This Map Shows Baltimore’s Biggest Problem

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Screen shot 2013-12-18 at 8.26.38 AM

Baltimore’s such a complicated place. That’s true for a lot of reasons, but the newly-released census data tells a more simple story. Baltimore is poor, while all its surrounding counties are rich — quite rich, in fact.

In fact, six of the ten richest counties in the country are located in Maryland and Virginia, essentially in the DC suburbs. That’s a concentration of wealth that the Atlantic calls “truly astonishing.” Meanwhile, as James Briggs writes in the Baltimore Business Journal, “Baltimore looks like an island of poverty.”

Of course, this data should come as no shock to anyone. But seeing the stark contrast laid out in black-and-white (or, well, rust and pale yellow) makes the disparity impossible to ignore. In 2012, Baltimore City media income was $40,803, while Howard County’s was more than twice that — $107,821. But if you narrow in even more closely, the disparity is even more significant — Census Tract 1702 in West Baltimore has a median income of $9,608.

If you feel like getting all census-ed out this morning, have fun playing around with the new interactive explorer the Census Bureau just released. Let us know if you find any data of note!



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