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Maryland Population Rose 7% Over Past Decades But Areas Including Baltimore City Lost Residents, Census Finds

BALTIMORE (WJZ) -- Maryland recorded 7% more residents in the 2020 U.S. Census than in the 2010 count, according to data released Thursday by the U.S. Census Bureau.

Maryland's population rose from 5,773,553 to 6,177,224 over the decade.

The state count is slightly lower than the numbers used for apportionment of congressional representatives since those numbers include overseas U.S. citizens who previously lived in Maryland. The Census helps determine how federal funds are spent on things like education, infrastructure and health care.

"Despite these challenges, the participation of 2.2 million households in the 2020 Census and Maryland's number nine self-response ranking of all states means critical federal funding for our state over the next ten years," Gov. Larry Hogan said in a statement. "The Census data will also be used for the upcoming redistricting process. Free and fair elections are the foundation of American democracy and it's time for leaders on both sides of the aisle to end the practice of gerrymandering."

Hogan has called for nonpartisan redistricting reform, an effort that has largely stalled in the General Assembly. In January, he signed an executive order to establish the Maryland Citizens Redistricting Commission, which will prepare congressional and legislative redistricting plans. To date, the panel has held the first of three rounds of public meetings.

"While this raw data will be used as the foundation for redistricting, Maryland law requires it to be adjusted to have incarcerated individuals reallocated to their last known address," said Maryland Department of Planning Secretary Rob McCord. "Preliminary work has been done to comply with this requirement and completion is expected by the first week of September."

On the local level, Frederick and Howard counties saw the largest population growth while Somerset and Allegany counties and Baltimore City saw the largest declines. The city's population peaked at nearly 1 million residents in 1950. Over the last 10 years, the city's population has dropped 5.7% to 585,708.

Mayor Brandon Scott said Thursday he is committed to reversing that decline.

"Understanding that much of Baltimore's 21st century population loss has been driven by an exodus of African American households, my administration will be focused on equitable economic development. We can no longer leave any corner of our city behind," Scott said.

He highlighted efforts to curb violent crime, increase access to housing and support minority-owned and women-owned businesses.

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