Maryland has maintained its perch as the nation's wealthiest state, according to data released Tuesday by the Census Bureau, though more residents in some suburbs were living in poverty than in 2000. The census information contained some good news for Baltimore. Residents in the city - as in the rest of the state - made strides in education, with greater proportions holding high school diplomas and college degrees.The mix of residents of Baltimore's suburbs, meanwhile, shifted noticeably. For example, in Baltimore County, the region's largest locality, the poverty rate increased significantly. The county also saw a jump in its immigrant population, especially in communities such as Dundalk and Essex. At Herman's Bakery and Deli in Dundalk, workers have learned in recent years that cakes with fruit fillings are popular with the area's growing Hispanic population. "They've educated us more on what types of product would be good for their families," said Adrienne Porcella, a co-owner of the bakery. The new census data, based on surveys of a shifting sample of the American population between 2005 and 2009, provide a rich picture of life in Maryland's neighborhoods, smaller towns and rural areas. Among the findings: * Maryland's median household income was nearly $70,000, ahead of Connecticut and New Jersey, and far above the nationwide median of about $51,400. * Fewer than 10 percent of city households fit the "traditional" mold of a married couple with children. Both the average household size and family size in the city have increased since 2000. * Marylanders continued to have some of the nation's longest driving commutes - about 31 minutes on average, virtually tied with New Yorkers.
Amy Davis, Baltimore Sun