In a recent post I noted that Maryland had retained it’s rank as the richest state in the country. While this was/is great news for the state there is still plenty of work to do as Baltimore City, today, posted a poverty rate significantly above the national average. According to the recently released US Census Bureau data 19% of city residents wre living below the poverty line in 2008, compared to a US average of 13%.
Although this rate is alarmingly high it’s good to see that even during harsh economic times the 19% figure remained constant from 2007. Certainly almost 1 in 5 Baltimoreans living in poverty is unacceptable, but most of us would have assumed an increase in the local poverty level as the economy began its steep decline last year. While this number is obviously nothing to celebrate, there is at least an argument to be made for a minor success as the general economic trend would have predicted a worse-off situation entering 2009.
This data will hopefully open the eyes of residents throughout the City that major improvements are needed. This, as well as the sizable homeless population in the City, shows that Baltimore continues to be an economically unequal city. There are certainly efforts being made by government and social organizations throughout the city and we can only hope that these efforts make an impact in 2009.