June 13, 2012

Our zip code, now with some more white people


Every now and then the Census Bureau or some organization releases a report or new data showing that DC’s demographics changed. A recent analysis of census data found that the 20001 zip code, which covers LeDroit Park, Pleasant Plains, Bloomingdale, Truxton Circle, Shaw, and Mount Vernon Square, saw its non-Hispanic white population increase by 27.2 percentage points from 5.6% to 32.8%. In fact, 20001 made the list of “most-whitened zip codes” in the nation.

Our review of the 2010 census data found that LeDroit Park is 21% white, which is below the figure for the zip code.

What does this mean? Without more information, the report doesn’t mean much other than the unsurprising fact that neighborhood demographics change. This plain answer will dissatisfy some.  In a city in which identity is inevitably intertwined with politics, many will feel compelled to read too much into the data for some larger narrative that confirms preexisting social or political views.

However, the reasons that people move into and out of a neighborhood are complicated and there are both push and pull factors, both voluntary and involuntary.

Why a person might leave a neighborhood:

Why a person might move into a neighborhood:

Each person’s story is different, but there is far more at work than the simplistic displacement narrative that gets so much press.

Categories: Demography
Tags: , , , , ,

4 Replies

  1. After living in 20001 for 4+ years, I recently moved to SW, where I suppose I will help ‘whiten’ that neighborhood too. I will always have a soft spot for Bloomingdale/LeDroit/Truxton.

    dano - June 13, 2012 @ 2:43 pm
  2. This is a very good post looking into the various reasons why people move that don’t sell newspapers. Here are some other reasons for moving in or out that I’ve experienced directly or observed:
    * Discovered you could sell your DC house for $X and buy a bigger house with a large yard in PG/MoCo for less than $X.
    *Landlord needed the money ASAP and sold.
    *Lordlord never fixed anything, place became unsuitable for human habitation.
    * Roommates drove you crazy.
    *Move closer to relatives who live out in the sticks.

    A huge reason people moved in on our block was a lot of former run down rentals were rehabbed and made really nice by either flippers, landlords or residents looking to cash out. A nice house will attract people.

    Mari - June 14, 2012 @ 2:36 pm
  3. One that I have dealt with:

    Your property taxes shot up and you were unable to afford that, so you had to sell.

    John - June 15, 2012 @ 2:58 pm
  4. John, in DC property tax increases are capped precisely to avoid this happening. So, not a valid reason.

    eric - June 20, 2012 @ 3:54 pm

Leave a comment