loading...

The Difference That Seven Years Makes in the Demographics of DC

by Nena Perry-Brown

In light of data from the American Community Survey being released last week, UrbanTurf is taking a series of looks at how the demographics of the District changed between 2009 and 2016.

On the surface, the two tables below confirm many things we already knew about the District in recent years: the city is becoming younger, wealthier, whiter and more densely populated. UrbanTurf highlights some interesting changes in the bullet points below.

image
General population, household and income demographics
  • The median income in the District has ballooned from $59,920 in 2009 to $75,506 in 2016; however, that prosperity hasn’t been shared proportionally across racial groups. While the median income for white residents rose from $99,401 to $125,747 over the seven-year span, median income for Black residents barely budged, rising from $36,948 to $37,891. Considering that Black people are still a plurality in the city’s population, this income gulf illustrates the extent to which the wealthy have increasingly chosen to settle in the city.

  • The data above seems to corroborate a recent Bike League analysis showing that the number of bike commuters grew by 46 percent between 2011 and 2016, with the proportion of commuters driving alone dropping by a few percent. The trajectory is much less flattering for public transportation, which hasn’t reaped the benefits of a larger population due to a smaller share of workers riding the bus or train to commute.

While the data also shows that fewer people are carpooling, the survey does not yet have a measure to tally those who rely on carshare programs like Uber or Lyft. Another surprise statistic is that more renters now own two or more vehicles, perhaps due to there being more luxury apartment stock to offer options to multi-car households or more car-owning renters living with car-owning roommates.

image
Worker demographics
  • A shift that may come as a surprise is that there were fewer single-person households in 2016 than there were in 2009, a dynamic that could be attributed to residents attempting to secure more-affordable living arrangements.
  • DC’s reputation as a government town continues to be undermined by the data, which shows that the proportion of city residents who work in the public sector has shrunk by over 2 percentage points since the recession.

Overall, the data makes it apparent that the city has a long way to go to ensure that economic prosperity is shared by all its residents and that the long-beleaguered Metro has a long way to go to become an attractive option for car owners and commuters.

Thumbnail photo courtesy of Ted Eytan.

Correction: The total population numbers for 2016 and 2009 were misstated in the table in an earlier version of this article; those have since been corrected. The description of how many city residents work in the public sector has also been corrected to align with the data shown.

See other articles related to: demographics, census

This article originally published at https://dc.urbanturf.com/articles/blog/then_and_now_dcs_demographics_since_the_recession/13029

DC Real Estate Guides

Short guides to navigating the DC-area real estate market

We've collected all our helpful guides for buying, selling and renting in and around Washington, DC in one place. Visit guides.urbanturf.com or start browsing below!

Northern Virginia

Profiles of 14 neighborhoods across Northern Virginia

Ballston
Looking to Give People A Reason to Stay Past 6pm
Clarendon
Happily Straddling the Line Between City and Suburb
Columbia Pike
Arlington’s Neglected Stepchild is Getting a Makeover
Crystal City
Turning Lemons into Lemonade
Lyon Village
Developing An Air of Exclusivity?
Rosslyn
Hitting Its Growth Spurt
Shirlington
An Urban Village Hitting Its Stride
Del Ray
Virginia’s Small Town Near the Big City
Eisenhower Avenue
The Vibrancy Might Take a Few Years
Huntington
The Quiet Neighborhood By the Beltway
Old Town
Mayberry By The Potomac
Parkfairfax
132 Commerical-Free Acres
Downtown Falls Church
Staying the Same in the Midst of Change
Tysons Corner
Radical Change Could Be On The Way

See more Northern Virginia »

Maryland

Profiles of 14 neighborhoods in suburban Maryland

Annapolis
Small-Town Living in the State Capital
Bethesda
Bedroom Community Gets Buzzing Cache
Cabin John
In With The New While Maintaining the Old
Chevy Chase
Affluence, Green Lawns and Pricey Homes
Downtown Silver Spring
Experiencing a Resurgence After a Bumpy History
Potomac
A Suburb on Steroids
Rockville Town Square
Despite the Dynamism, Still Somewhat Generic
Takoma Park
More Than a Little Bit Quirky
Wheaton
A Foodie Magnet on the Verge of Change
Capitol Heights
Kudzu, Front Porches and Crime
Hyattsville
Glass Half Full or Half Empty?
Mount Rainier
Artists, Affordable Homes and A Silo Full of Corn
National Harbor
A Development Rises Next to the Potomac
Riverdale Park
A Town Looking For Its Identity

See more Maryland »

Northwest DC

30+ neighborhood profiles for the city's biggest quadrant

16th Street Heights
DC's Sleeper Neighborhood
Bloomingdale
Where (Almost) Everyone Knows Your Name
AU Park
One of DC’s Last Frontiers Before the Suburbs
Brightwood
DC’s Northern Neighborhood on the Cusp
Burleith
DC’s 535 House Neighborhood
Cathedral Heights
Do You Know Where That Is?
Chevy Chase DC
Not to Be Confused With the Other Chevy Chase
Cleveland Park
Coming Back After A Rough Year
Columbia Heights
DC’s Most Diverse Neighborhood, But For How Long?
Crestwood
An Island of Serenity East of the Park
Dupont Circle
The Best of DC (For a Price)
Foggy Bottom & West End
Where the Institutional Meets the International
Forest Hills
Ambassadors and Adventurous Architecture
Foxhall Village
350 Homes Just West of Georgetown
Friendship Heights
A Shopping Mecca With a Few Places to Live
Georgetown
History, Hoyas and H&M
Glover Park
One of DC’s Preppier and More Family-Friendly Neighborhoods
Kalorama
A Posh View From Embassy Row
LeDroit Park
A Quiet Enclave in the Middle of the City
Logan Circle
Trendy Now, But Not By Accident
Mount Pleasant
Sought-After Homes Surround Main Street in Transition
Mount Vernon Triangle
From Seedy to Sought-After
Palisades
The Long, Skinny Neighborhood at the City’s Northwest Edge
Park View
It’s Not Petworth
Penn Quarter/Chinatown
DC’s Go-Go-Go Neighborhood
Petworth
Getting a Vibrancy of Its Own
Shaw
The Duke’s Former Stomping Ground
Shepherd Park
DC’s Garden of Diversity
Spring Valley
A Suburb With a DC Zip Code
Takoma
Not To Be Confused With Takoma Park
Tenleytown
Not Quite Like Its Neighbors
U Street Corridor
The Difference a Decade Makes
Woodley Park
Deceptively Residential
Adams Morgan
No Longer DC’s Hippest Neighborhood, But Still Loved by Residents

See more Northwest DC »

Southwest DC

The little quadrant that could

Southwest Waterfront
A Neighborhood Where A Change Is Gonna Come

See more Southwest DC »

Northeast DC

Profiles of 10 neighborhoods in NE

Brookland
New Development Could Shake Up Pastoral Peace
Deanwood
A Little Bit of Country Just Inside the District’s Borders
Eckington
Not to Be Confused With Bloomingdale
Fort Totten
Five Years Could Make a Big Difference
H Street
A Place To Party, and To Settle Down
Langdon
The Northeast Neighborhood That Few Know About
Michigan Park
A Newsletter-On-Your-Doorstep Community
NoMa
Evolving from a Brand to a Neighborhood
Rosedale
Ripe for Investment Right About Now
Trinidad
The Difference 5 Years Makes
Woodridge
Big Houses, A Dusty Commercial Strip and Potential

See more Northeast DC »

Southeast DC

6 neighborhoods from Capitol Hill to East of the River

Capitol Riverfront
Still Growing
Hill East
Capitol Hill’s Lesser Known Neighbor
Congress Heights
Gradually Rising
Hillcrest
Notable for Its Neighborliness
Historic Anacostia
Future Promise Breeds Cautious Optimism
Eastern Market
A More European Way of Living

See more Southeast DC »

Upcoming Seminars ▾