Vital Signs 12

Report by Seema Iyer
May 5, 2014

Baltimore Neighborhood Indicators Alliance   (Baltimore)

Vital Signs 12, a comprehensive statistical portrait of Baltimore and its neighborhoods, marks a new stage for reporting on key "quality of life" indicators. The 12th edition of the report, published by the Baltimore Neighborhood Indicators Alliance-Jacob France Institute (BNIA-JFI), tracks more than 150 indicators to take the pulse of neighborhood health and vitality. The report is available now on BNIA-JFI's newly updated website, which launches today as well.

Vital Signs 12 highlights a well-defined set of both long-standing and newly emerging issues that are important for understanding Baltimore's unique neighborhoods. Specifically:

Housing Market Improves, but Still Vulnerable:

  • median sales price increased in 2012 for the first time since 2006 to $135,000;
  • percentage of homes with rehabilitation permits increased to 2.6 percent;
  • new construction permits increased to 0.9 per 1,000 homes;
  • cash-based as well as distressed sales through foreclosures declined.


  • the percentage of homes receiving foreclosure filing in Baltimore City increased to 1.4 percent;
  • homes with a Vacant House Notice violation rose from 7.8 percent in 2011 to 8 percent in 2012.

Economic Development is Key to Community Health:

  • When residents in many of Baltimore’s most distressed neighborhoods are asked about ways to improve quality of life, the first response is generally better access to jobs.
  • The Vital Signs indicators highlight the compounding negative effects of high unemployment and poor community health outcomes.
  • Communities in Baltimore with the highest unemployment rates, such as Upton/Druid Heights, Madison/East End and Greenmount East, are also among the top 5 communities for indicators such as low median income, low life expectancy, high violent crime, high commute times and high rates of 311 calls for dirty streets and alleys.