More than half of the households in Freddie Gray's Baltimore neighborhood of Sandtown earned less than $25,000 a year, according to a 2011 Baltimore Health Department report. More than one in five adults in that neighborhood are unemployed. That's double the citywide average for Baltimore as a whole. One in five middle school students in the neighborhood missed 20 or more days of school. So did 45 percent of the neighborhood's high school students.
Writes Michael A. Fletcher, a Washington Post reporter who grew up in Baltimore:
Domestic violence was 50 percent higher in Sandtown than the city average. And the neighborhood experienced murder at twice the citywide rate — which is no mean feat in Baltimore.
So far this year, the city counts 68 murders, according to a Web site maintained by the Baltimore Sun. That is after 663 murders were recorded over the three previous years. That is a lot of killing, but not nearly what it was in the 1980s and 1990s, when the body count routinely surpassed 300 a year.
"What you really need to know about Baltimore, from a reporter who's lived there for over 30 years" [Washington Post: Wonkblog]