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Washington, DC Population Now Highest in 40 Years

Tuesday, December 20, 2016
Census Figures Show that DC Gained Another 10,793 Residents in One Year and 79,000 Residents Since 2010

(WASHINGTON, DC) – Today, Mayor Muriel Bowser welcomed the latest estimates from the U.S. Census Bureau showing that Washington, DC has reached a total population of 681,170, a figure not seen since the 1970s.

“Our growth in population shows that Washington, DC continues to be an attractive place to live, work and start a family,” said Mayor Bowser. “Our neighborhoods continue to grow safer and stronger, and our schools continue to enroll more students and improve outcomes. The District’s investments in neighborhoods – from affordable housing, public infrastructure, and transportation to public schools, parks, retail, and the arts – are all making DC a highly desirable place to call home.”

In general, the upward trend in Washington, DC’s population is expected to continue due to DC’s growing economic diversity and quality of life. Between July 1, 2015 and July 1, 2016, Washington, DC added 10,793 new residents, a 1.6 percent increase or an average of 900 new residents per month. The city has now grown by 79,000 (13.2 percent) since April 2010 when the decennial census count took place.

According to the U.S. Census Bureau, the largest contributor to population growth in Washington, DC in this period was domestic and international migration—people moving to Washington, DC from other parts of the United States and from abroad. Between July 2015 and 2016, in addition to the natural increase (births minus deaths) of 4,324, a total of 6,392 net new residents moved into Washington, DC, or 59 percent of the total growth this period. Of these 6,392 net new residents to the city, 4,116 moved to Washington, DC from other countries and 2,276 from other U.S. states.  Since 2014, Washington, DC has attracted more than 4,000 new international residents each year.

The city continues to show positive growth in the data released by age, as well. Of the 10,793 net growth citywide, 0-17 year olds accounted for 24.4 percent (2,633 residents); 18-64 year olds at 60 percent (6,478 residents) and 65 years and over at 15.6 percent (1,682 residents). Washington, DC’s baby boom also continued this year with 9,779 births, 122 more than the previous year.

“These figures show that people of all ages contributed to the growth of the District,” said Eric D. Shaw, Director of the Office of Planning. “We will continue our efforts to ensure that we are planning for an inclusive city where residents are able to be part of the opportunities that come from living in a growing and dynamic District.”

Planning an inclusive city in the midst of population growth is the major theme of the District’s 20-Year Comprehensive Plan that guides the city’s future growth and development. The Plan was adopted in 2006 and first amended in 2011. Earlier this year, the DC Office of Planning (OP) launched an effort to amend the Comprehensive Plan a second time with participation with residents across all eight wards to ensure that the Comprehensive Plan reflects the continued population growth, changing conditions and community priorities throughout Washington, DC. Learn more about the Comprehensive Plan Amendment Cycle at PlanDC.dc.gov.

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The District’s State Data Center serves as the city’s official liaison with the U.S. Census Bureau. The State Data Center makes DC data available to the public through population and demographic data tables and analytical reports posted online on OP’s website at planning.dc.gov and produced by request; and an Indices report of District government functions and data.