Washington, United States Population

Population in Urban Area, now

5,334,677
  • World: 78th
  • North America: 11th
  • United States: 9th

Population in City Area, mid 2020

5,322,000
  • World: 37th
  • North America: 3rd
  • United States: 2nd

Washington Population Graphs

  • Urban Area
  • City Area

Washington Population Review

Washington D.C is located on the Eastern coast of the United States. It serves as the capital of the United States and is home to just over 5.3 million people. The Washington metropolitan area is part of a political subdivision called the District of Columbia. The District of Columbia comprises of several counties, districts, and independent cities in Virginia, West Virginia, and Maryland. The metro area of Washington is at the southern end of the Northeast megapolis and is the sixth-largest metropolitan area in the United States.

It is unique among American cities as it was established in 1790 by the Constitution of the United States to serve as the capital of the country. The city didn’t have many residents until the Civil War but its population has continued to grow steadily from 1950 onwards. In the past 50 years, Washington D.C has added over 4 million people to its population.

One of the most educated cities in the country

Residents of Washington, D.C are a sharp bunch. On average, residents of DC have 15.6 years of education and is the second-most educated large city in the country and the twentieth most educated city overall. Twenty-four percent of the city’s population holds only a bachelor’s degree, while 33% have a bachelor’s degree or higher. Almost 50% of the population have degrees in science, technology, engineering or mathematics and 90% of the residents of DC have graduated high school.

An almost equally split racial makeup

Washington, D.C has a majority non-white population. Just over 45% of the population is black or African American, and 42% are white (with 39% of that being non-Hispanic white and 5.3% Hispanic white). The black population remains the largest racial population in DC, though it has dropped recently, with the black population dropping below 50% for the first time in over 50 years. This is mostly due to professional and middle-class African Americans moving to the suburbs from the city center.

Immigration to Washington

There are more than 170 different nationalities and ethnic groups in Washington, D.C—making it one of the most ethnically diverse cities in the United States. The city remains an attractive option for immigrants and there are over 74,000 immigrants that call the city home—an average of 1 in 7 residents. About 14% of DC’s population was born in another country and large sources of immigration come from El Salvador, Vietnam, and Ethiopia. Immigration supports the city in several ways, including starting new businesses and bolstering the dropping birth rates.

One of the lowest birth rates in the country

Washington’s current birth rate is 70.4 per 1,000 people, far below what the city requires to maintain or grow their population. In comparison, the city would need a birth rate of 2,100 births for every 1,000 women to maintain the current population size. While most of the United States is having less babies, the women in D.C are waiting the longest to have children than anywhere else in the country—if they have them at all. This puts D.C flat at the bottom of the list of anywhere in the United States.

A big draw for tourism

D.C welcomed 22 million visitors to the city in 2016. These tourists generated $7.3 billion in spending for the city. Much of these visits are business or politics related since the city hosted 1,027 conventions, meetings, and tradeshows that attracted over 1 million visitors. There were also approximately 2 million visitors from foreign countries. Some of the most common countries people visit from include China, the UK, India, France, Australia, Spain, and Japan.

Review Updated: July 26, 2020

Washington Urban Area Population History

1950 1,298,000
1951 1,343,000
1952 1,390,000
1953 1,438,000
1954 1,487,000
1955 1,539,000
1956 1,592,000
1957 1,647,000
1958 1,704,000
1959 1,763,000
1960 1,823,000
1961 1,881,000
1962 1,942,000
1963 2,004,000
1964 2,069,000
1965 2,135,000
1966 2,204,000
1967 2,275,000
1968 2,348,000
1969 2,423,000
1970 2,488,000
1971 2,515,000
1972 2,542,000
1973 2,570,000
1974 2,597,000
1975 2,626,000
1976 2,654,000
1977 2,683,000
1978 2,712,000
1979 2,741,000
1980 2,777,000
1981 2,832,000
1982 2,888,000
1983 2,945,000
1984 3,004,000
1985 3,063,000
1986 3,124,000
1987 3,186,000
1988 3,249,000
1989 3,314,000
1990 3,376,000
1991 3,430,000
1992 3,484,000
1993 3,539,000
1994 3,595,000
1995 3,651,000
1996 3,709,000
1997 3,768,000
1998 3,827,000
1999 3,888,000
2000 3,949,000
2001 4,010,000
2002 4,072,000
2003 4,135,000
2004 4,199,000
2005 4,264,000
2006 4,330,000
2007 4,397,000
2008 4,465,000
2009 4,534,000
2010 4,604,000
2011 4,676,000
2012 4,748,000
2013 4,821,000
2014 4,896,000
2015 4,972,000
2016 5,049,000
2017 5,127,000
2018 5,207,000
2019 5,264,000
2020 5,322,000

Washington Urban Area Population Projections

2021 5,378,000
2022 5,434,000
2023 5,490,000
2024 5,545,000
2025 5,600,000
2026 5,654,000
2027 5,708,000
2028 5,762,000
2029 5,815,000
2030 5,868,000
2031 5,920,000
2032 5,971,000
2033 6,022,000
2034 6,072,000
2035 6,122,000

City Area Population Estimate & Projections

2010 6,742,902
2011 6,821,655
2012 6,892,876
2013 6,962,906
2014 7,052,439
2015 7,163,543
2016 7,294,680
2017 7,425,432
2018 7,535,591
2019 7,656,047
2020 7,776,503

Map of Washington, United States

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