I was struck by this recent news: Baltimore is losing Baltimoreans.
Urban flight has been a constant in most major to medium-sized American cities for decades. After years of losing residents, Baltimore's population actually increased in 2006, a development that was much hailed by political and business leaders. However, that growth now appears to have been an aberration.
The U.S. Census Bureau reported that the city lost 3,231 people during the year that ended July 1, 2008. The business of counting people is hardly an exact science - the bureau's number is an estimate calculated using data from the 2000 census and taking into account births, deaths and immigration. The most recent census figures put Baltimore's population at 636,919.
This is important news for a number of reasons, the most notable being that the amount of money the city receives from many federal programs is based on its population. The fewer people, the fewer dollars Baltimore gets from Uncle Sam.
There are probably many reasons that account for the decline, but I'd like to hear your thoughts. Why does Baltimore's population continue to shrink, and what can city leaders do to stop the exodus?