December 23, 2009 - 7:27 pm

DC, Now With 1.6% More People!

Next year is the decennial census, and though this ten-year period is mandated by the Constitution, the U.S. Census Bureau continues to collect detailed demographic data, including population estimates, for the other nine years.

From July 1, 2008 to July 1, 2009, the District gained 9,583 people, raising our population to 599,657, just a tad short of the tantalizing 600k mark that we haven’t seen since 1991.

That amounted to a 1.6% increase.  Only four states gained more proportionally: Wyoming (2.1%), Utah (2.1%), Texas (2.0%), and Colorado (1.8%).

Increased population densities bring many advantages economically.

An increasing population expands the demand for housing, thereby securing the equity stakes of current homeowners.  Detroit residents have lost small fortunes as the values of their homes have declined over the years.

With more people comes a greater demand for restaurants, bars, and stores.  The more people who live withing walking distance of a commercial district, the more vibrant that commercial district becomes as there are more potential customers for the same amount of retail space.

With greater densities comes a greater demand for transit, making frequent transit service more economically viable.

Whether or not one likes living in a mid- or high-density community is really a matter of personal taste— there are certainly some downsides, too— but keep in mind that the densest Census tract in the nation is on Manhattan’s Upper East Side, a tony and desirable neighborhood.

Nevertheless, we see the District’s positive population change as a positive development overall.

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