A recent article in the Washington Post “A wave of mostly white voters is reshaping the politics of D.C.,” highlighted the changing landscape brought about by sweeping demographic shifts in the District and the implication on local politics. As noted in the article, the changes are most significant in the population aged 34 and under. Some of the trends seen in the District for this younger segment of the population are markedly different from the nation as a whole. These differences are evidenced in recent data from the U.S. Census and the Minnesota Population Center.
Here are some key diverging trends:
Young people in the District are increasingly made up of white non-Hispanics. This is in sharp contrast to the nation where the young are increasingly non-white. Whites in this age group could soon be a minority in the U.S., the opposite is occurring in the District.
The median earnings for full time workers in this is age group in the District increased significantly from 1980 to 2013 growing from almost $38,000 in 1980 to over $54,000 in 2013. In contrast, earnings for this age group in the U.S. declined from $36,000 to $34,000 over the same period. It is important to note, however, that poverty rates for those without jobs remained high.
Other measures of economic well-being also increased . The share of the District’s younger residents who live with their parents has decreased since 1980. The trend in the nation is the opposite—the share of boomerang kids is at all-time high at 30 percent.
Finally yet another measure that increasingly separates DC’s 18-34 year olds from the rest of the nation is how they commute to work. Thirty one percent of DC residents commute by car. This is down from 40 percent in 1980. In the U.S., the share has held consistently above 80 percent.
What exactly is the data? Data in this blog has been provided by the U.S. Census and the Minnesota Center for Population and is available by clicking on the following link. The site is designed and developed by Social Explorer. Check out the site for more interesting statistics and to compare DC to other areas.