The fact that the Census Bureau estimates a slight decline in Baltimore's population in the year that ended July 1, 2014, isn't the death knell of Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake's ambitious goal to attract 10,000 families to the city in a decade. The yearly estimates are just that — they are based on surveys, not the kind of actual counting conducted in the decennial census, and they have a margin of error far larger than the purported 611 person decline. Baltimore has several times in the past successfully petitioned for upward revisions of these annual numbers, and it may seek to do so again. The big picture, though, is that even with this estimate of 622,793 people, Baltimore's population is larger than it was nine years ago. That has never been the case since the Census Bureau started making annual population estimates in 1971 and most likely not since sometime in the 1950s. Whatever minor annual fluctuations we've seen recently, we can now definitively say that Baltimore's decades of chronic population loss have stopped.