The District’s population continues to climb, reaching 672,228 residents in July 2015, according to new census data, which measured the population growth between July 1, 2014 and July 1, 2015. Estimates put 12,000 new residents in the city over the 12-month period, or about 1,000 people each month.
That represents a 1.9 percent jump over the 2014 Census statistics, and the first time the District has had more than 672,000 residents since 1977, when there were 681,800 people living in the nation’s capital. When compared against states — which is not the most apt comparison — this growth rate puts D.C. as the third fastest in the country, behind just North Dakota and Colorado, respectively.
Specific demographic data of these 12,000 people has not been analyzed yet, but officials say millennials, newborns and international migrants account for the bulk of the new residents, according to the office of the deputy mayor for planning and development. Interestingly, the city says that net international migration contributed greater to the District’s population growth than net domestic migration this year. There was a natural increase of 4,375 people during this time, which is the number of births minus deaths over the years.
Overall, the city has seen impressive population gains for more than a decade. Last year, however, it slowed down a bit, adding just shy of 10,000 residents from July 1, 2013 to July 1, 2014. That was a blow to city officials, who for years loved to cite that the booming city was adding 1,000 new residents per month.
Still, these latest numbers aren’t has high as the gains the city posted between 2010 to 2013, when, for instance, it saw more than 30,000 residents added in the approximately two years since the 2010 census was conducted, according to census data. The millennial boom also appears to have slowed, with the city adding a net of more than 10,000 people in that age bracket between 2010 and 2011, compared to just 2,662 of them from 2013 to 2014. It’s unclear how many millennials moved here this year, but past census data indicate that it will be considerably less than the 2010 figures.
D.C. Mayor Muriel E. Bowser (D) celebrated the numbers in a statement Tuesday, saying this puts the city on track to bypass its peak population of 802,000 residents in 1950 within the next two decades. The District hit a population nadir in 1998, with just about 565,000 residents.
“More and more people are choosing to call the District of Columbia ‘home,’ and my Administration is working hard to sustain our growth and to ensure that residents in all eight wards share in our prosperity,” Bowser said in the press release. “By expanding affordable housing, striving for world-class schools, and creating pathways to the middle class, we are making the District of Columbia a great place to reside, work, and play, whether you have lived here five minutes or five generations.”
This population growth is, of course, contributing to the city’s rising real estate prices and housing crunch. In 2015 so far, the office of the deputy mayor for planning and development says it created more than 2,500 affordable housing units, which houses more than 5,500 residents. Data from the Office of the Chief Financial shows there are more than 11,000 apartment units in the pipeline in 2015, a record high in recent times.