Statement of Donald C. Fry, President and CEO, Greater Baltimore Committee, on Baltimore’s 2020 Census Population Data

August 12, 2021

“The continued trend in population losses for the City of Baltimore is disappointing but, unfortunately, was anticipated. Nevertheless, it is unacceptable for a city with the many positive attributes Baltimore has, from its affordability, diversity, strong neighborhoods, historical and cultural attractions to world class healthcare and universities, to lose residents. Although the city has challenges, it has the attributes to attract population.

This is an important time for the business community and city stakeholders to establish a sustainable strategy to grow the population and move forward with a sense of urgency. This can’t be a one or two-year deal. It must be a long term commitment by the city.

A lot is riding on Baltimore’s population figures. For one, fewer residents will mean a smaller tax base for the city to generate tax revenues that support city operations and services. Meanwhile the federal government allocates funding for such programs as Medicaid based on a jurisdiction’s population. There’s also the issue of blight associated with residents that have vacated or abandoned homes.

The bottom line is the continued population decline for Baltimore should be viewed as an urgent issue that must be given the significant thought and the resources that are required to turn the tide.”


The Greater Baltimore Committee (GBC) is a regional organization of business and civic leaders that includes businesses, nonprofit organizations and educational and civic institutions. It is the leading voice for the private sector in the Baltimore region on issues relating to economic growth, job creation, workforce development, transportation, the business climate and quality of life. The GBC’s membership is comprised of over 500 member organizations, including large, mid-size and small companies, nonprofits, education and foundations in the Greater Baltimore region.