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Baltimore ( ), or often by local folk ( ), is an independent city and the largest city and cultural center of the U.S. state of Marylandmarker. The city is located in central Maryland along the tidal portion of the Patapsco Rivermarker, an arm of the Chesapeake Bay. Baltimore is sometimes referred to as Baltimore City in order to distinguish it from surrounding Baltimore County. Founded in 1729, Baltimore is a major U.S. seaport and is situated closer to major Midwestern markets than any other major seaport on the East Coast. Baltimore's Inner Harbormarker was once the second leading port of entry for immigrants to the United States and a major manufacturing center. The harbor is now home to the Harborplacemarker, a shopping, entertainment, and tourist center, and the National Aquarium in Baltimore. After a decline in manufacturing industries, Baltimore shifted to a service sector-oriented economy. Johns Hopkins University and Johns Hopkins Hospitalmarker are now the city's largest employers.

As of 2008, the population of Baltimore was 636,919. The Baltimore Metropolitan Area has approximately 2.7 million residents; the 20th largest in the country. Baltimore is also the largest city in the surrounding Baltimore Metropolitan Area of 2,668,056 and in the associated combined statistical area of approximately 8.3 million residents.

The city is named after Lord Baltimore in the Irish House of Lords, the founding proprietor of the Maryland Colony. Baltimore himself took his title from a place in Bornacoola parish, County Leitrimmarker and County Longfordmarker, Ireland. Baltimore is an anglicized form of the Irish Baile an Tí Mhóir, meaning "Town of the Big House", not to be confused with Baltimore, County Corkmarker, the Irish name of which is Dún na Séad.


The Maryland colonial General Assembly created the Port of Baltimoremarker at Locust Point in 1706 for the tobacco trade. The Town of Baltimore was founded on July 30, 1729, and is named after Lord Baltimore (Cecilius Calvert), who was the first Proprietary Governor of the Province of Maryland. Cecilius Calvert was a son of George Calvert, who became the First Lord Baltimore of County Corkmarker, Irelandmarker in 1625. Baltimore grew swiftly in the 18th century as a granary for sugar-producing colonies in the Caribbeanmarker. The profit from sugar encouraged the cultivation of cane and the importation of food.

Baltimore played a key part in events leading to and including the American Revolution. City leaders such as Jonathan Plowman Jr. moved the city to join the resistance to British taxes and merchants signed agreements to not trade with Britain. Congress met in the Henry Fite House from December 1776 to February 1777, effectively making the city the capital of the United States during this period. After the war, the Town of Baltimore, nearby Jonestown, and an area known as Fells Pointmarker were incorporated as the City of Baltimore in 1797. The city remained a part of Baltimore County until 1851 when it was made an independent city.

The city was the site of the Battle of Baltimore during the War of 1812. After burning Washington, D.C., the British attacked Baltimore on the night of September 13, 1814. United States forces from Fort McHenrymarker successfully defended the city's harbor from the British. Francis Scott Key, a Maryland lawyer, was aboard a British ship where he had been negotiating for the release of an American prisoner, Dr. William Beanes. Key witnessed the bombardment from this ship and later wrote "The Star-Spangled Banner", a poem recounting the attack. Key's poem was set to a 1780 tune by British composer John Stafford Smith, and the Star-Spangled Banner became the official National Anthem of the United States in 1931.

Sixth Regiment fighting railroad strikers, July 20, 1877

Following the Battle of Baltimore, the city's population grew rapidly. The construction of the Federally-funded National Road (presently U.S. Route 40) and the private Baltimore and Ohio Railroad (B&O) made Baltimore a major shipping and manufacturing center by linking the city with major markets in the Midwest. A distinctive local culture started to take shape, and unique skyline developed peppered with churches and monuments. Baltimore acquired its moniker, "The Monumental City" after an 1827 visit to Baltimore by President John Quincy Adams. At an evening function Adams gave the following toast: "Baltimore: the Monumental City- May the days of her safety be as prosperous and happy, as the days of her dangers have been trying and triumphant.". Baltimore suffered one of the worst riots of the antebellum south in 1835, when bad investments led to Baltimore Anti-bank riot.

Maryland did not secede from the Union during the American Civil War, however, when Union soldiers marched through the city at the start of the war, Confederate sympathizers attacked the troops, which led to the Baltimore riot of 1861. Four soldiers and 12 civilians were killed during the riot, which caused Union troops to occupy Baltimore. Maryland came under direct federal administration — in part, to prevent the state from seceding — until the end of the war in April 1865.

Following an economic depression known as the Panic of 1873, the Baltimore & Ohio Railroad company attempted to lower its workers wages, leading to the Great Railroad Strike of 1877. On July 20, Maryland Governor John Lee Carroll called up the 5th and 6th Regiments of the National Guard to end the strikes, which had disrupted train service at Cumberlandmarker in western Maryland. Citizens sympathetic to the railroad workers attacked the national guard troops as they marched from their armories in Baltimore to Camden Stationmarker. Soldiers from the 6th Regiment fired on the crowd, killing 10 and wounding 25. Rioters then damaged B&O trains and burned portions of the rail station. Order was restored in the city on July 21–22 when federal troops arrived to protect railroad property and end the strike.
On February 7, 1904 the Great Baltimore Fire destroyed over 1,500 buildings in 30 hours and forced most of the city to rebuild. Two years later, on September 10, 1906, the Baltimore American newspaper reported that the city had risen from the ashes and "one of the great disasters of modern time had been converted into a blessing." The city grew in area by annexing new suburbs from the surrounding counties, the last being in 1918. A state constitutional amendment approved in 1948, requires a special vote of the citizens in any proposed annexation area, which effectively prevents any future expansion of the city's boundaries.

The Baltimore riot of 1968 occurred following the assassination of Martin Luther King, Jr. in Memphis, Tennesseemarker on April 4, 1968. Coinciding with riots in other cities, public order was not restored until April 12, 1968. The Baltimore riot cost the city of Baltimore an estimated $10 million (US$ million in ). Maryland National Guard troops and 1,900 federal troops were ordered into the city. Lasting effects of the riot can be seen on the streets of North Avenue, Howard Street, and Pennsylvania Avenue where long stretches of the streets remain barren.

During the 1970s, Baltimore's downtown area known as the Inner Harbormarker, had been neglected and was only occupied by a collection of abandoned warehouses. Efforts to redevelop the downtown area started with the construction of the Baltimore Convention Centermarker, which opened 1979. Harborplacemarker, an urban retail and restaurant complex opened on the waterfront in 1980, followed by the National Aquarium in Baltimore, Maryland's largest tourist destination, and the Baltimore Museum of Industrymarker in 1981. In 1992, the Baltimore Orioles baseball team moved from Memorial Stadiummarker to Oriole Park at Camden Yardsmarker, located downtown near the harbor. Six years later the Baltimore Ravens football team moved into M&T Bank Stadiummarker next to Camden Yards.

In July 2001, the city center was virtually shut down for a few days by the Howard Street Tunnel firemarker caused by a train derailment.

On January 17, 2007, Sheila Dixon became the first female Mayor of Baltimore.

The city has a number of properties on the National Register of Historic Places.


Eastward view along Baltimore harbor
Baltimore is in north-central Maryland on the Patapsco Rivermarker close to where it empties into the Chesapeake Bay. The city is also located on the fall line between the Piedmont Plateau and the Atlantic Coastal Plain, which divides Baltimore into "lower city" and "upper city". The city's elevation ranges from sea level at the harbor to in the northwest corner near Pimlico.

According to the U.S. Census Bureau, the city has a total area of , of which, of it is land and of it is water. The total area is 12.24 percent water.


Baltimore lies within the humid subtropical climate zone (Cfa), according to the Köppen classification.

July is typically the hottest month of the year, with an average high temperature of and an average low of . Summer is also a season of very high humidity in the Baltimore area. The record high for Baltimore is , set in 1985. January is the coldest month, with an average high of and an average low of . However, winter warm fronts can bring periods of springlike weather, and Arctic fronts can drop nighttime low temperatures into the teens. The record low temperature for Baltimore is , set in 1934. Baltimore rarely experiences temperatures below or above . Due to an urban heat island effect in the city proper and a moderating effect of the Chesapeake Bay, the outlying, inland, and higher elevation parts of the Baltimore metro area are usually several degrees cooler at night than the city proper and the coastal towns.

As is typical in most East Coast cities, precipitation is generous and very evenly spread throughout the year. Every month typically brings 3-4 inches of precipitation, averaging around annually. Spring, summer and fall bring frequent showers and thunderstorms, with an average of 105 sunny days a year. Winter often brings lighter rain showers of longer duration, and generally less sunshine and more clouds. Snowfall occurs occasionally in the winter, while heavy snows are rare. Baltimore averages 2–3 snowfalls per year. In the northern and western suburbs, the climate begins to transition to a subtropical highland climate, and thus winter snowfall amounts are usually higher, with some towns annually receiving . Freezing rain and sleet occurs a few times each winter in Baltimore, as warm air over rides cold air at the upper levels of the atmosphere. The cold air gets trapped against the mountains to the west and the result is freezing rain or sleet.

The city lies in between two peculiar physical features that protect it from extreme weather and account for the relatively tempered seasons. The Appalachian Mountainsmarker protect central Marylandmarker from much of the harsh northern winds and accompanying lake effect snow, and the Delmarva Peninsulamarker protects Baltimore from many of the tropical storms that affect the immediate coast.

The average date of first freeze in Baltimore is November 13, and the average last freeze is April 2.



Washington Monument, in the Mt.
Vernon neighborhood of Baltimore

Baltimore exhibits examples from each period of architecture over more than two centuries, and work from many famous architects such as Benjamin Latrobe, John Russell Pope, Mies Van Der Rohe and I. M. Pei.

The city has architecturally important buildings in a variety of styles. The Baltimore Basilicamarker (1806–1821) is a neoclassical design by Benjamin Latrobe, and also the oldest Catholic Cathedral in the United States. In 1813 Robert Cary Long, Sr. built for Rembrandt Peale the first substantial structure in the United States designed expressly as a museum. Restored, it is now the Municipal Museum of Baltimore, or popularly the “Peale Museummarker”. The McKim Free School founded and endowed by John McKim, although the building was erected by his son Isaac in 1822 after a design by William Howard and William Small. It reflects the popular interest in Greece when the nation was securing its independence, as well as a scholarly interest in recently published drawings of Athenian antiquities. The Phoenix Shot Towermarker (1828), at tall, was the tallest building in the United States until the time of the Civil war. It was constructed without the use of exterior scaffolding. The Sun Iron Building designed by R.C. Hatfield in 1851, was city’s first iron-front building and it was a model for a whole generation of downtown buildings. Brown Memorial Presbyterian Churchmarker, built in 1870 in memory of financier George Brown, has stained glass windows by Louis Comfort Tiffany and has been called "one of the most significant buildings in this city, a treasure of art and architecture" by Baltimore Magazine. The 1845 Greek Revival style Lloyd Street Synagoguemarker is one of the Oldest synagogues in the United States. The Johns Hopkins Hospitalmarker, designed by Lt. Col. John S. Billings in 1876 was a considerable achievement for its day in functional arrangement and fire proofing.

I.M.Pei's World Trade Centermarker (1977) is the tallest equilateral pentagonal building in the world at 405 feet (123.4 m) tall.

Future contributions to Baltimore's skyline include plans for a 717 foot (218.5 m) tall structure known as "10 Inner Harbormarker". The building was recently approved by Baltimore's design panel and will be completed around the year 2010. It will include luxury condominiums, a hotel, restaurants, and shopping centers. The Naing Corporation has approved a tower of 50-60 floors for the lot at 300 Pratt street, with the design currently being finalized. The Inner Harbor East area will see the addition of two new towers which have started construction: a 24-floor tower that will be the new world headquarters of Legg Mason, and a 21 floor Four Seasons Hotel complex.

The streets of Baltimore are organized in a grid pattern. The streets are lined with tens of thousands of brick and Formstone faced rowhouses. Many consider the rowhouse the architectural form most closely associated to the city. Some rowhouses are dated as far back as the 1790s.

Oriole Park at Camden Yardsmarker is considered by many to be the most beautiful baseball park in Major League Baseball, and has inspired many other cities to build their own versions of this Retro-Style Ballpark.

Camden Yards along with the National Aquarium have helped revive the Inner Harbor from what once was an industrial district full of dilapidated warehouses, into a bustling commercial district full of bars, restaurants and retail establishments.

Tallest buildings

Rank Building Height Floors Built
1 Legg Mason Building 40 1973
2 Bank of America Buildingmarker 37 1924
3 William Donald Schaefer Buildingmarker 37 1992
4 Commerce Place 31 1992
5 100 East Pratt Streetmarker 28 1992
6 Baltimore World Trade Centermarker 32 1977
7 Tremont Plaza Hotel 37 1967
8 Charles Towers South Apartments 30 1969
9 Blaustein Building 30 1962
10 250 West Pratt Street 24 1986


Baltimore is officially divided into nine geographical regions: Northern, Northwestern, Northeastern, Western, Central, Eastern, Southern, Southwestern, and Southeastern, with each patrolled by a respective Baltimore Police Department district. However, it is not uncommon for locals to divide the city simply by East or West Baltimore, using Charles Street or I-83 as a dividing line, and/or into North and South using Baltimore Street as a dividing line.

The Central region of the city includes the Downtown area which is the location of Baltimore's main commercial area. Home to Harborplacemarker, The Camden Yards Sports Complex (Oriole Park at Camden Yardsmarker and M&T Bank Stadiummarker), the Convention Centermarker, and the National Aquarium in Baltimore, the area also includes many nightclubs, bars and restaurants, shopping centers and various other attractions. It is also serves as the home to many of Baltimore's key business such as Legg Mason and Constellation Energy. In addition, the University of Maryland, Baltimore campus is housed in this area, with the long-associated University of Maryland Medical System adjacent to the school. The downtown core has mainly served as a commercial district with limited residential opportunities. However, since 2002 the population in the downtown has doubled to 10,000 residents with a projection of 7,400 additional housing units coming available by 2012. The Central region also includes the areas north of the downtown core stretching up to the edge of Druid Hill Parkmarker. Included in the more northern part of the Central region are the neighborhoods of Mount Vernonmarker, Charles North, Reservoir Hillmarker, Bolton Hillmarker, Druid Heights, as well as several other neighborhoods. These neighborhoods include many residential options and are home to many of the city's cultural opportunities. Maryland Institute College of Artmarker, the Peabody Institutemarker of music, the Lyric Opera Housemarker, The Walters Art Museummarker, The Joseph Meyerhoff Symphony Hallmarker, as well as several galleries are all located in this region. Crime in the Inner Harbormarker and Mount Vernon neighborhoods of the Central District became of greater concern in 2009, as an increasing number of random assaults on tourists were reported.

The Northern region of the city lies directly north of the Central region and is bounded on the East by The Alameda and on the West by Pimlico Road. It is a suburban residential area, home to many of the city's upper class residents in neighborhoods including Roland Parkmarker, Homelandmarker, Guilfordmarker, and Cedarcroftmarker. The Northern region is home to many of Baltimore's notable universities such as Loyola University Marylandmarker, The Johns Hopkins University and College of Notre Dame of Marylandmarker.

The Southern region of the city, a mixed industrial and residential area, consists of the area of the city below the Inner Harbor east of the B&O railroad tracks. It is a mixed socio-economic region consisting of working class ethnically mixed neighborhoods such as Locust Point; the recently gentrified Federal Hillmarker area, home to many working professionals, pubs and restaurants; and low-income residential areas such as Cherry Hillmarker.

The Eastern part of the city consists of the Northeastern, Eastern, and Southeastern regions of the city. Northeastern Baltimore is primarily a residential neighborhood home to Morgan State Universitymarker bounded by the city line on its Northern and Eastern boundaries, Sinclair Lane, Erdman Avenue, and Pulaski Highway on its southern boundaries and The Alameda on its western boundaries. It has undergone demographic shifts over many years and remains a diverse but predominantly African American region of the city.

The Eastern region is the heart of what is considered "East Baltimore" and is home to Johns Hopkins Hospitalmarker and Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine. Located below Erdman Avenue and Sinclair Lane above Orleans Street, it is almost an exclusively African American area home to low-income residential neighborhoods, several of which constitute many of Baltimore's high crime areas.

The Southeastern region of the city is located below Orleans Street bordering the Inner Harbor on its western boundary, the city line on its eastern boundaries and the Baltimore harbor on its southern boundaries is a mixed industrial and residential area. Home to many young professionals and working class people, it is an ethnically rich section of Baltimore home to many Polish Americans, Greek Americans, African Americans, and Italian Americans. Upper Fells Pointmarker is the center of the city's steadily growing Latino population.

The Western part of the city consists of the Northwestern, Western, and Southwestern regions of Baltimore. The Northwestern region of the city bounded by the county line on its northern and western boundaries, Gwynns Falls Parkway on the south and Pimlico Road on the East is a predominantly residential area home to Pimlico Race Coursemarker, Sinai Hospital and several of Baltimore's Synagogues. Once the center of Baltimore's Jewish community, it has undergone white flight since the 1960s and has become an almost exclusively African American area. It is home to many suburban residential areas primarily located above Northern Parkway and several lower-income areas below Northern parkway.

The Western region of the city located west of downtown is the heart of "West Baltimore" bounded by Gwynns Falls Parkway, Fremont Avenue, and Baltimore Street. Home to Coppin State Universitymarker and Pennsylvania Avenue, it has been the center of Baltimore's African American culture for years home to many of the city's historical African American neighborhoods and landmarks. Once home to many middle to upper class African Americans, over the years, the more affluent African American residents have since left migrating to other sections of the city in addition to areas such as Randallstownmarker and Owings Millsmarker in Baltimore County and Columbia in Howard Countymarker. The area now constitutes a deprived socio-economic group of African American residents and like "East Baltimore", it is known for its high crime rates. Television series, such as The Wire, that concern themselves with Baltimore's crime problems have been based on events that took place in West Baltimore.

The Southwestern region of the city is bounded by Baltimore County to the west, Baltimore Street to the north, and downtown and the B&O railroad to the east. A mixed industrial and residential area, it has gradually shifted from having a predominantly White to a predominantly African American majority.

Adjacent communities

The City of Baltimore is bordered by the following communities, all unincorporated census-designated places. All are in adjacent Baltimore County, except Brooklyn Park and Glen Burnie, which are in adjacent Anne Arundel Countymarker. In addition, the southern part of the city is bordered by another unincorporated part of northeastern Anne Arundel County.


The Washington Monument
a working-class port town, Baltimore has sometimes been dubbed a "city of neighborhoods," with over 300 identified districts traditionally occupied by distinct ethnic groups. Most notable today are three downtown areas along the port: the Inner Harbormarker, frequented by tourists due to its hotels, shops, and museums; Fells Pointmarker, once a favorite entertainment spot for sailors but now refurbished and gentrified (and featured in the movie Sleepless in Seattle); and Little Italymarker, located between the other two, where Baltimore's Italian-American community is based – and where current U.S. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi grew up. Further inland, Mt.marker Vernonmarker is the traditional center of cultural and artistic life of the city; it is home to a distinctive Washington Monument, set atop a hill in a 19th century urban square, that predates the more well-known monument in Washington, D.C. by several decades.

The traditional local accent has long been noted and celebrated as "Baltimorese" or "Bawlmorese." One thing outsiders quickly notice is that the locals refer to their city as "Bawlamer," dropping with the "t" for the most part. The dialect is similar to that of many Marylanders and Pennsylvanians; it may reflect the region's roots in Cornwallmarker and the English West Country, as many of the original settlers of the Chesapeake Bay area came from this area in colonial times (Traditionally, many Marylanders call their state "Merlin"--and likewise, many Pennsylvanians call their state "Pennsavania," dropping the "l"). However, Baltimore's local accent also reflects the rich mix of ethnic groups from Ireland, Germany, and southern and eastern Europe who immigrated to the city during the industrial era. More recently, references like "B-More" have become common. Baltimore has typically been pronounced "Baldimore" by its residents, changing only the hard "T" sound to a softer, "D" sound. "Bawlamer" pronunciations are used by a very small subclass of individuals, most of them now living outside of Baltimore, in surrounding areas like Dundalk and Essex. Newer residents of Baltimore have found ways to profit from the quaintness of the "Bawlamerese" business, and it has become a widespread misunderstanding.

As Baltimore's demographics have changed since World War Two, its cultural flavor and accents have evolved as well. Today, after decades of out-migration to suburbs beyond its corporate limits and significant in-migration of black Americans from Georgia and the Carolinas, Baltimore has become a majority black city with a significantly changed, but still regionally distinctive, dialect and culture. Recently, neighborhoods such as Federal Hillmarker and Cantonmarker have undergone extensive gentrification and have proven to be popular places for young professionals and college students to reside. In addition, Latinos are making their mark, notably in Upper Fells Pointmarker.

Much of Baltimore's black American culture has roots that long predate the 20th century "Great Migration" from the Deep South. Like Atlanta, Georgiamarker and Washington, D.C.marker, Baltimore has been home to a successful black middle class and professional community for centuries . Before the Civil War, Baltimore had one of the largest concentrations of free black Americans among American cities . In the twentieth century, Baltimore-born Thurgood Marshall became the first black American justice of the U.S.marker Supreme Courtmarker.Baltimore's culture has been famously celebrated in the films of Barry Levinson, who grew up in the city's Jewish neighborhoods. His movies Diner, Tin Men, Avalon, and Liberty Heights are inspired to varying degrees by his life in the city.

Baltimore native John Waters parodies the city extensively in his films, including the 1972 cult classic Pink Flamingos. His film Hairspray and its Broadway musical remake are also set in Baltimore.

Each year the Artscape takes place in the city in the Bolton Hillmarker neighborhood, due to its proximity to Maryland Institute College of Artmarker. It is known as the 'largest free arts festival in America'.

See List of films shot in Baltimore

Performing arts

The Baltimore Symphony Orchestra is an internationally-renowned orchestra, founded in 1916 as a publicly-funded municipal organization. The current Music Director is Marin Alsop, a protégé of Leonard Bernstein. Center Stage is the premier theater company in the city and a regionally well-respected group. The Baltimore Opera was an important regional opera company, though it filed for bankruptcy in 2008 and is not currently performing. The Baltimore Consort has been a leading early music ensemble for over twenty-five years. The France-Merrick Performing Arts Center, home of the restored Thomas W. Lamb-designed Hippodrome Theatremarker, has afforded Baltimore the opportunity to become a major regional player in the area of touring Broadway and other performing arts presentations.

Baltimore also boasts a wide array of professional (non-touring) and community theater groups. Aside from Center Stage, resident troupes in the city include Everyman Theatre and Baltimore Theatre Festival. Community theaters in the city include Fells Point Community Theatre and the Arena Players, which is the nation's oldest continuously operating African American community theater.

Baltimore is home to the Pride of Baltimore Chorus, a 3-time International silver medalist women's chorus, affiliated with Sweet Adelines International.

Notable persons

See List of people from Baltimore


Once a major industrial town, with an economic base focused on steel processing, shipping, auto manufacturing, and transportation, the city suffered a deindustrialization which cost residents tens of thousands of low-skill, high-wage jobs. While it retains some industry, Baltimore now has a modern service economy providing a growing financial, business, and health service base for the southern Mid-Atlantic region.

Greater Baltimore is home to six Fortune 1000 companies: Constellation Energy, Grace Chemicals (in Columbia), Black & Decker (in Towson), Legg Mason, T. Rowe Price, and McCormick & Company (in Hunt Valley). Other companies that call Baltimore home include, AAI Corporation (in Hunt Valley), Brown Advisory, Alex. Brown & Sons, a subsidiary of Deutsche Bank (of Baltimore origin, and at the time of its acquisition, the oldest continuously-running investment bank in the United States), FTI Consulting, Vertis, Thomson Prometric, Performax, Sylvan Learning/Laureate Education, Under Armour, DAP, 180°, DeBaufre Bakeries, Wm. T. Burnett & Co, Old Mutual Financial Network, and

The city is also home to the Johns Hopkins Hospitalmarker, which will serve as the center of a new biotechnology park, one of two such projects currently under construction in the city.


After New York Citymarker, Baltimore was the second city in the United States to reach a population of 100,000, (followed by New Orleansmarker, Philadelphiamarker, Bostonmarker). In the 1830, 1840, and 1850 censuses of the United States of Americamarker, Baltimore was the second-largest city in population, surpassed by Philadelphia in 1860. It was among the top 10 cities in population in the United States in every census up to the 1980 census, and after World War II had a population of nearly a million. The city and metropolitan area currently rank in the top 20 in terms of population. In the 1990s, the US Census reported that Baltimore ranked as one of the largest population losers alongside Detroitmarker and Washington D.C.marker, losing over 84,000 residents between 1990 and 2000.

As of the 2005-2007 American Community Survey conducted by the U.S. Census Bureau, White Americans made up 31.4% of Baltimore's population; of which 30.4% were non-Hispanic whites. Blacks or African Americans made up 63.8% of Baltimore's population; of which 63.6% were non-Hispanic blacks. American Indian made up 0.3% of the city's population; of which 0.2% were non-Hispanic. Asian Americans made up 1.9% of the city's population. Pacific Islander Americans made up less than 0.1% of the city's population. Individuals from some other race made up 1.3% of the city's population; of which 0.2% were non-Hispanic. Individuals from two or more races made up 1.3% of the city's population. In addition, Hispanics and Latinos made up 2.4% of Baltimore's population.

As of 2006, the population was 637,455. The Baltimore–Towson metropolitan area, as of 2004, was estimated to have a population of 2.6 million. The population density was 8,058.4 people per square mile (3,111.5/km²). There were 300,477 housing units at an average density of 3,718.6/sq mi (1,435.8/km²). The racial makeup of the city was 64.85% African American, 31.28% white, 0.32% native American, 1.53% Asian, 0.03% Pacific islander, 0.67% from other races, and 1.47% from two or more races. 1.70% of the population were Hispanic or Latino of any race. This census, however, does not accurately represent the city's Latino population, which, over the past few years, has been steadily increasing. This growth is mainly seen in the southeastern neighborhoods around Upper Fells Point, Patterson Park, and Highlandtown, and in the city's Northwestern neighborhoods such as Fallstaff, as well as various neighborhoods of Northeastern Baltimore. 6.2% of the population were of German ancestry according to Census 2000.

There were 257,996 households, out of which 25.5% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 26.7% were married couples living together, 25.0% had a female householder with no husband present, and 43.0% were non-families. 34.9% of all households are made up of individuals, and 11.3% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.42, and the average family size was 3.16.

In the city, the population age spreads were 24.8% for persons under the age of 18, 10.9% for ages 18 to 24, 29.9% for ages 25 to 44, 21.2% for ages 45 to 64, and 13.2% were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 35 years. For every 100 females there were 87.4 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 82.9 males.

The median income for a household in the city was $30,078, and the median income for a family was $35,438. Males had a median income of $31,767 versus $26,832 for females. The per capita income for the city was $16,978. About 18.8% of families and 22.9% of the population were below the poverty line, including 30.6% of those under age 18 and 18.0% of those age 65 or over.


According to crime statistics there were 276 homicides in Baltimore in 2006, the second-highest homicide rate per 100,000 of all U.S. cities of 250,000 or more population. Though this is significantly lower than the record-high 379 homicides in 1993, the homicide rate in Baltimore is nearly seven times the national rate, six times the rate of New York Citymarker, and three times the rate of Los Angelesmarker.

Although other categories of crime in Baltimore have been declining, overall crime rates in Baltimore are still high compared to the national average. The rate of forcible rapes has fallen below the national average in recent years; however, Baltimore still has much higher-than-average rates of aggravated assault, burglary, robbery, and theft.

City officials have come under scrutiny from Maryland legislators regarding the veracity of crime statistics reported by the Baltimore Police Department. In 2003, the FBI identified irregularities in the number of rapes reported, which was confirmed by then-Mayor Martin O'Malley. The number of homicides in 2005 appeared to exhibit discrepancies as well. The former police commissioner stated upon interview that the administration suppressed corrections to its crime reports;however, many of the charges made by the police commission now appear to be politically motivated. Under the administration of Mayor Sheila Dixon and a new police commissioner, crime rates have been reduced, including a 17% reduction in the number of homicides from 2007 to 2008. For 2008 Baltimore had 234 homicides, down from 282 in 2007.


Baltimore is an independent city – not part of any county. For most governmental purposes under Maryland law, Baltimore City is treated as a "county"-level entity. The United States Census Bureau uses counties as the basic unit for presentation of statistical information in the United States, and treats Baltimore as a county equivalent for those purposes.

Baltimore has been a Democratic stronghold for over 150 years, with Democrats dominating every level of government.


Baltimore City Hall
For a full list of mayors who served the city, see List of Baltimore Mayors.

On December 1st, 2009 incumbent Mayor Sheila Dixon was found guilty on extortion of government funds. As stated in Maryland Constitution any official found guilt of a misdemeanor shall be suspended from office. With Mayor Dixon's suspension City Counsel President Stephanie Rawlings-Blake with be interim Mayor until final decision is reached.On November 6, 2007, incumbent Democratic Mayor Sheila Dixon was elected Mayor. Dixon, as former City Council President, had assumed the office of Mayor on January 17, 2007 when former Mayor Martin O'Malley took office as the Governor of Maryland.

Baltimore City Council

Grassroots pressure for reform, voiced as Question P, restructured the city council in November 2002, against the will of the mayor, the council president, and the majority of the council. A coalition of union and community groups, organized by ACORN, backed the effort.

The Baltimore City Council is now made up of 14 single member districts and one elected at-large council president. Stephanie Rawlings Blake is the council's president and Robert W. Curran is the Vice President.

State government

See also: Baltimore City Delegation

Prior to 1969, some considered Baltimore and its suburbs to be particularly underrepresented in the Maryland General Assembly, while rural areas were heavily overrepresented. Since Baker v. Carr in 1962, Baltimore and its suburbs account for a substantial majority of seats in the state legislature; this has caused some to argue that rural areas are now underrepresented. Baltimore's steady loss of population, however, has resulted in a loss of seats in the Maryland General Assembly. Since 1980, Baltimore has lost four senators from the 47-member Maryland State Senate and twelve delegates from the 141-member Maryland House of Delegates.

State agencies

Several state agencies are headquartered in Baltimore. Executive departments include the Department of Aging, the Department of Business and Economic Development, the Department of Disabilities, the State Department of Education, the Department of the Environment, the Department of General Services, the Department of Health and Mental Hygiene, the Department of Human Resources, the Department of Juvenile Services, the Department of Labor, Licensing and Regulation, and the Department of Planning.

In addition the Department of Budget and Management, the Department of Housing and Community Development, the Department of Information Technology, the Maryland Department of Public Safety and Correctional Services, and the Department of Veterans Affairs have offices in Baltimore.

Independent agencies headquartered in Baltimore include the Maryland Commission on Human Relations, the Maryland Health Care Commission, the Maryland Lottery, and the Maryland Tax Court.

Federal government

Three of the state's eight congressional districts include portions of Baltimore: the 2nd, represented by Dutch Ruppersberger; the 3rd, represented by John Sarbanes; and the 7th, represented by Elijah Cummings. All three are Democrats; a Republican has not represented a significant portion of Baltimore since 1931 and has not represented any of Baltimore since 2003.

Both of Maryland's Senators, Ben Cardin and Barbara Mikulski, are from Baltimore. Coincidentally, both represented the 3rd District before being elected to the Senate. Mikulski represented the 3rd from 1977 to 1987, and was succeeded by Cardin, who held the seat until his election and inauguration to the Senate in 2007.

The United States Postal Service operates post offices in Baltimore. The Baltimore Main Post Office is located at 900 East Fayette Street in the Jonestown area.

Law enforcement

  • The Baltimore City Police Department is the primary law enforcement agency servicing the citizens of Baltimore: see main article here.

  • The Baltimore City Sheriff's Office (BSO) is the enforcement arm of the Baltimore court system. Deputy Sheriffs are sworn law enforcement officials with full arrest authority as granted by the constitution of Maryland, the MPCTC and the Sheriff of the City of Baltimore.
    • Organization-The current Sheriff is John W. Anderson. The BCSO is divided into several sections as follows:
      • Field Enforcement Section
      • District Court Section
      • Child Support (Civil) Section
      • Child Support (Warrant) Section
      • Transportation Unit
      • Warrant Unit
      • Special Response Team
      • K-9 Team
      • Witness Protection Team

    • Duties-The Sheriff is responsible for the following: security of city courthouses and property, service of court-ordered writs, protective and peace orders, warrants, tax levies, as well as prisoner transportation and traffic enforcement.


The interstate highway serving Baltimore are I-70, I-83 (the Jones Falls Expressway), I-95 (the John F. Kennedy Memorial Highway), I-395, I-695 (the Baltimore Beltway), I-795 , I-895 , and I-97. Several of the city's interstate highways, e.g. I-95, I-83, and I-70 are not directly connected to each other, and in the case of I-70 end at a park and ride lot just inside the city limits, because of freeway revolts in the City of Baltimore. These revolts were led Barbara Mikulski, now United States Senator, which resulted in the abandonment of the original plan. U.S. highways and state routes that run to and through downtown Baltimore include US 1, US 40 National Road, and the Baltimore-Washington Parkway. There are two tunnels traversing the Baltimore harbormarker within the city limits: the four-bore Fort McHenry Tunnelmarker (served by I-95) and the two-bore Harbor Tunnelmarker (served by I-895). The Baltimore Beltway crosses south of Baltimore harbor over the Francis Scott Key Bridgemarker.

Baltimore is a top destination for Amtrak along the Northeast Corridor. Baltimore's Penn Stationmarker is one of the busiest in the country. In 2005, it ranked 8th in the United States with a total ridership of 910,523. Just outside the city, Baltimore/Washington International Thurgood Marshall Airport Rail Stationmarker is another popular stop. Amtrak's Acela Express, Palmetto, Carolinian, Silver Star, Silver Meteor, Vermonter, Crescent, and Regional trains are the scheduled passenger train services that stop in the city. Additionally, MARC commuter rail service connects the city's two main intercity rail stations, Camden Stationmarker and Penn Stationmarker, with Washington, D.C.marker's Union Stationmarker as well as stops in between.

Public transit in Baltimore is provided by the Maryland Transit Administration. The city has a comprehensive bus network, a small light rail network connecting Hunt Valley in the north to BWI airportmarker and Cromwell in the south, and a subway line between Owings Millsmarker and Johns Hopkins Hospital. A proposed bus rapid transit or rail line, known as the Red Line, which would link the Social Security Administration to Fells Pointmarker and perhaps the Canton and Dundalkmarker communities, is under study as of 2007; a proposal to extend Baltimore's existing subway line to Morgan State Universitymarker, known as the Green Line, is in the planning stage.

Baltimore is served by Baltimore-Washington International Thurgood Marshall Airportmarker, generally known as "BWI," which lies about to the south in neighboring Anne Arundel Countymarker, and by Martin State Airportmarker, a general aviation facility, to the north in Baltimore County. BWI and Martin State airports are operated by the Maryland Aviation Administration, which is part of the Maryland Department of Transportation. In terms of passenger traffic, BWI is the 24th busiest airport in the United States. Downtown Baltimore is connected to BWI by two major highways (I-95 and the Baltimore-Washington Parkway via Interstate 195), the Baltimore Light Rail, and Amtrak and MARC commuter rail service between Baltimore's Penn Station and BWI Rail Stationmarker. Martin State Airportmarker is linked to downtown Baltimore by two major highways, I-95 and U.S. Route 40, and MARC commuter rail service between Baltimore's Penn Station and its nearby Martin State Airport MARC Train stop.

Port of Baltimore

The port was founded in 1706, preceding the founding of Baltimore. The Maryland colonial legislature made the area near Locust Point as the port of entry for the tobacco trade with England. Fells Pointmarker, the deepest point in the natural harbor, soon became the colony's main ship building center, later on becoming leader in the construction of clipper ships. After the founding of Baltimore, mills were built behind the wharves. The California Gold Rush led to many orders for fast vessels; many overland pioneers also relied upon canned goods from Baltimore. After the civil war, a coffee ship was designed here for trade with Brazil. At the end of the nineteenth century, European ship lines had terminals for immigrants. The Baltimore and Ohio Railroad made the port a major transshipment point.

Currently the port has major roll-on roll-off facilities, as well as bulk facilities, especially steel handling.Water taxis also operate in the Inner Harbor. Governor Ehrlich participated in naming the port after Helen Delich Bentley during the 300th anniversary of the port.

In 2007, Duke Realty Corporation began a new development near the Port of Baltimore, named the Chesapeake Commerce Center. This new industrial park is located on the site of a former General Motors plant. The total project comprises in eastern Baltimore City and the site will yield of warehouse/distribution and office space. Chesapeake Commerce Center has direct access to two major Interstate Highways (I-95 and I-895) and is located adjacent to two of the major Port of Baltimore Terminals. The Port of Baltimore is the furthest inland port in the U.S. with a dredge to accommodate the largest shipping vessels.


Colleges and universities

Baltimore is the home of numerous places of higher learning, both public and private. Among them are:



Primary and secondary schools

The city's public schools are operated by the Baltimore City Public School System and include the historic Frederick Douglass High School, which is the second oldest African American high school in the United States, Baltimore City Collegemarker, the third oldest public high school in the country, and Western High School, the oldest public all girls school in the nation. Baltimore City College (also known as "City") and Baltimore Polytechnic Institute (also known as "Poly") share the nation's second-oldest high school football rivalry.

Private schools

These private schools are within the city:

Parochial schools


Baltimore's main newspaper is The Baltimore Sun. It was sold by its Baltimore owners in 1986 to the Times Mirror Company, which was bought by the Tribune Company in 2000. Baltimore is the 26th-largest television market and 21st-largest radio market in the country.

Like many cities well into the 20th Century, Baltimore was a two-newspaper town until the Baltimore News American ceased publication in 1986.

In 2006, the Baltimore Examiner was launched to compete with The Sun. It was part of a national chain that includes the San Francisco Examiner and the Washington Examiner. In contrast to the paid subscription Sun, the Examiner was a free newspaper funded solely by advertisements. Unable to turn a profit and facing a deep recession, the Baltimore Examiner ceased publication on February 15, 2009.

Sports teams

Baltimore has a long and storied sporting history encompassing many teams from many different eras. The Baltimore Orioles have represented Major League Baseball locally since 1954 when the St. Louis Browns moved to the city of Baltimore. The Orioles won three World Series Championships (1966, 1970, and 1983), advanced to the World Series in 1969, 1971, and 1979, and made the playoffs all but one year from 1969 through 1974. In 1995, local player (and later Hall of Famer) Cal Ripken, Jr. broke Lou Gehrig's "unbreakable" streak of 2,130 consecutive games played (for which he was named the Sportsman of the Year by Sports Illustrated magazine). Six former Orioles players have been inducted into the Baseball Hall of Famemarker.

The "Baltimore CFLers", or Baltimore CFL Colts were an expansion professional football team that joined the CFL in 1994. The CFLers remained in Baltimore for two seasons before relocating to Montreal after the 1995 season to become the Montreal Alouettes. The CFLers posted the best two season starts of any CFL expansion team and are the only U.S. based team in the CFL to have won the Grey Cup, the league's playoff championship, by upsetting the heavily favored Winnipeg Blue Bombers in their final season in Baltimore. Even with their short tenure, the Baltimore CFLers had the best attendance figures of any U.S. based CFL franchise, and one of the top in the entire league.

Professional football returned to Baltimoremarker a year after the CFLers left. The Baltimore Ravens have represented the National Football League since relocating from Cleveland in 1996. The team has had great success, including a Super Bowl Championship in 2001, two division championships (2003 and 2006), and two AFC Championship appearances in 2001 and 2009.

Other current teams include: Baltimore Blast, National Indoor Soccer League since 1998; Crystal Palace Baltimore,USL Second Division since 2006; Baltimore Mariners,American Indoor Football Association since 2008; Baltimore Burn, National Women's Football Association since 2004; Baltimore Nighthawks, Independent Women's Football League since 2001; and the Charm City Roller Girls Women's Flat Track Derby Association since 2006. Area fans are known for their passion and reverence for historical sports figure who played in the city or were born there. Wild Bill Hagy is an example of a famous fan.

Sister cities

See also


  1. Map shows the demarcation point between tidal and non-tidal portions of the Patapsco River.
  2. As a goodwill gesture, and based on this historic link, a statue of Lady Baltimore was sent back to Ireland in 1974 and erected there some years later. See
  3. Placenames. Northern Ireland. Genealogy. URL retrieved March 29, 2007.
  5. NOAA,
  6. Emporis - Legg Mason Building. Retrieved 1 November 2007.
  7. Emporis - Bank of America Building. Retrieved 1 November 2007.
  8. Emporis - William Donald Schaefer Tower. Retrieved 1 November 2007.
  9. Emporis - Commerce Place. Retrieved 1 November 2007.
  10. Emporis - 100 East Pratt Street. Retrieved 1 November 2006.
  11. Emporis - World Trade Center. Retrieved 1 November 2007.
  12. Emporis - Tremont Plaza Hotel. Retrieved 1 November 2007.
  13. Emporis - Charles Towers South Apartments. Retrieved 1 November 2007.
  14. Emporis - Blaustein Building. Retrieved 1 November 2007.
  15. Emporis - 250 West Pratt Street. Retrieved 1 November 2007.
  16. Mirabella, Lorraine. " Downtown jobs, housing boom", The Baltimore Sun, January 30, 2007
  17. Baltimore's African American Heritage and Attractions Guide:: Visual and Performing Arts
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  19. "Top 50 Cities in the U.S. by Population and Rank (2005 Census)". 2005. Retrieved August 1, 2006
  22. Annual Estimates of the Population of Metropolitan and Micropolitan Statistical Areas: April 1, 2000 to July 1, 2004 (CBSA-EST2004-01)
  23. , WBAL-TV (February 14, 2006)
  24. , WBAL-TV (February 14, 2006)
  25. , WBAL-TV (February 22, 2006)
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  27. , CBS News (January 3, 2009)
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  30. " Welcome to the Maryland Department of Disabilities." Maryland Department of Disabilities. Retrieved on March 23, 2009.
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  32. " Contact the Office." Maryland Department of the Environment. Retrieved on March 23, 2009.
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  46. " Contact Information." Maryland Health Care Commission. Retrieved on March 23, 2009.
  47. " Contact the Maryland Lottery." Maryland Lottery. Retrieved on March 23, 2009.
  48. Home page. Maryland Tax Court. Retrieved on March 23, 2009.
  49. " Post Office Location - BALTIMORE." United States Postal Service. Retrieved on May 5, 2009.
  50. Baltimore CIty Sheriff's Office
  51. 25 Busiest stations in 2005. Inside Amtrak. Government Affairs. Amtrak Information. URL retrieved April 1, 2007.
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