Editor’s note: The following commentary aired on wbal.com on April 6, 2018.
It is disappointing that a recent Goucher College poll found that two-thirds of those surveyed did not think of Baltimore City as “the economic engine of the state.” Disappointing but not totally surprising or inaccurate. Today regions, not individual jurisdictions are the economic drivers.
The Greater Baltimore region – Baltimore City, Anne Arundel, Baltimore, Carroll, Harford and Howard counties – is today’s economic engine – not Baltimore City as it was in previous generations.
Truth be told, Maryland benefits from two economic engines – Greater Baltimore and suburban Washington.
Upon careful analysis, the Baltimore region’s impact on Maryland’s economy is indisputable:
- The Baltimore region has more than 238,000 registered businesses – suburban Washington has 196,000.
- 3 million Baltimore area residents take home paychecks compared to slightly over 1 million people in the Washington suburbs.
- Baltimore region residents spend nearly $36 billion in retail sales compared to approximately $23 billion in the suburban Washington region, and
- The Baltimore region contributes over 43 percent of State and local income tax revenue – Suburban Washington about 35 percent.
Although those surveyed may not recognize it, the Baltimore region can confidently lay claim to the fact that it is an economic engine of the state’s economy.
I’m Don Fry, President & CEO of the Greater Baltimore Committee.