The 2020 census is underway and one place that’s paying particularly close attention to the process is the city of Baltimore, Maryland. They really need to make sure they count every last denizen of Charm City because they are steadily bleeding off their population (both literally and figuratively) to the point where the problem is too great to ignore. They just finished their initial census estimate and it turns out that the population has dropped below 600,000 for the first time in more than one hundred years. And the fewer people they count, the fewer federal dollars they are eligible for. (CBS Baltimore)
Estimated population figures from the U.S. Census show Baltimore’s count dips below 600,000 residents for the first time in more than a century.
Baltimore Mayor Jack Young said the Baltimore Census Complete Count Committee met virtually Thursday morning to strategize on how to make sure every Baltimore resident is counted.
“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,” the mayor said in a statement.
He noted how federal funding tied to Census numbers help feed vulnerable children and seniors across the city.
This is a continuation of a historic trend. In 1950, Baltimore was America’s sixth-largest city with a population of nearly one million. But it’s been all downhill from there. It’s now the 30th largest city in the country.
The reasons for this state of affairs stem from a couple of factors, all of which should be obvious to anyone who follows the news from that region. While it’s one of the smaller components, it doesn’t help that so many people are being murdered every year. When you have hundreds of people dying each year who otherwise wouldn’t have expired due to natural causes, that offsets hundreds of new births.
But the biggest reason for the rapid decline is that people are moving away and not coming back. Between July of 2018 and July of 2019, Baltimore lost 7,300 residents. That’s slightly more than one percent of the total population in a single year. And that’s been going on for quite a few years. The reasons all of these people have for leaving could be debated all day long. Put a list of all the normal drivers that attract people to a given area, throw a dart at it, and you’ll hit a category where Baltimore is failing.
Virtually all of the factories are gone, so good jobs are few and far between. The infrastructure is crumbling and the city is littered with vacant lots and more than 16,000 uninhabitable residential properties that are collapsing. The schools consistently fail to meet state and federal guidelines for success. And the police remain completely overwhelmed by a plague of gang violence that drives the aforementioned murder rate skyward and guts the quality of life.
It also doesn’t help that the city government is better known for corruption and theft than for any sort of leadership. Prior to current interim Mayor Jack Young, two of the last three mayors left office on their way to jail. The other retired without seeking a second full term because the city has literally burned to the ground under her watch. All of the self-dealing going on has lined the pockets of elected officials and their friends more than it’s gone to help the residents.
With all of those cards stacked against Baltimore, is it really any surprise that the population is fleeing? But as long as they keep electing the same bunch of liberal Democrats and keep sending them back to office year after year, nothing is likely to change. And that’s a shame because Baltimore was once a thriving, beautiful city with so much to offer.