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Baltimore is again losing residents, says U.S. Census Bureau

Baltimore City loses 313 residents, while Washington, D.C., gains more than 13,000

Above: Banner displayed at City Hall during Mayor Rawlings-Blake’s inaugural ceremony in December 2011.

The latest census figures show Baltimore losing a small number of people between 2012 and 2013.

The estimate, released yesterday as part of a nationwide survey of population changes by the U.S. Census Bureau, has Baltimore’s population dipping from 622,417 in July 2012 to 622,104 in July 2013.

The net loss of 313 residents reverses a modest increase in 2011-2012 when the city’s population grew by nearly 1,500 residents.

Gains in Other Cities

Baltimore’s basically stagnant population contrasts to the growth in the surrounding counties, led by Howard County which gained 5,224 residents over the 2012-13 period.

It also contrasts to the upward trend of other Northeast cities. Washington, D.C., for example, continued its explosive growth, adding 13,000 residents in 2013 to reach a population of 646,000, according to the Census Bureau.

Washington now exceeds Baltimore’s population by more than 24,000. In 2000, Baltimore boasted nearly 80,000 more residents than Washington (651,154 versus 572,059).


Boston, Philadelphia and Richmond, Va., all showed population gains in the latest census report, while New York City added more than 61,000 net residents.

Experts say the population growth in many cities reflects the economy’s rebound from the Great Recession and, over the longer run, the influx of immigrants from abroad and young people from the suburbs.

Behind these trends are the availability and growth of jobs, an area where Baltimore has persistently lagged. After peaking at 11.5% in August 2010, the city’s unemployment rate has stayed in the vicinity of 10%.

Last November, the city’s unemployment rate dipped to 9.1%, compared to 5.4% in Anne Arundel County, 6.4% in Baltimore County and 4.5% in Howard County, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.

Mayor: City is Moving in Right Direction

In her inaugural address in December 2011, Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake  vowed to increase Baltimore’s population by “10,000 families” within a decade. The mayor’s office yesterday suggested that the latest figures were a minor setback to that goal.

In a statement, the mayor said, “Baltimore has grown by approximately 1,000 residents since 2010, making progress on a key goal of my administration to grow the city by 10,000 residents.

“We are moving in the right direction by focusing on the quality-of-life issues that matter most to residents and to grow Baltimore.”

Baltimore Area Population Changes, 2012 to 2013

• Anne Arundel County – up 1%, from 550,175 to 555,743
• Baltimore City – down 0.1%, from 622,417 to 622,104
• Baltimore County – up 0.7%, from 817,682 to 823,015
• Carroll County – up 0.2%, from 167,210 to 167,564
• Harford County – up 0.3%, from 248,540 to 249,215
• Howard County – up 1.7%, from 299,356 to 304,580

Source: “Estimates of Resident Population Change and Rankings, July 1, 2012 to July 1, 2013,” U.S. Census Bureau.

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