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D.C. Remains Among Fastest-Growing Areas in the U.S.

Census Figures Show City Gained 13,022 Residents

dc.gov | 12/30/2013, 12:02 p.m.
During a recent press conference, D.C. Mayor Vincent Gray said about 1,100 people a month are moving into the District. He touted the city's education reform and talked about his mandate to provide affordable housing.

Mayor Vincent C. Gray welcomed Monday the latest estimates from the U.S. Census Bureau showing that the District’s population continued its rapid growth between July 2012 and July 2013, adding 13,022 residents and keeping D.C. among the list of fastest-growing areas in the country.

This means D.C.’s total population now stands at 646,449—a figure not seen since the 1970s. The District grew by 2.0 percent over the year, or by an average of 1,085 new residents per month. (Note: The previous 2012 population estimate of 632,323 has been revised upward to 633,427). This number means that the city has grown on average by 1,146 new residents per month between April 1, 2010 (when the 2010 Census count closed) and July 1, 2013. This continued trend of growth moves the District closer to its Sustainable DC goal of increasing the city’s population by 250,000 residents within the next twenty years.

“The new population estimate demonstrates that the District continues to be one of the most attractive and competitive cities in the nation,” said Mayor Gray. “I set a goal for this city to be healthiest, greenest, and most livable city in the country within 20 years. These results tell us that people across the nation and around the world already see us as well on our way.”

For the third year in a row, the District remained among the nation’s fastest-growing states by percent, outpacing even rapidly growing Sun Belt states such as Texas. The data shows that all age groups and all generations (youths, millennials and boomers) are participating in the city’s renaissance.

“This continued growth is an endorsement of the livability of our dynamic city and a literal return on the investment that we have made in improved city services, transportation choices, public safety, education quality, school facilities, parks, libraries and in the quality and convenience of our many neighborhoods,” said Harriet Tregoning, Director of the DC Office of Planning, which oversees the District’s State Data Center and Census activities.

New Residents, Increase in Births

According to the Census Bureau’s data, this tremendous growth can be attributed to an influx of new residents from other states and abroad and increasing births to District residents. With over 9,000 births each year since 2008, the District’s baby boom continues – bucking a trend that has seen birth rates decline in much of the rest of the nation. Data for the District show 9,589 births and 5,151 deaths from July 1, 2012 to July 1, 2013. In addition to this gain of 4,438 residents from natural increase (births minus deaths), migration has resulted in 8,584 net new residents to the District from other states and abroad. The District continues to make gains in domestic migration with 6,319 more people moving into the city from other states than moved out.

Jobs

People are continuing to choose the Washington area to call home because of several factors. While other areas of the nation are emerging from the economic downturn and begun adding jobs, there are greater opportunities for finding a job in the Washington region. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), from July 2012 to July 2013, the Washington region added 32,800 jobs of which 13.4 percent were added in the District. From the height of the recession in 2009 to the present, the region’s unemployment rate dropped from 6.5 percent to 5.3 percent. During the same period, the District’s unemployment rate dropped from a high of 10.5 percent to 8.6. The launch of the District’s Five-Year Economic Development Strategy in November 2012, with the goal of growing and diversifying the District’s economy while also preparing the workforce for new employment opportunities, is already bearing fruit. Efforts implemented under the strategy have already yielded 17,500 new jobs.