Maryland is one of the wealthiest states in the country. But there is another side to the story. Despite our conventional perceptions, poverty can be hard to see.

Poverty describes a person’s inability to afford the basic necessities of life: food, shelter, clothing, transportation. When we say a person is experiencing poverty or is impoverished, we mean that person can’t afford the foundations for a healthy life.

How widespread is it?

To help people understand issues of poverty, socioeconomic disparities, and how they break down geographically, the Maryland Alliance for the Poor compiles its annual Maryland Poverty Profiles. The profiles provide a county-by-county snapshot of what life is like for the county (or city) as a whole, as well as segments of the state’s population: African-Americans, Hispanic and Latino persons, seniors, women, and children. It also ranks each segment and county in relation to the rest of the segments in the county, and in relation to the state.

These profiles help nonprofit organizations, legislators and others understand where and how to provide support and programming that serves people in need.

The Maryland Alliance for the Poor

The Maryland Alliance for the Poor is a coalition of service providers, faith groups, and other organizations working together. Through its research, the alliance compiles accurate and comprehensive data about the state. Catholic Charities Assistant Director of Advocacy Lisa Klingenmaier co-chairs the group. MAP has compiled the Maryland Poverty Profiles since 1990. 

Click to read the report