Based on the facts that we’re selling ads on our fire trucks, begging non-profits to take over our most historic buildings, and seem to be unable to stop our streets from flooding on a regular basis, you might think that Baltimore was a struggling city. But don’t worry; we still have rich people. According to the Bureau of Economic Analysis’ report (released yesterday), Baltimore is the 15th richest metro area in America, putting it up there with Napa, California and a couple of fancy Connecticut hedge fun townlets. Are you feeling the cognitive dissonance, too?
There are a few reasons that Baltimore tends to turn up on these “richest cities” lists. One is that Baltimore City actually comprises quite a small part of the “metro area” that these studies measure, so while the city might be full of people struggling to keep up with average wages, the counties are a different story.
And, to put it frankly, there is a lot of wealth concentrated up and down the east coast. From Boston and Barnstable through New York City, Connecticut (Bridgeport, Hartford, and New Haven), and DC, the eastern corridor is a concentrated bastion of wealth (all those cities made it onto the list) — even if its central cities are falling apart. (Downtown New Haven isn’t the most fun place, either.)
So is there a way to harness at least some of that money surrounding Baltimore and use it to bolster the city that serves as our geographic — and, dare we say it, emotional — heart? If you’ve got any solutions, let us know.