Migrants poured into Maryland during 1980s

September 02, 1992|By James Bock | James Bock,Staff Writer

Residents of other states and the District of Columbia poured into Maryland during the 1980s, swelling the state's population by more than 101,000 through migration alone, the Maryland Office of Planning has reported.

The big gainers -- especially during the boom years of the late 1980s -- were the state's wealthiest counties, Montgomery and Howard.

The big losers, continuing a 1970s trend, were Baltimore City and Prince George's County. Between them, they lost more than 117,000 residents to migration.

Baltimore County showed signs of losing some of its traditional luster. More people moved out than moved in during the 1980s. An influx of more than 45,000 residents from Baltimore City over the decade was more than offset by Baltimore County residents moving to Harford, Carroll and Howard counties, as well as out of state.

Migration accounted for more than one-sixth of the increase in Maryland's population to 4.8 million during the 1980s.

Nearly 90 percent of the net population gain occurred after 1985, and it peaked in 1988 at the height of Maryland's economic growth.

During the recession of the early 1980s, the state had a net loss of people.

People often follow jobs around the country, and so a state's population grows with its economy. In recent years, that has meant a flow of people from the Northeast and Midwest to the South and West.

"Maryland is between the Sun Belt and the Rust Belt, and it can swing both ways," said Michel A.Lettre, assistant director of the Maryland Office of Planning.

"Maryland basically followed the trend of the Southern states during the 1980s."

Planners looked at federal tax return data to trace migration between Maryland and the rest of the United States, as well as movement within the state itself.

The District of Columbia was the No. 1 out-of-state net supplier of new Maryland residents -- more than 92,000 in all. Many were middle class blacks who moved to Prince George's County, planners said.

The largest net outflow of Marylanders, nearly 50,000, was to Florida.

During the late 1980s, Sun Belt states such as Texas and Louisiana -- which had drawn Marylanders in the early 1980s -- exported residents to Maryland as their economies soured. Other net contributors of people to Maryland included the Northeastern states of New York, New Jersey and Pennsylvania.

By 1990, however, the net inflow of migrants to Maryland had slowed considerably as the economy faltered.

In the Baltimore area, only Howard County was a net importer of people moving from out of state during the 1980s. Statewide, Montgomery County was the largest magnet for out-of-state residents.

SG For the first time, Charles and Frederick counties "arrived" during

the 1980s as they became "locations of choice for people moving into the state," Mr. Lettre said.

Closer to home, city dwellers left Washington and Baltimore for older suburbs such as Prince George's and Baltimore counties. At the same time, residents of the old suburbs found new homes in "second-tier" counties such as Calvert, Carroll, Charles, Frederick, Howard and Queen Anne's.

Prince George's was the largest in-state source of Howard County's burgeoning population, and it also supplied Anne Arundel, Montgomery and Southern Maryland with thousands of homebuyers.

Even Montgomery County residents, once pampered by Maryland's most well-heeled local government, increasingly sought less-expensive housing, greener pastures or both in Howard and Frederick counties.

MIGRATION

These migration figures apply to migration in Maryland for the period 1980-1990

3)Subdivision .. .. .. .. .. .. Net inflow

(or outflow)

Montgomery .. .. .. .. .. .. .. 45,509

Howard .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. 39,752

Carroll .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. 23,695

Harford .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. 18,480

Frederick .. .. .. .. .. .. .. 17,803

Charles .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. 16,154

Calvert .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. 13,890

Anne Arundel .. .. .. .. .. .. 12,508

Cecil .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. ..10,541

Wicomico .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. 5,839

Queen Anne's .. .. .. .. .. .. ..5,819

Worcester .. .. .. .. .. .. .. ..4,954

St. Mary's .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .4,104

Talbot .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. ..3,017

Caroline .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. 1,920

Kent .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. 533

Garrett .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. 485

Somerset .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. ..292

Dorchester .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. -28

Washington .. .. .. .. .. .. .. ..-345

Baltimore County .. .. .. .. .. .-1,648

Allegany .. .. .. .. .. .. .. ...-4,605

Prince George's .. .. .. .. .. .-38,807

Baltimore City .. .. .. .. .. . -78,681

MARYLAND .. .. .. .. .. .. .. ..101,181

* Including the District of Columbia

Source: Maryland Office of Planning, based on analysis of federal tax returns; excludes foreign immigrants to Maryland

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