Mayor Vincent C. Gray

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March 24, 2011

Mayor Gray Welcomes Growth in Population and Diversity 

Census speaks to need for more development east of the river.

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The District of Columbia has grown significantly in the last 10 years and has become more diverse, according to detailed local 2010 Census data released today by the US Census Bureau to the Mayor of the District of Columbia and the DC Council.

The District’s population grew by just over 29,600 -- a 5.2 percent gain since the 2000 Census -- bringing the city’s total population to 601,723. This is the first census since 1950 in which the District’s population has shown an increase.

While the population changes are visible throughout the District, the data show that the largest population change from 2000 to 2010 occurred in Ward 2, with a 2010 population of 79,915 (+11,046, or 16 percent). It was followed by Ward 6, with a population of 76,598 (+8,563, or 12.6 percent); Ward 3, with a population of 77,152 (+3,434, or 4.7 percent); Ward 5, with a population of 74,308 (+2,868, or 4.0 percent); Ward 1, with a population of 76,197 (+2,833, or 3.9 percent); Ward 4, with a population of 75,773 (+594, or 0.8 percent); Ward 7, with a population of 71,068 (+541, or +0.8 percent); and Ward 8, with a population of 70,712 (-215 or -0.3 percent). The only ward with a net population loss during the 10-year period is Ward 8.

“The growth in the District’s overall population and the growth in our diversity is good news for our city in a number of ways,” said Mayor Gray. “On the other hand, these census numbers speak to the importance of developing more amenities east of the Anacostia River so that as we grow as One City, current residents will want to remain in the District even as others move in. All residents – new and old alike – should enjoy an outstanding quality of life no matter which ward or neighborhood they call home.”

Looking at the demographic profile of the population, the largest numerical increase by single race from 2000 to 2010 came among the District’s white population, which grew from 176,101 in 2000 to 231,471 (+55,370, or 31.4 percent), followed by the Asian population, from 15,189 to 21,056 (+5,867, or 38.6 percent). Although the African American population remains the largest in the District, its share of the population from 2000 to 2010 shows a decline both absolutely and as a percentage of the overall population. Numerically, the District’s African-American population dropped from 343,312 in 2000 to 305,125 in 2010, or from 61.5 percent to 52.2 percent of the overall population. The Hispanic population (which can be of any race) shows an increase over the decade from 44,953 to 54,749 (+9,796, or 21.8 percent). Hispanics of any race now represent 9.1 percent of the total District population.

Other Highlights

  • The District’s voting-age population (18 and over) increased from 457,067 to 500,908 (+43,841, or 9.6 percent) between 2000 and 2010.
  • The number of housing units increased from 274,845 units to 296,719 (+21,874 units, or +8%) during the decade. Ward 6 gained the most units (+5,946), followed by Ward 2 (+5,914) and Ward 1 (+3,957).

This tremendous growth since 2000 can be attributed to a number of factors including increasing annual births, influx of new residents from other states and abroad, a relatively stable economic environment, a booming real-estate market, job opportunities, public transportation investment and a quality environment that’s attractive in which to live and work.

“The magnitude and character of the decade's population growth are consistent with our projections and the American Community Survey data reported at intervals over the last 10 years,” said Harriet Tregoning, director of the District’s Office of Planning, which oversees the District’s State Data Center and Census activities. “These numbers confirm that most areas of the city have shared in the population growth over the last decade, adding to the vitality of the District and adding to the city's fiscal stability."

Additional data, tables, charts and maps showing population characteristics by race, ethnicity, voting age, housing units (occupied and vacant) at the District-wide level and by wards, census tracts, block groups and blocks will be available at the US Census Bureau website within 24 hours at http://factfinder2.census.gov and the DC Office of Planning site on a flow basis, accessible at http://planning.dc.gov. These data will provide the basis for the redistricting process, which now takes center stage, as District officials and the public review, analyze and propose plans for eventual adoption of new boundaries for wards, ANCs, SMDs and voting precincts in the coming months.