Baltimore (/ˈbɔːltɪmɔːr/ BAWL-tim-or) is the most populous city in the U.S. state of Maryland, as well as the 30th most populous city in the United States, with a population of 602,495 in 2018 and also the largest such independent city in the country. Baltimore was established by the Constitution of Maryland as an independent city in 1729. As of 2017, the population of the Baltimore metropolitan area was estimated to be just under 2.802 million, making it the 21st largest metropolitan area in the country. Baltimore is located about 40 miles (64 km) northeast of Washington, D.C., making it a principal city in the Washington-Baltimore combined statistical area (CSA), the fourth-largest CSA in the nation, with a calculated 2018 population of 9,797,063.
Baltimore is in north-central Maryland on the Patapsco River close to where it empties into the Chesapeake Bay. The city is also located on the fall line between the Piedmont Plateau and the Atlantic coastal plain, which divides Baltimore into “lower city” and “upper city”. The city’s elevation ranges from sea level at the harbor to 480 feet (150 m) in the northwest corner near Pimlico.
According to the 2010 Census, the city has a total area of 92.1 square miles (239 km), of which 80.9 sq mi (210 km) is land and 11.1 sq mi (29 km) is water. The total area is 12.1 percent water.
Baltimore is almost completely surrounded by Baltimore County, but is politically independent of it. It is bordered by Anne Arundel County to the south.
According to the 2010 Census, there were 620,961 people living in Baltimore City in 242,268 households. The population decreased by 4.6% since the 2000 Census. Among school-age children between 5–17 years old, there was a 23% decline. Baltimore’s population has declined at each census since its peak in 1950.
In 2011, then-Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake said her main goal was to increase the city’s population by improving city services to reduce the number of people leaving the city and by passing legislation protecting immigrants’ rights to stimulate growth. For the first time in decades, in July 2012, the U.S. Census Bureau’s census estimate showed the population grew by 1,100 residents, a 0.2% increase from the previous year. Baltimore is sometimes identified as a sanctuary city. Mayor Jack Young said in 2019 that Baltimore will not assist ICE agents with immigration raids.
Gentrification has increased since the 2000 census, primarily in East Baltimore, downtown, and Central Baltimore. Downtown Baltimore and its surrounding neighborhoods are seeing a resurgence of young professionals and immigrants, mirroring major cities across the country.
After New York City, Baltimore was the second city in the United States to reach a population of 100,000. From the 1830 through 1850 U.S. censuses, Baltimore was the second most-populous city, before being surpassed by Philadelphia in 1860. It was among the top 10 cities in population in the United States in every census up to the 1980 census, and after World War II had a population of nearly 1 million.
According to the 2010 Census, Baltimore’s population is 63.7% Black, 29.6% White, 2.3% Asian, and 0.4%, American Indian and Alaska Native. Across races, 4.2% of the population are of Hispanic, Latino, or Spanish origin. Females made up 53.4% of the population. The median age was 35 years old, with 22.4% under 18 years old, 65.8% from 18 to 64 years old, and 11.8% 65 or older.
In 2005, approximately 30,778 people (6.5%) identified as gay, lesbian, or bisexual. In 2012, same-sex marriage in Maryland was legalized, going into effect January 1, 2013.
In 2009, the median household income was $42,241 and the median income per capita was $25,707, compared to the national median income of $53,889 per household and $28,930 per capita. In Baltimore, 23.7% of the population lived below the poverty line, compared to 13.5% nationwide.
Housing in Baltimore is relatively inexpensive for large, coastal cities of its size. The median sale price for homes in Baltimore in 2012 was $95,000. Despite the housing collapse, and along with the national trends, Baltimore residents still face slowly increasing rent (up 3% in the summer of 2010).
The homeless population in Baltimore is steadily increasing; it exceeded 4,000 people in 2011. The increase in the number of young homeless people was particularly severe.
As of 2015, life expectancy in Baltimore was 74 to 75 years, compared to the U.S. average of 78 to 80. Fourteen neighborhoods had lower life expectancies than North Korea. The life expectancy in Downtown/Seton Hill was comparable to that of Yemen.
A little under half (47%) of people in Baltimore report affiliating with a religion. Catholicism is the largest religious affiliation, comprising 12% percent of the population, followed by the Baptist Church (7%), then Judaism (4.3%). Around 11.4% identify with other Christian denominations.
As of 2010, 91% (526,705) of Baltimore residents five years old and older spoke only English at home. Close to 4% (21,661) spoke Spanish. Other languages, such as African languages, French, and Chinese are spoken by less than 1% of the population.