Laurel is a city in northern Prince George's County, Maryland, in the United States, located almost midway between Washington, D.C., and Baltimore on the banks of the Patuxent River. Founded as a mill town in the early 19th century, the arrival of the Baltimore & Ohio Railroad in 1835 expanded local industry and later enabled the city to become an early commuter town for Washington and Baltimore workers. Largely residential today, the city maintains a historic district centered on its Main Street, highlighting its industrial past. The Department of Defense is a prominent presence in the Laurel area today, with the Fort Meade Army base, the National Security Agency, and Johns Hopkins University's Applied Physics Laboratory all located nearby. Laurel Park, a thoroughbred horse racetrack, is located just outside city limits.
Laurel is located at 39°5′45″N 76°51′35″W. The city is situated on the bank of the Patuxent River, which was the power source for the cotton mills that were the early industry of the town. The ZIP Codes for the incorporated city of Laurel are 20707, 20708, 20709, 20725, and 20756. Additionally, Although served by the Laurel post office, Montpelier is not within the city limits; the same is true for the unincorporated communities of Scaggsville and Whiskey Bottom in Howard County, and Maryland City and Russett in Anne Arundel County. A small section of ZIP Code 20707 is located in Montgomery County, Maryland. According to the United States Census Bureau, the city has a total area of 4.33 square miles (11.21 km²), of which, 4.30 square miles (11.14 km²) is land and 0.03 square miles (0.08 km²) is water.
As of the census of 2010, there were 25,115 people, 10,498 households, and 5,695 families residing in the city. The population density was 5,840.7 inhabitants per square mile (2,255.1/km²). There were 11,397 housing units at an average density of 2,650.5 per square mile (1,023.4/km²). The racial makeup of the city was 30.1% White, 48.9% African American, 0.4% Native American, 9.2% Asian, 0.1% Pacific Islander, 7.6% from other races, and 3.8% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 15.5% of the population.
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