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Posted at 02:45 PM ET, 12/21/2011

D.C. population estimated at 617,996; outpaces all states in growth


Workers at CityCenterDC earlier this year; the city continues to build and grow. (John Kelly - THE WASHINGTON POST)
New Census Bureau population estimates find that the District grew dramatically in the 15 months after the 2010 Census, to nearly 618,000 residents.

It’s the latest and perhaps most dramatic indication that the city is healthy, vigorous and growing — a remarkable feat for a city that, like American cities at large, seemed not more than 15 years ago to be destined for irreversible decay. The new growth is even more remarkable considering the country’s population expansion appears to be depressed.

”It’s epic,” said city planning director Harriet Tregoning. “We’re on a great trajectory. This is a tremendous amount of growth.”

The District’s 2.7 growth rate in the period from April 1, 2010, to July 1, 2011, outpaces all of the 50 states. Only Texas grew (2.1 percent) more than 2 percent in that time. The 16,273-person increase is about half of the total increase D.C. saw between the 2000 and 2010 censuses.

Now comparing the urban District to more diverse states is always a tricky proposition. There is no indication, for instance, how D.C.’s growth compares to other U.S. cities or its own suburbs. But this appears to be a rare instance where D.C. benefits from the comparison.

Some context from the Census Bureau release: “This marks the first time it led states and equivalents in growth since the early 1940s. D.C. ranked 35th in percent growth between the 2000 and 2010 censuses.”

About two-thirds of the growth is from net migration into the District — that is, nearly 11,000 more persons moved into the city than moved out. The rest is “natural growth,” or the difference between the number of births and deaths.

Mayor Vincent C. Gray (D) celebrated the figure in a news release: “It’s no secret that the District is one of the most dynamic cities in the country and that we have made significant efforts to grow and diversify our economy,” he said. “It certainly looks like those efforts are working.”

By  |  02:45 PM ET, 12/21/2011

 
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