The Baltimore Neighborhood Indicators Alliance-Jacob France Institute has released a series of reports—“Grow Baltimore: Who’s Moving, Where and Why”—which offers details about factors that influence population trends in the city. These efforts, plus those of Live Baltimore through its new Way To Stay website, featuring resources to assist families as they explore local education options, are part of a trend to encourage local residents to stay in Baltimore, and to welcome new families to the city.

In 2011, Baltimore Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake announced a goal to increase Baltimore’s population by 10,000 families by 2020, known as the Grow Baltimore Initiative. Although the city suffered six decades of population decline, today Baltimore shows encouraging signs of population growth. The Grow Baltimore Initiative aims to harness research, community input, and collaboration to amplify the elements of Baltimore life that attract residents and provide resources to support current residents for a lifetime.

The research conducted by Baltimore Neighborhood Indicators Alliance and Live Baltimore illustrated several key factors that drive individuals’ and families’ decisions to move to (“pull”) and from (“push”) Baltimore.

“Pull” Factors: Elements associated with Baltimore that attract residents to city living and encourage them to stay:

  • Growing Employment Sectors and Anchor Institutions
  • Location (i.e., proximity to Washington, D.C. and the mid-Atlantic region)
  • Sense of Place and Community Associated with Urban Living
  • Cultural and Economic Diversity
  • Growing Population of New Americans
  • Large Stock of Affordable Housing

“Push” Factors: Elements associated with Baltimore that dissuade residents from city living or cause them to consider relocating:

  • Public Safety (particularly property crime)
  • School Quality
  • Transportation Access and Connectivity
  • Government Customer Service
  • Taxes and “City-Living Premiums” (e.g., higher car insurance rates)
  • Housing Quality and Size (particularly relevant to growing families and middle-income retirees)

Follow media coverage and join in on discussion on Twitter, @bniajfi, #GrowBaltimore.

New Study Highlights An Increase Attraction To Charm City, CBS Baltimore
Why People Are Leaving (or Staying) In Baltimore, WYPR 88.1FM
Report examines why residents stay in and leave Baltimore, Baltimore Sun
Keeping millennials in Baltimore remains a challenge, Baltimore Business Journal
New Data: Baltimore, still hyper-segregated but (almost) growing, Community Architect Daily

Research for the report and development of the website were funded by the Goldseker Foundation.