Mayor Scott’s Statement on U.S. Census Results and Baltimore’s Growth Plan for 2030
Thursday Aug 12th, 2021
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
BALTIMORE, MD (Thursday, August 12, 2021) — This afternoon, the U.S. Census Bureau released its 2020 Census results revealing a substantial drop in Baltimore’s population. For the first time in over a century, Baltimore’s population is under 600,000 residents. In response, this fall Mayor Brandon M. Scott will launch Baltimore’s Growth Plan for 2030. The plan will prioritize four core values that aim to improve quality of life for Baltimore residents: Building Public Safety, Transparency and Accountability, Navigating COVID-19, and Cultivating an Inclusive, Equitable Economy.
“Today’s population figures are the culmination of more than 70 years of population decline, showing why we must pivot from the status quo towards inclusive economic policies that improve the lives of our legacy residents, while attracting new residents,” said Mayor Brandon M. Scott. “Understanding that much of Baltimore’s 21st century population loss has been driven by an exodus of African American households, my administration will be focused on equitable economic development. We can no longer leave any corner of our city behind.”
“A cornerstone of my equitable, neighborhood-focused development strategy is increasing the population of middle-income families and immigrant families,” continued Mayor Scott. “Improving quality of life for our residents through the successful implementation of the Comprehensive Violence Prevention Plan, increasing affordable rental and homeownership opportunities, supporting the growth of our Black-, Brown- and women-owned businesses, and working closely with our regional, state, and federal partners to improve our transit system are all key ingredients for growing Charm City into the future.”
“Resident retention is a central component of the Scott Administration’s ‘Middle Neighborhoods’ strategy to prevent community decline in middle-market communities that have seen rising rates of blight and vacancy. The best way to grow our city is to better support legacy residents as we recruit new neighbors,” said Chris Ryer, Director of the Baltimore Department of Planning. “Our middle neighborhoods have so much to offer a variety of households and we want to ensure their vitality in the decades ahead.”
Despite the decrease in population, Baltimore’s housing market has shown continuous growth since the beginning of the Scott Administration. In the first two quarters of 2021, Baltimore boasted the most improved housing market in more than a decade. In fact, Baltimore’s housing market has improved more than every surrounding jurisdiction.
Over 1,000 homes were purchased in each of the three previous months, demonstrating robust demand for Baltimore’s housing stock. More Baltimore homes are being financed at all price-points than the previous three-year average. These positive housing data trends will serve as a foundation for implementing the Mayor’s growth plan.
“People want to live in Baltimore. The strength in our for-sale market and the continuous development of new rental properties proves clear demand for housing in the City,” said Annie Milli, Executive Director of Live Baltimore. “Earlier this year, Live Baltimore released a landmark study showing our potential to add more than 25,000 households in the next five years. Now is the time to implement strategies that realize this potential. Mayor Scott can lead us to grow by 2030.”
The City plans to leverage American Rescue Plan Act funds to support population growth initiatives, in alignment with the Mayor’s stated goal of investing in the people and neighborhoods that have historically been left behind. Announcements regarding specific programs focused on increasing homeownership rates and retaining and attracting Baltimore residents will come as part of the City’ ARPA process.
In line with the Mayor’s commitment to good governance through data usage, the Scott Administration will look at ways to use statistical information to regularly track progress toward population retention and recruitment goals, while ensuring the effectiveness of proposed growth strategies.
Additionally, Baltimore continues to see consistent growth in its Latino and immigrant communities. From 2010 to 2019, the number of foreign-born residents has increased by 13.8 percent, while the Latino population grew by more than 40 percent.
“As Baltimore continues to be a place of hope and prosperity for immigrant and refugee communities, we must continue to recognize the unique opportunities these communities bring to our city,” said Catalina Rodriguez-Lima, Director of the Mayor’s Office of Immigrant Affairs (MIMA). “MIMA remains committed to building upon existing efforts to embrace and integrate New Americans into the fabric of our City.”
The Scott Administration will continue to position Baltimore as a welcoming place for refugees fleeing persecution. As the number of refugees allowed in the U.S. increases, the Scott Administration will work with the City’s local resettlement center to actively encourage immigration to Baltimore and increase local capacity to better serve newcomers. Refugee communities will lay down roots in Baltimore, contribute to the city’s local economy, and help diversify local neighborhoods.
“I have the privilege of leading one of the most beautiful, culturally-rich, vibrant, and diverse cities in the United States, with a prime location and affordable cost of living. I am confident we can change the narrative of our great city, unleashing the promise of retaining longtime Baltimoreans by building an effective and equitable City government — the very thing that will also make our city attractive to new residents and new investment. The best is yet to come,” said Mayor Scott.