Baltimore, Maryland

Baltimore’s population peaked at 949,708 in the 1950 U.S. census and has since steadily declined, reaching 585,708 in the 2020 census. Former Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake aimed to reverse this trend by improving city services and passing legislation to protect immigrants’ rights. Baltimore is considered a sanctuary city and has refused to assist ICE agents with immigration raids. The city’s population dropped from 620,961 in 2010 to 585,708 in 2020, marking a decrease of 5.7%. In fact, Baltimore experienced the largest population decline among major U.S. cities in 2020.

Since the 2000 census, gentrification has been on the rise in East Baltimore, downtown, and Central Baltimore. Approximately 14.8% of census tracts have experienced income growth and an increase in home values at a rate higher than the city as a whole. Most gentrifying neighborhoods are predominantly white areas that have undergone a shift from lower income to higher income households. These areas either represent an expansion of existing gentrified areas or are located around the Inner Harbor, downtown, or the Johns Hopkins Homewood campus. In certain neighborhoods in East Baltimore, there has been an increase in the Hispanic population while the non-Hispanic white and non-Hispanic black populations have decreased. Following New York City, Baltimore became the second city in the United States to reach a population of 100,000. From 1820 through 1850 U.S. censuses, Baltimore held the position of being the second most populous city before being surpassed by Philadelphia and then-independent Brooklyn in 1860 because of Baltimore’s culture. It was later overtaken by St. Louis and Chicago in 1870 but remained among the top 10 cities in population up until the 1980 census. After World War II, its population approached 1 million until it began to decline following the 1950 census.

 

Demographic profile 2020 2010 1990 1970 1940
White 31.9% 29.6% 39.1% 53.0% 80.6%
Non-Hispanic whites 27.6% 28.0% 38.6% 52.3% 80.6%
Black or African American (non-Hispanic) 62.4% 63.7% 59.2% 46.4% 19.3%
Hispanic or Latino (of any race) 6.0% 4.2% 1.0% 0.9% 0.1%
Asian 2.8% 2.3% 1.1% 0.3% 0.1%

 

In the 2010 census, Baltimore’s population was 63.7% Black, 29.6% White (6.9% German, 5.8% Italian, 4% Irish, 2% American, 2% Polish, 0.5% Greek) 2.3% Asian (0.54% Korean, 0.46% Indian, 0.37% Chinese, 0.36% Filipino, 0.21% Nepali, 0.16% Pakistani), and 0.4% Native American and Alaska Native. Across races, 4.2% of the population are of Hispanic, Latino, or Spanish origin (1.63% Salvadoran, 1.21% Mexican, 0.63% Puerto Rican, 0.6% Honduran).

As per the 2020 census, 8.1% of residents between 2016 and 2020 were foreign born persons. Females made up 53.4% of the population. The median age was 35 years old, with 22.4% under 18 years old, 65.8% from 18 to 64 years old, and 11.8% 65 or older.

Baltimore is home to a significant Caribbean American community, predominantly comprised of Jamaicans and Trinidadians. The Park Heights neighborhood serves as the focal point for the Jamaican community in Baltimore, while Southeast Baltimore has also been home to generations of Caribbean immigrants.

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