District’s population is increasing, but at a slower rate

Census data released in December shows that the District’s population stood at 658,893 as of June 2014 with 9,782 new residents compared to a year before. This makes 2014 the ninth straight year with population growth, during which time the city added nearly 92,000 residents. The District’s population is now the largest it has been since 1978.

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Our most recent trend report explores the underlying dynamics in the demographic change and finds the following:

  • The slowdown in growth is largely due to a decline in domestic in-migration.  Between 2013 and 2014, net domestic in-migration was just 1,173, down 5,267 (-82%) from the annual average (6,440) of the prior three years.
  • The other principal components of population change—natural increase and net international migration—increased in 2014 by approximately the same amounts as the annual average of the prior three years.

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We cannot tell from the Census data why in-migration is declining. Is it because more people are leaving the city? Fewer are moving in? Learning more about what people consider in their decisions to move or stay in a city is important for understanding how the city may change over the next few years.

Even with the slower overall growth in 2014, however, the District continues to grow much faster than the rest of the nation. In 2014, the population grew by 1.5 percent-twice the population growth rate in the U.S. in general.

See the January 2015 trend report for the full analysis and many interesting data on revenue and economic trends.

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