Baltimore Ecosystem Study Institute of Ecosystem Studies

2010 BES Annual Meeting Presentation and Poster Abstracts

Social & Geographic Stratification in Metropolitan Baltimore
Davis, Amanda
Co-Authors: Amanda Davis

Abstract: Demographic change, the increasing complexity of urban and suburban development patterns, and associated changes in social structure have emerged as themes in contemporary urban geography. Social structures also play an important role in land-use/land-change and natural resource management. There is an increasing need to better understand what social changes are occurring across metropolitan areas, as these areas continue to evolve. The focus of my research is to measure changes in social structures and investigate social stratification across the Baltimore metropolitan area from the 1970s to the present using exploratory factor analysis and principal components analysis. Results from a preliminary investigation of 1990 and 2000 census block group data will be presented. Five clusters were identified from the 1990 census data and six clusters from the 2000 data. Clusters were most strongly correlated with race/ethnicity and income and to a lesser extent with education and employment. The observed pattern of change suggests a breaking apart of clusters in the Baltimore metropolitan area over time. The results of this analysis can be used as a starting point for further analyses of social stratification within the Baltimore region; in particular it may provide natural resource managers with a greater understanding of the relationships between social and environmental structures.