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Baltimore deemed among nation's top 20 most prosperous cities of the new millennium

What if someone told you that Baltimore was among the top 20 most prosperous U.S. cities since 2000?

That may seem hard to believe given Charm City’s struggles with poverty, crime and drugs, but RentCafe recently ran some numbers and came to that conclusion.

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The apartment hunting website compared Census data of all 300 of the nation’s cities, looking at changes in population, income, home values, education achievement, poverty rate and unemployment rate between 2000 and 2016.

Baltimore ranked 19th among the 300 cities, despite a 5 percent decline in population and only a 1 percent improvement in the poverty rate and 5 percent increase in incomes. The city was buoyed by big increases in home values (56 percent) and education achievement (55 percent).

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Among all cites, Odessa, Texas, ranked No. 1, followed by Washington, D.C., and Charleston, S.C.

Among large cities with populations of 300,000 or more, Baltimore ranked No. 8, just behind Los Angeles and ahead of Boston. Washington ranked first, followed by Miami and New York.

“Baltimore’s case may raise some eyebrows as the city scored surprisingly high considering the fact that it has been struggling with a declining population for a long time,” RentCafe wrote in its analysis.“Baltimore’s population has shrunk by 5 percent just since the turn of the century, but it has lost about a third of its population since the 1950s in an almost consistent decline.

“Baltimore County, on the other hand, is growing, having registered a 9.5 percent increase from 2000 to 2016. Property taxes double as you enter the city, so it makes much financial sense — especially for young professionals — to choose the commute over a hefty tax bill.”

But the other numbers RentCafe looked at suggest a prospering Baltimore — for some.

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