The number of families living in downtown Baltimore has increased significantly over the past 10 years, according to Downtown Partnership of Baltimore Inc.
Downtown Baltimore’s core area experienced the biggest population increase — 130 percent — since 2000, and the one-mile radius between Pratt and Light streets saw a 13.6 percent population increase during that time as well.
“Anecdotally, we’ve been seeing more strollers and hearing from couples who are committed to raising their children in downtown,” Downtown Partnership President J. Kirby Fowler Jr. said in a statement Tuesday.
That core area grew because of new construction and the fact that many obsolete commercial buildings were converted to residences, Fowler said in an interview.
“The 2010 census confirms we’re on the right track,” he said. “And we’d be crazy not to find new housing for all the new people who wanted to live downtown.”
In upcoming years, Fowler said that same area — city center and the West Side — is where he’d like to focus on more residential growth and create more apartment opportunities for potential residents.
The number of families living in the area increased 12.4 percent between 2000 and last year, according to data compiled by Downtown Partnership from the U.S. Census Bureau and Nielsen Claritas Demographics.
That growth is higher than in other downtowns, including Boston, New York, Pittsburgh and Cincinnati, the partnership said.
Baltimore has the eighth highest number of families living in a downtown area, with 5,485 families as of 2010, according to the partnership. In 2000, the area had 4,880 families. The U.S. Census Bureau defines a family as a group of two people or more related by birth, marriage or adoption and residing together.
“Baltimore has seen a surge in the number of families not only moving downtown, but families making the decision to stay and raise their families here,” Heidi Vorrasi, executive director of the Downtown Baltimore Family Alliance, said in a statement.
The average household income in downtown increased 39.7 percent to $64,128 from $45,895.
Per capita income in downtown increased from $19,800 in 2000 to $27,245 last year. That increase is the sixth highest percentage increase among the top 25 downtown areas in the U.S.