The District’s population has continued to soar over the past year, rising almost 3 percent to 618,000 residents, according to census figures released Wednesday.
The increase of 16,000 people, if accurate, represents more than half the total gain during the entire decade that preceded it, which was the
first decade in half a century that the city did not shrink in size.
The census estimates are for population increases between the day the 2010 Census was taken, last April, and July of 2011. The District, has challenged its 2010 Census count, but it does not believe a large number of people weren’t included. And even if the 2010 count were updated, the increase of 16,000 new residents would stand, census officials said.
The census estimates also showed that Maryland gained 55,000 people, and Virginia’s population rose by 95,000. Both numbers are an increase of about 1 percent, close to the national growth rate.
“The latest Census numbers support something I’ve said for a long time: The District is a wonderful place to call home,” said Mayor Vincent C. Gray in a statement.
“We’ve made historic investments in public safety, education, infrastructure, economic development and sustainability, and those investments are now paying dividends.”
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The population estimates were for entire states, so it is not possible to determine how much of that growth happened in the Washington suburbs.
The census estimates the nation’s population grew by about 3 million people in the 15 months after the census was taken, to almost 312 million. The growth rate of just under 1 percent was the lowest since World War II ended, in the mid-1940s.
Only three states lost population — Rhode Island, Michigan and Maine. Texas, the second-largest state behind California, gained more people than any other state.