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The District’s Dividing Line

by Lark Turner

DC is still a city with a dramatic east-west divide, according to new data from demographic researchers at the University of Virginia.

To no one’s surprise, the researchers discovered a sharp contrast between the populations in the eastern and western parts of the city, running almost directly along 16th Street. Though the areas immediately east have started to look more like their western counterparts, creating a “center” that is highly similar, the east-west trend overall remains in force. But by looking at historical data from 1990 and comparing it with data from 2012, the demographers were also able to hit on some interesting trends, including gentrification on H Street and the move of millennials toward the city center.

Here are some interesting takeaways:

  • Millennials are moving inward. The population of people aged 20-29 dropped in suburbs on both the eastern and western sides of the city, while the population of young people in the city center increased dramatically. The statisticians note that, even though the aging population has increased significantly since 1990, the city’s immediate east has shown a 10 percent increase in 20-something residents.
  • The percentage of residents with graduate degrees has risen everywhere, but remains highest west of the city.
  • The city center has gotten a lot wealthier while eastern areas stretching roughly to H Street and a bit beyond have also seen dramatic increases. The researchers note that “what was a steep cliff on the eastern side in 1990 has become a more gradual drop-off, suggesting that the neighborhoods east of the city center have seen rapid change from lower levels of education and income to higher levels of education and income.”

You can see the researchers’ full results here.

See other articles related to: demographics, arlington vs. dc

This article originally published at https://dc.urbanturf.com/articles/blog/the_districts_dividing_line/8632

1 Comment

  1. Tim said at 12:25 pm on Thursday June 19, 2014:
    The data is actually from the 1990 Decennial Census and the 2008-2012 American Community Survey (ACS) estimates produced by the U.S. Census Bureau, not the UVA demographers themselves.

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