DC Overcrowded: 1950 vs. 2013

  • July 18th 2013

by UrbanTurf Staff

DC Overcrowded: 1950 vs. 2013: Figure 1
11th and Kenyon Street NW, circa 1951. Courtesy of Ghosts of DC.

A recent Greater Greater Washington article uses science fiction and statistics to paint a picture of just how much more crowded and family-oriented DC used to be.

With the help of the 1951 film The Day The Earth Stood Still, author Payton Chung illustrates how 800,000 residents fit within the city’s borders back then. Below we plucked out a few interesting statistics, but the full article is worth your time.

  • Approximately 14 percent of the city’s housing units were considered overcrowded in 1950 (more than one person a room). In 2011, that number had dropped to 4.7%.
  • The population in DC dropped from approximately 800,000 in 1950 to 617,000 in 2011. GGW points out that the recent number would’ve been closer to 477,000 if almost 75,000 new housing units had not been built.
  • There were three times as many married households with children in 1960 as there were households with singles. Fifty years later, singles now outnumber married households 5.5 to 1.

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This article originally published at https://dc.urbanturf.com/articles/blog/dc_overcrowded_1950_vs._2013/7334.

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