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New Population, New Year, New Housing

Monday, January 6, 2020
Recently Released Census Data Highlights Urgency to Build New Housing in DC and Across the Region

(Washington, DC) – The Bowser Administration is kicking off a new year focused on the Mayor’s bold goal of building 36,000 new homes by 2025 by highlighting new population data recently released the by the U.S. Census Bureau. The new data puts the District’s population at 705,749 as of July 1, 2019, up 4,202 people over the previous year. While population growth has slowed in recent years, the population has risen every year since 2006 and has grown by 104,000 people since the 2010 Census.

“Our population is up, and now we must work together to ensure a vibrant, equitable, and resilient city, not only for us, but for our children and grandchildren,” said Mayor Bowser. “This year, we are focused on getting all residents counted in the 2020 Census and on building the housing DC needs to continue our growth and prosperity.”

Between July 1, 2018 and July 1, 2019, population growth in the District was due to gains from net natural increase (births minus deaths; 3,816) and net migration (401). During this period, more than 9,493 babies were born in the District, continuing the increase in DC’s population of young children. In fact, net natural increase accounted for 91 percent of the net population growth.

A net loss of 2,203 residents to other states brings into focus what needs to be done in terms of policies to retain existing residents and attract new residents. Maryland and Virginia have also seen domestic migration turn negative over the past several years.

Population trends in the District mirror national trends. While natural increase continues to be the biggest contributor to the U.S. population increase, it has slowed over the last five years. In addition, the Northeast region, of which the District is a part, saw population decrease for the first time this decade. This decline was due to net domestic migration which offset population gains from natural increase and net international migration. However, net international migration has been gradually decreasing each year, as well.

This data comes out four months before 2020 Census efforts. To ensure the District gets an accurate population count, all residents are encouraged to participate fully in the census and to fill out their census forms either online, by mail, or by phone. For more information, visit dccensus2020.dc.gov.

To derive the population estimates, the U.S. Census Bureau uses a cohort component method which incorporates births and deaths from administrative records as well as estimates for net domestic and international migration. The Office of Planning State Data Center serves as the District’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 on OP’s website at planning.dc.gov.