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Maryland is a U.S. state that is located in the northern part of the southern United States. It is bordered to the south and west by Virginia, West Virginia, and the District of Columbia, on the east by Delaware, and the north by Pennsylvania. It was the seventh state that ratified the United States Constitution. It has three nicknames: the Free State, the Old Line State, and the Chesapeake Bay State. Maryland is a major center for biotechnological research. It is the third-largest in the United States in this field. Over 350 biotechnology companies are based there.

Numerous important institutions and governmental agencies are located in Maryland, including: Johns Hopkins University, Goddard Space Flight Center, the National Institutes of Health, the United States Census Bureau, the Food and Drug Administration, and the National Institute of Mental Health. Maryland is blessed with a wide diversity of topography, which is probably why it is sometimes called, America in Miniature. Its landscape varies from the Piedmont region that features rolling hills of oak forest, sand dunes in the east, marshlands with abundant wildlife near the bay, and mountains and pine groves in the west. Strangely, Maryland does not have any natural lakes. This is due to the fact that during the last Ice Age, glaciers did not reach this far south, and did not dig the deep holes, which create lakes, as in regions further north.

The major population centers in Maryland are Washington, DC, Baltimore, and Annapolis, the state capital. Washington and Baltimore were founded along the Fall Line- the line where waterways are broken up by waterfalls. However, Annapolis lies on the banks of the Severn River, near where it empties into Chesapeake Bay. Maryland has a vibrant economy. Maryland's households are the wealthiest in the country, according to the U.S. Census Bureau. Its per capita income is $43,500, 5th in the nation. Its poverty rate of 7.8% is the lowest in the country. Maryland is home to several professional sports franchises. There are two NFL teams in Maryland- the Baltimore Ravens, located in Baltimore, and the Washington Redskins in Landover, Maryland. Maryland also has an NBA team, the Washington Wizards, formerly the Washington Bullets. The Baltimore Orioles are the state's MLB team. The state also has an NHL team, the Washington Capitals.Interestingly, walking is the state's official exercise. Maryland was the first state to have an official state exercise.

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