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Montgomery County was established by the State Convention in 1776, and from its establishment until 1948, the Montgomery County government functioned under the County Commission system. In 1948, the voters adopted a charter giving the County home rule and a council-manager form of government. In 1968, the voters approved a new charter providing for separate legislative and executive branches of government, with legislative power vested in an elected County Council and executive power in an elected County Executive. The new charter became effective with the election of the County Executive and Council in November 1970. The Montgomery County Council is composed of nine members, four of whom are elected by all voters in the County. The remaining five Councilmembers are each elected from one of five Councilmanic districts.

Montgomery County contains 493 square miles (or 315,520 acres) of land area. The County population was 1,040,116 as of July 2015, consisting of 45 percent White (non-Hispanic) and 55 percent cultural minorities. About 37.6 percent of Maryland's foreign-born population resides in Montgomery County in 2015.

The 2015 median household income was $98,917. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), the County's estimated labor force for December 2016 is 557,133 with an unemployment rate of 2.8 percent. Montgomery County is an employment center with 60 percent of employment occupied by persons residing and working in the County. For the 2016 Fall enrollment, 159,010 pupils were registered in the County's schools.