Data & Demographics

Data matters.

Baltimore’s Department of Planning provides reliable data to inform city officials, planning staff and community members involved in the planning decision-making process.

Baltimore City Profile: A quick one-page graphic overview of key Baltimore data from the latest U.S. American Community Survey (2014). Click on the image below to download.

Neighborhood Profiles:  A closer look at select neighborhoods throughout Baltimore, using five-year U.S. American Community Survey data (2012-2016).

For more information on specific data topics, click on the relevant header below:

People & Demographics

Education, Children & Economic Well-Being

Housing & Transportation

Environment & Health

Inequality in Baltimore

Where Does the Data Come From?

The majority of data in the Profiles above are drawn from the U.S. Census Bureau.

The American Community Survey (ACS) is an ongoing survey conducted each year by the U.S. Census Bureau to provide the latest information on the social and economic characteristics of communities across the United States. It includes questions about age, race, family characteristics, income, housing costs and transportation mode, among other household and population characteristics.

The ACS replaced the long form of the Decennial Census in 2010. It provides the latest demographic data for our communities each year. Each month, the ACS goes out to a sample of households across the country – about 3.5 million households are contacted by the U.S. Census annually to complete the ACS survey. The Census then rolls these responses into one-year, three-year and five-year estimates. For places with a population of less than 20,000, data is accumulated over a five-year period to provide a statistically reliable sample. ACS data is available down to the census block group level.

More information on the American Community Survey can be found in this Information Guide published by the U.S. Census Bureau.

The Decennial Census, last conducted in 2010, is mandated by the Constitution and takes places every ten years. The data collected determines the distribution of federal funding to local communities. It provides an official count of the entire U.S. population to Congress. The goal of the Decennial Census is to conduct a full count of the population, covering basic demographic information (age, sex, and race). This slide show describes the population shifts in Baltimore between the 2000 and 2010 Census.

Between each Decennial Census, the Census Bureau’s Population Estimates Program uses data on births, deaths and migration to measure population change. This data is available for the nation, and each state, county and city across the country.

People & Demographics

According to the 1950 Decennial Census, Baltimore’s population reached 949,708. Baltimore was the sixth largest city in the United States. By 2010, the population of the City fell to 620,961. The following chart captures growth and population decline in Baltimore by the decade.

Decennial Population

In 2015, according to the latest population estimates, the population of Baltimore City was 621,849. There were 238,897 households in the city.  In 2014, Baltimore was the 26th largest city in the United States. This chart shows more recent population changes in Baltimore since 2010.

Baltimore Population 2010 to 2015

Since 2010, the population of children under 5 has grown in Baltimore slightly. Concurrently, the population of adults ages 25 to 34 also rose. The median age of Baltimore City residents was 34.6 in 2014.

Population by Age

For more information:

American Factfinder: A tool from the U.S. Census Bureau that allows users to access and download data from the American Community Survey, the Decennial Census and other federal data sources.

Baltimore Neighborhood Indicators Alliance: A resource from the Jacob France Institute at the University of Baltimore that compiles more than 150 indicators across 55 Community Statistical Areas (CSAs) covering all of Baltimore City. CSAs reflect United States Census Tract boundaries, allowing year-to-year comparisons to be made. Updated on an annual basis.

Maryland Data Explorer: An interactive data tool from Maryland’s Department of Commerce that allows users to compare every county in Maryland and the City of Baltimore across a variety of economic, demographic, land use and transportation variables.

Education, Children & Economic Well-Being

The median household income in Baltimore City was $42,665 in 2014, and per capita income was $25,290. About 16% of Baltimore City residents did not possess a High School Diploma or a GED in 2014. However, about 30% of residents held either a Bachelor’s Degree, a Graduate or Professional Degree. The charts below illustrate educational attainment across Baltimore City, and the differences in median per capita income across educational levels.

Population by Educational AttainmentIncome by Educational Attainment

About 23.6% of Baltimore residents lived in poverty in 2014, including 32.6% of children between Pre-K and 12th Grade. The following chart illustrates poverty rates by race, gender and age in Baltimore City in 2014.

Poverty by Demographic Group

For more information:

Maryland Report Card: Current information on student achievement and school district data.

Maryland Poverty Profiles: A look at poverty and related statistics, at the county level, across Maryland.

Advocates for Children and Youth compile data fact sheets for Baltimore City and each county in Maryland that summarize data relevant to children: health, education, juvenile justice, and child welfare.

Maryland Department of Labor’s Area Explorer: Provides a monthly measure of the unemployment rate in Baltimore City, as well as a wealth of data on wages, commuting patterns, occupational projections, and major employers.

Economic Alliance of Greater Baltimore: Provides a summary of data from various sources on the education, workforce, and key industries of the Greater Baltimore region.

Baltimore Comprehensive Economic Development Strategic (CEDS) Report: A strategic plan to guide the city’s economic development efforts released in 2014. Prepared by the Baltimore Development Corporation, with assistance from the Department of Planning.

Housing & Transportation

In 2014, about 29% of households in Baltimore City did not own a car and many of these households relied on public transportation for commuting. For the average resident in Baltimore City, average commute time was 29.8 minutes to work.

About 54% of occupied housing units in Baltimore City are rentals. About 55% of renters spend more than 30% of their income on housing costs, facing a housing cost burden. The chart below compares housing cost burden between homeowners and renters in Baltimore City. 

Housing Cost Burden by Tenure

For more information:

Baltimore City’s Housing Typology Map: Baltimore City’s Planning Department and the Department of Housing and Community Development collaborate with The Reinvestment Fund (TRF) to produce a Housing Market Typology (HMT) every three years. The resulting HMT map classifies city housing markets into eight categories using data indicators such as median sales price and foreclosure rates. The Housing Market Typology was last updated in 2014.

Baltimore’s Residential Development Trends: Baltimore City’s Planning Department tracks the status of residential housing units under development on a quarterly basis.

Baltimore Regional Housing Plan and Fair Housing Equity Assessment: the Opportunity Collaborative released this analysis of the regional housing market in November 2014. 

Environment & Health

According to the Food Environment Map (see link below), about 1 in 4 Baltimore residents live in Food Desert.

Baltimore’s Office of Sustainability tracks a variety of sustainability related indicators each year in their Annual Report of progress towards the goals of Baltimore’s Sustainability Plan. The 2014 report is available on the Department of Sustainability’s website.

Baltimore Health Department Stats & Data: Baltimore’s health department provides a City-wide neighborhood health profile report, as well as specialized data on the City’s health disparities and food insecurity of children and links to other health data sources.

Baltimore Food Environment Map: A joint project of Baltimore Food Policy Initiative and Johns Hopkins’ Center for Livable Future, this report identifies food deserts across the City of Baltimore and identifies demographic groups disproportionately affected by food deserts. The report’s most recent iteration was released in June 2015.

Blue Water Baltimore and the Waterfront Partnership release the Healthy Harbor Report Card each year. This grades the water quality of the four main waterways in Baltimore.

Inequality in Baltimore

Baltimore’s Demographic Divide: a 2015 data visualization from the Wall Street Journal that examines measures of inequality in Baltimore.

The Baltimore Sun’s data team prepared a series of maps that measure inequality across Baltimore’s neighborhoods, comparing unemployment, income, life expectancy and homicide rates.