Although the fishing industry is declining, the catch of fish and shellfish, chiefly from Chesapeake Bay, yielded an income of over $67 million in 1998, and the state's annual catch of crabs is the largest in the nation. The coastal marshes abound in wildfowl. Stone, coal, and iron, mined chiefly in the west of Maryland, are much less significant than in the 19th cent.
Leading manufactures include electrical and electronic machinery, primary metals, food products, missiles, transportation equipment, and chemicals. Shipping (Baltimore is a major U.S. port), tourism (especially along Chesapeake Bay), biotechnology and information technology, and printing and publishing are also big industries. Service industries, finance, insurance, and real estate are all important. Many Marylanders work for the federal government, either in offices in Maryland or in neighboring Washington, D.C.
Although manufacturing well exceeds agriculture as a source of income, Maryland's farms yield various greenhouse items, corn, hay, tobacco, soybeans, and other crops. Income from livestock (especially broiler chickens) and livestock products, especially dairy goods, is almost twice that from crops. Maryland is also famous for breeding horses.
The Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia, 6th ed. Copyright © 2012, Columbia University Press. All rights reserved.