Current statistics on the urbanization of Arlington are elusive, since county officials rely heavily on the U.S. Census conducted at the beginning of each decade. But the results of a study issued in 1974 by the Washington Center for Metropolitan Studies coupled with recent information provided by county officials, reveal the following characteristics of urbanization in Arlington:
Between 1970 and 1974 the non-white population increased by 74 per cent. This figure does not include the dramatic influx of several thousand Indochinese refugees in April 1975 after the fall of Saigon. Current unofficial estimates are that Arlington has about 15,400 blacks, 12,000 Spanish-speaking residents, about 7,000 Vietnamese and nearly 6,000 Koreans.
While the county's population has dropped from 174,284 in 1970 to 153,100 in 1977, the number of housing units has risen from 54,598 in 1960 to roughly 76,000 in 1977. About 55 per cent of Arlington residents now live in apartments. In 1960 the figure was 45 per cent.
Since 1970 Arlington has seen a decrease in family and household size and an increase in the number of singles. The 20-34 age group now accounts for roughly 35 per cent of the total population as compared with 23 per cent in 1960. In addition, school census figures show that the pre-school population has dropped 40 per cent since 1974.
In the last few years there has been a substantial increase in the welfare case load. In 1972, 964 people were receiving Aid to Dependent Children. In 1977 that figure was 1,380. General relief recipients have doubled, as have the number of people on food stamps. In 1972, 425 people were receiving Medicaid. In 1977, that figure was 1.825.