What's it like to live in Baltimore, MD?

Ronald Hube

Profile written by local expert:

Ronald Hube

Baltimore doesn't have as many famous tourist attractions as nearby metropolitan areas like Washington, D.C., and Philadelphia, and residents like it that way. The Baltimore metropolitan area's population of nearly 2.8 million has grown in recent years, but it still has a small-town feel. Locals like to say that you can't go anywhere in "Smalltimore" without seeing someone you know.

Baltimore's elegant architecture, friendly people and lively pockets of nightlife and music make Charm City a pleasant and fun place to call home. The metro area also boasts a rapidly growing restaurant scene that goes beyond the city's famous crab cakes, pit beef and Berger cookies.  

Baltimore is home to a variety of communities that are concentrated in the city's individual neighborhoods, several dozen of which are designated as historic districts. Walking through these distinct areas provides a glimpse into the city's worldly population. Little Italy, located near the Inner Harbor, and Greektown, on the east side, both showcase their residents' heritages in eateries and shops. 


U.S. News analyzed 125 metro areas in the United States to find the best places to live based on quality of life and the job market in each metro area, as well as the value of living there and people's desire to live there.

Baltimore, Maryland is ranked:

#83 in Best Places to Live

#56 in Best Places to Retire




Best Places to Live

  • Desirability
  • Value
  • Job Market
  • Quality of Life
  • Net Migration

Read how we rank places

Baltimore, MD Quick Stats

  • 2,780,873

    Metro Population

  • $54,920

    Average Annual Salary

  • 65.0° / 45.1°

    Avg High/Low Temps

  • 38.2

    Median Age

  • $243,633

    Median Home Price

  • 41.9 inches

    AVG Annual Rainfall

  • 4.2%

    Unemployment Rate

  • $1,180

    Median Monthly Rent

  • 30.5 minutes

    Avg Commute Time

What's the cost of living in Baltimore, MD?

The cost of living is lower in Baltimore than in some other nearby major metro areas. The prices for consumer goods are roughly 10 to 50 percent lower in Baltimore than in New York City

Value Index

Index Score: 7.0 /10

How we calculate this.

Baltimore offers a better value than similarly sized metro areas when you compare housing costs to median household income.

Housing Costs this Year



Housing Costs Over Time

Data sourced from Zillow median home sale price data series. Additional data provided by the Austin Board of Realtors, Houston Association of Realtors, Intermountain MLS, Omaha Area Board of Realtors, San Antonio Board of Realtors, and the Salt Lake Board of Realtors.

Buying or selling a home? Find top real estate agents in Baltimore, MD.


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What's the weather like in Baltimore, MD?

Located in the Chesapeake Bay region of eastern Maryland, Baltimore has summers that tend to vary from mild to hot. Winters feature occasional periods of snow and cold rain, but mild temperatures are more common. Warm, sunny days and cool nights are the norm during the spring and fall, but they are unpredictable and can disappear without warning.

Seasonal Temperature (Avgs)









Seasonal Rainfall (Avgs)

3.4 in


4.0 in


4.1 in


4.0 in


Monthly High and Low Temperatures (°F)

Data sourced from the National Climatic Data Center.

What's the best way to get around Baltimore, MD?

Baltimore currently has limited subway and light rail service, making buses and cars the preferred transportation options. An intricate public bus system services most of the metro area, and the state recently pledged millions of dollars to beef it up. The Charm City Circulator is a free bus that serves the downtown area.

Inexpensive commuter trains operated by the Maryland Transit Administration run to Washington, D.C., and to other locations in Maryland, including Baltimore-Washington International Thurgood Marshall Airport. Baltimore is also serviced by Amtrak and coach bus companies such as Greyhound (which stops downtown) and Megabus (which stops just north of the city proper).

Commuting in Baltimore, MD

Means of Transportation
Equal to national average

Equal to national average

Equal to national average

Public Transit
Equal to national average
Average Commute Time

30.5 minutes

4.4 minutes more than national average

Average Commute Times by Zip Code

Data sourced from the U.S. Census Bureau's American Community Survey.

Who lives in Baltimore, MD?

With more than a dozen colleges in the Baltimore area, including the world-famous Johns Hopkins University, approximately 120,000 students live in the metro area, making life good for the bar owners in central-city neighborhoods like Federal Hill, Canton and Fells Point. 

Among adults in the Baltimore area, about two-thirds identify as Christian, with most belonging to a Protestant tradition, according to the Pew Research Center's Religious Landscape Study.  

Age Distribution

Marital Status Breakdown

About the same number of single people in Baltimore as national average

Data sourced from the U.S. Census Bureau's American Community Survey.

What is there to do in Baltimore, MD?

Award-winning dining is not hard to find, and cultural offerings include an internationally recognized symphony orchestra and art museums with works ranging from ancient to current-day artists.

Baltimore also has a variety of performance venues, including the historic Hippodrome Theatre, a former vaudeville palace. The local arts scene reaches a mass audience during Artscape, an annual outdoor event that bills itself as the country's largest free arts festival.

Another thing that brings residents together is support for Baltimore's professional sports teams. Even on chilly winter afternoons or humid summer evenings, locals fill M&T Bank Stadium to cheer on the Ravens (football) and flock to Camden Yards to root for the Orioles (baseball).

Find out more about what there is to see and do in Baltimore, MD