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December 22, 2010

Maryland's population grows 9%

About 480,000 more people live in Maryland now than did 10 years ago.

So says the Census Bureau, which released Census 2010 figures showing that Maryland's growth rate was 9 percent over the decade -- lower than the '90s and '80s but higher than the '70s.

The United States posted slightly faster growth than the state, at 9.7 percent, but its rate was the slowest since the '30s. Considering the recession that officially ended last year was the worst since the Great Depression, that makes some sense.

"The slow population growth witnessed over the past decade is attributed to slowing immigration from abroad, both legal and undocumented," Wells Fargo economists Mark Vitner and Joe Seydl said in a research note. "Over the past decade, a weakening employment picture in the United States was the primary catalyst for slower immigration."

Maryland is still attracting immigrants. And it's also gaining newcomers via BRAC, the base realignment and closure effort.

If you want to sell a home, growth is good. (The population in hard-hit Michigan shrank during the last decade.) But some portion of the 480,000 new people have already bought homes, of course -- they didn't all get here last week. (Some of the newbies didn't relocate here at all in the traditional sense but, rather, were born here.)

What would be really interesting to know is this: How many Americans would have moved to a different state in the last few years if they could?

Nevada grew 35 percent during the decade, fastest among the states. But it also has the nation's highest unemployment rate, worse even than No. 2 Michigan. So what gives? A lot of people moved in when the economy was good, and now folks in that bubble-bust state are stuck in underwater homes, unable to relocate. It's a problem playing out in a variety of communities.

Do you think Maryland, with its lower-than-average unemployment rate, would see more growth if people weren't constrained by their homes?

Or less?

Posted by Jamie Smith Hopkins at 12:01 AM | | Comments (5)
Categories: Growth


Jamie, is there any over/under demographic breakdown with these numbers?

I'd really love to to see the numbers brokn down by the basic categories at least: things like: income range, age range, citizen status.

If it's there it should be getting reported.
If it isn't that should be getting reported too.

MrRational, the decennial census numbers are released in drips and drabs -- first the total population numbers and more later. (I'm not directly involved in the Census 2010 coverage, but I did write a lot of Census 2000 stories.)

Now, of course, we also have American Community Survey data to look at.

For what its worth, i think that the talk of people being unable to move is slightly exagerated as far as causing unemployment.

Thats not to say that it doesnt happen.But often there are other reasons for not moving. If you live in say,Flint MI, and are out of work, you have a lot of reasons to move.But also to stay.

Your friends and family are there.Your entire econmic support network is there[ people who can babysit, like your mother,ect.And people who can help you get a job]. So someone might not want to move to a new city where they dont know anybody.

Also they may have inherited thier house.Or are paying a very low mortgage. Nevada may have experienced a housing bubble.But places like Detroit,Flint,Gary and Newark never did.[not to mention certain parts of Baltimore]

So there are actually some good and valid economic reasons for some people to stay put and try to weather the economic storm where they are

An unemployed auto worker in Flint may be out of work.But if he pays no or a low mortgage and can survive on odd jobs, then wwhy should he risk going to the DC suburbs where much of the job creation is for Federal Governemnt office jobs

I have freinds that work construction in DC and they say that its still bad for them.So a blue collar worker may not find a job in Montgomery County right now

All jobs arent the same.So a construction laborer like myself would be foolish to move to Silicon Vally just because there are high tech jobs avalible.

Im sure that some people are hampered by being "underwater" on thier mortgages. But i dont think that its a major reason for our nations unemployment. andi doubt wether most people would benifit from moving to Maryland. As far as blue collar jobs are concerned its still bad in places like Baltimore

BTW, i would just like to wish Jamie Smith Hopkins and all of her readers a Merry christmas.

I have enjoyed reading all of the blog posts this year. And i look forward to reading this blog in 2011

Thanks, Pete! Merry Christmas to you, too. I look forward to your 2011 comments.

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About Jamie Smith Hopkins
Jamie Smith Hopkins, a Baltimore Sun reporter since 1999, writes about the regional economy. Her reporting on the housing market has won national and local awards. Hopkins is a Columbia native and has lived in Maryland all her life, save for 10 months spent covering schools in Ames, Iowa.
She trained to become a wonk by spending large chunks of time as a geek and an insufferable know-it-all.
Baltimore Sun articles by Jamie

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