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Washington, DC’s Population Closing in on 700,000

Wednesday, December 20, 2017

(Washington, DC) – Mayor Muriel Bowser today applauded the latest estimates from the U.S. Census Bureau, which show Washington, DC’s population continued to climb in 2017. Newly released figures indicate the District of Columbia is quickly approaching 700,000 residents after a growth rate of 1.4 percent between July 1, 2016 and July 1, 2017 – ranking the District eighth in percent growth among the states. As of July 1, Census data estimated the District’s population to be 693,972.

“Washington, DC continues to attract new residents from around the region and across the globe. We are a city where people want to do business, raise a family, and age in place – a city committed to our residents and DC values,” said Mayor Bowser. “As we continue to grow, my Administration remains laser-focused on creating jobs, producing and preserving affordable housing, accelerating school reform, and building a safer, stronger DC.”

With an average monthly growth of 803 residents, the District should hit the 700,000 resident mark within the next few months, officials forecast.

The District added 9,636 people from July 1, 2016 to July 1, 2017. Population growth in the District during this year-long period was comprised by gains from net natural increase (i.e. births minus deaths) (4,293), followed by net international migration (4,160) and net domestic migration (1,152). More than 9,700 babies were born in the District during this period, continuing the increase in young children residing in Washington, DC.

The city continued to show positive population growth in the data released for all three broad age categories. Of the 9,636 new residents citywide, 0-17 year-olds accounted for 37 percent (+3,581 residents); 18-64 year-olds accounted for 45 percent (+4,368 residents) and persons 65 years and over accounted for 17.5 percent (+1,687 residents).

The District population has risen every year since 2006, and has soared by more than 100,000 people over the last decade.

“The Office of Planning’s State Data Center helps ensure that we plan for growth based on accurate population forecasts. According to the Center’s census function, we are still seeing growth in line with those forecasts,” said Eric D. Shaw, Director of the Office of Planning. “We will continue to focus our efforts to plan for growth in an intentional and inclusive manner that leverages new opportunities for prosperity for all who reside within our city.”

Planning an inclusive city in the midst of population growth is a major theme of the District’s 20-Year Comprehensive Plan, the document that guides the city’s future growth and development. The Plan was adopted in 2006 and first amended in 2011. In late 2016, the DC Office of Planning (OP) launched an initiative to amend the Comprehensive Plan a second time to ensure that the plan reflects evolving conditions and community priorities. The effort has involved participation from residents across all eight wards and a three-month Open Call for amendment proposals that wrapped up in the summer of 2017. Learn more about the update of the Comprehensive Plan at plandc.dc.gov.

Each year’s release of the new population estimates also brings revisions of the previous year’s estimates. For the District, it is important to note that the 2016 estimate of 681,170 was revised upwards to 684,336, indicating an additional 3,166 residents for 2016. To see more in-depth, demographic reports produced by the State Data Center, visit the Office of Planning webpage HERE.

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To derive the population estimates, the U.S. Census Bureau uses a cohort component method for population estimates which incorporates births and deaths from administrative records, as well as estimates for net domestic and international migration. Each year’s release of the new estimates also brings revisions of previous years estimates.

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.