Population in Urban Area, now
- World: 78th
- North America: 11th
- United States: 9th
Population in City Area, mid 2020
- 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.