Montgomery County is a county in the U.S. state of Maryland, situated just to the north of Washington, D.C., and southwest of the city of Baltimore. It is one of the most affluent counties in the United States and has the highest percentage (29.2%) of residents over 25 years of age who hold post-graduate degrees. The county seat and largest municipality is Rockville. As of 2010 the population was 971,777. Most of the county's residents live in unincorporated locales, the most populous of which are Silver Spring, Germantown and Bethesda, though the incorporated cities of Rockville and Gaithersburg are also large population centers. It is a part of both the Washington Metropolitan Area and the Baltimore-Washington Metropolitan Area.
Montgomery County is an important business and research center. It is the epicenter for biotechnology in the Mid-Atlantic region. Montgomery County is the third largest biotechnology cluster in the USA, holding the principal cluster and companies of large corporate size in the state. Biomedical research is carried out by institutions including Johns Hopkins University's Montgomery County Campus (JHU MCC), Howard Hughes Medical Institute and the University of Maryland. Federal government agencies engaged in related work include the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), the National Institutes of Health (NIH), and the Walter Reed Army Institute of Research.