We’re still a long, long way off from Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake’s ambitious goal  of a net gain of 10,000 families in Baltimore City by 2023, but we’ve got some heartening news. According to numbers crunched by the government, between July 2011 and July 2012 Baltimore’s population grew by, drum roll, 1,100 residents.

It represents only a 0.2 percent increase. But it’s coming off more than 60 years of nothing but population decline. And growing, by however little, is completely different than shrinking.

On the other hand, those 12 months still saw more people moving away from (3,000) than moving to (2,000) the city. So, really, this is simply the first 12-month period during which the continuing exodus had shrunk enough to be offset by births-minus-deaths. Still, that’s something.