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Baltimore City's Population Is Dropping, But New Residents Are Flocking Downtown

BALTIMORE (WJZ) -- The U.S. Census Bureau estimates Baltimore's population every year and finalizes it every ten years.

The last count finished in July 2018 and estimates more than 7,300 people left the city.

The largest one-year loss since 2001, bringing Baltimore's population down to 602, 495 people. For City Councilwoman Mary Pat Clarke, the numbers are disappointing.

"I think it's a shame and I'm sorry to see it."

People move on for a lot of reasons, and they have for a number of years. But the prime driver can be traced back to protests over the death of Freddie Gray while in police custody, and the rioting that followed.

Ever since then, Baltimore's murder rate has soared, and the violence fueled by on-going drug wars has motivated many to leave.

"The population will come back as soon as we get all this violence under control," said Clarke. "and I have faith our new police commissioner is the right person to help us do that."

There have been new arrivals. The Census Bureau estimates nearly 2,000 immigrants from other countries have settled in Baltimore and the Downtown Partnership of Baltimore sees new residential buildings and the rehabbed rowhouses of places like Canton and Fells Point as signs the downtown population is poised for growth.

READ: State of Downtown Baltimore Report - March 2019

Even as other parts of Baltimore show signs of abandonment.

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