home Rule vs. Commissioner vs. Charter Form of Government (PDF), provided by the Maryland Association of Counties.

Seal of Allegany County, Maryland

View an Explanation of the Allegany County Seal (PDF).

What Do Counties Do for Their Citizens?

According to the Maryland Association of Counties, regardless of the type of government, all counties are responsible for providing the same series and facilities for their citizens. *Services marked with an asterisk are required or governed under state law.

  • Community Colleges* This includes support of the county or regional board of trustees of a community college that operates under state law.
  • Debt Service Debt service is the annual principal and interest payments on debt issued for the development of public capital facilities, including roads, schools, libraries, parks, etc.
  • General Government This includes executive and legislative control, judicial support*, election supervision*, financial administration (budgeting and accounting), legal (counsel and prosecution*), personnel administration, planning and zoning, general services, and alcoholic beverage control*.
  • Health* This includes support of the state-required and regulated county health department.
  • Kindergarten - 12th-Grade Education* This includes support of the state-required county board of education that operates under state law.
  • Land Planning & Development This includes such things as urban and rural development and redevelopment, housing, economic development, and economic opportunity programs.
  • Libraries* This includes the support of the county board of library trustees that operate under state law.
  • Parks & Recreation This includes recreation activities and facilities, and park and open space maintenance and development.
  • Public Safety This includes law enforcement, fire protection, corrections, building inspection, animal control, and traffic engineering.
  • Public Works This includes road construction and maintenance, sewer, water, storm drains, and solid waste collection and disposal.