Even though Baltimore is technically a city it is listed with other counties by the Census Bureau. Baltimore lost 6% of its population in 10 years. Interestingly, Baltimore County saw a population decline from 2020 to 2021. The surrounding counties like Howard, Ann Arundel, and Carroll saw rapid growth. Some cities have tried moving their boundaries out to recapture this population but that hasn't happened with Baltimore.
What is driving this population loss? First and foremost is the crime issue. This is shown in a large number of murders in Baltimore that leads the news most evenings. Over the past month, the disturbances near the Inner Harbor have left many people to question visiting these areas. The development of Harbor Place, the Aquarium, the Science Center, and other entertainment venues seemed to have added vitality to the city until recently. Now it seems that much of the growth in the city has moved from the Inner Harbor to Harbor East. Remote work was accelerated during the pandemic and this may have negative consequences for Baltimore in the future.
Secondly is the change in much of the subsidized housing that was built in the 1950s and 1960s. What was replaced were projects that have fewer units and are mixed-use and not entirely subsidized. Many of these residents were given Section Eight certificates that could be used anywhere in Maryland. Many residents with these certificates used them in counties, like Howard, which had better schools with less crime and better job and educational opportunities.
It seems that Baltimore has long since reached a tipping point in its population loss. It is questionable if Baltimore can survive as a city in spite of revitalization efforts. No one right now knows where the bottom is for Baltimore's existence but the trends still seem to be downward if the population exit is still occurring.