The population of Baltimore, Maryland, has dropped below 600,000 residents, according to U.S. Census estimates published Thursday.
In a statement, Mayor Bernard C. “Jack” Young (D) said the estimates “are extremely important and help underscore the critical need to get the 2020 Census count as complete and accurate as possible.”
However, Young did not comment on the reasons for the decline in numbers, but said he was focused on getting a complete count for the upcoming census so the city would receive its “fair share” of federal funding.
“I have made boosting Baltimore’s completion rate for the 2020 Census a top priority for my administration. We can’t afford to undercount our population,” he noted.
As of July 2019, Baltimore had an estimated 593,490 residents, according to the Baltimore Sun.
The report continued:
That suggests Baltimore lost 8,953 people, or 1.5% of its population, from the previous year. While the city’s population has been trending downward for decades, it had some small increases during the administration of former Democratic Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake, standing at more than 623,000 in 2014.
In 2015, a report for the former mayor’s “Grow Baltimore” initiative highlighted some of the reasons why residents wanted to leave the city.
The key factors were “daily stressors such as litter, parking, property crime and vacant housing; high property taxes and insurance rates; poor performing public schools and lack of information about school choice; and few market-rate housing choices for new retirees,” the Sun report noted.
In December, Baltimore recorded its record-breaking 342nd homicide for the year, according to Breitbart News.
“That placed the homicide rate at 57 per 100,000, which is a new record,” the report said.
Despite the rise in crime and the fact that the city has lost an estimated 27,280 residents since 2010, Seema Iyer of the Baltimore Neighborhood Indicators Alliance said officials need to make welcoming newcomers a priority.
“We need that message to be very clear in the leadership — that we want people to move into the city of Baltimore, that we want them to be part of the city,” Iyer concluded.