Is Baltimore County Growing? A Comprehensive Look at the Latest Population Estimates

Four of Maryland's five most populous jurisdictions, including Baltimore City and Baltimore County, experienced a population decrease over the past year, according to the latest U. S. estimates. Local government agencies use these annual census population estimates to create zoning maps, apply for federal funds, and make policy decisions, among other purposes.

The Maryland Department of Planning's prediction that Maryland's population will reach 6.24 million in 2025 is based on historical data and trends from previous census data, said David Buck, a spokesperson for the department. Nationally, many larger counties that lost people at the start of the coronavirus pandemic and smaller counties that gained residents have returned to their pre-pandemic rates. However, Montgomery, Prince George and Baltimore counties, along with the city of Baltimore, recorded similar declines to those of a year ago. International migration, the difference between the number of people moving to a county from another country and the number of people leaving that county to go abroad, has rebounded to pre-pandemic levels in Maryland.

However, this gain is not enough to compensate for the number of people moving out of the state. The data doesn't track where people are going or explain why people are leaving Maryland. Subsequent census reports will be “very important” to let us know what the lasting effects of the pandemic are, Kelly said. But until Thursday, it's “too early to determine if the decline is a statistical trend, a direct result of the COVID pandemic, or some combination of other factors,” Buck said. After the peak of the pandemic, deaths declined in all but four counties (Allegany, Caroline, Somerset and Washington) and births increased in all but five counties (Wicomico, Cecil, Charles, Kent and Queen Anne's).

The population of Baltimore City declined by 7,000 people, or 1.2%, the largest percentage decline in the state. The city's estimated population is 569,930, a level last seen during a period of rapid growth during the 1910s. A 1% drop in Prince George's County, the state's second most populated jurisdiction after Montgomery County, is the second largest percentage loss. A Baltimore City spokesperson did not respond to a request for comment. Baltimore County lost nearly 4,500 people, a population decline of 0.5%.

Baltimore County spokeswoman Erica Palmisano said in a statement that the county “remains a thriving, vibrant and rapidly diversifying community that has grown significantly over the past few decades, and we couldn't be more optimistic about our continued potential in the coming years. The County of St. Mary's, in southern Maryland, and Caroline County on the Upper Eastern Shore were the only other two Maryland jurisdictions that gained residents through domestic migration. Among Baltimore's two least populated jurisdictions, Carroll County grew by 0.6% (1,097 people), the sixth largest increase in the state; Harford County grew by 0.2% (575 people).Southern Maryland's previous growth has slowed while western Maryland's population has remained relatively stable. The small counties of Allegany and Garrett in western Maryland also lost population over the past year; both have been losing population for years. The race least likely to live in poverty in Baltimore County (Maryland) is the white race, with 7.88% below poverty level; Other race is most likely to fall into poverty with 35.71% below poverty level. While 18 out of 24 counties in Maryland increased their population over this period five grew by less than a quarter of a percent contributing to overall population decline in state.

Scott joined Baltimore City Recreation & Parks (BCRP), Parks & People, South Baltimore Gateway Partnership and city and state leaders to inaugurate a renovated playground in Solo Gibbs Park. In conclusion we can say that while there has been an overall decrease in population for four out of five most populous jurisdictions including Baltimore City and Baltimore County over last year due to various factors such as coronavirus pandemic and international migration there are still some areas which have seen an increase due to domestic migration.

Lorene Bergener
Lorene Bergener

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