News & Politics

DC’s Population Is Rebounding After a Pandemic-Related Drop

Navy Yard and south Capitol Hill saw the largest growth.

Image via iStock.

The number of residents of the District declined by an estimated 20,000 residents in 2021, a drop likely caused by the pandemic. But the city’s population may now be on the rebound, according to a report by DC’s Office of Revenue Analysis. Washington’s population saw an increase during late summer and fall 2021, the report concludes, using apartment vacancy data from Delta Associates and address change data from the US Postal Service.

Navy Yard and south Capitol Hill are the neighborhoods that saw the largest rebound, while Chevy Chase DC and Takoma remained steady or saw some increase in population. Neighborhoods in Wards 7 and 8 saw the largest number of residents leaving in the second half of 2021.

“In July 2021, net moves out dropped below pre-pandemic levels for the first time, and remained below pre-pandemic levels through October 2021,” the report states. It also suggests that population growth in certain areas may be due to an increase in new housing units.

However, the jump may be temporary. There is a risk that low population growth or stagnation could make a comeback, according to the report, and USPS data showed that in November 2021 migration out of DC was on the rise again. Whether that’s a blip or indicates a trend remains to be seen.

David Tran
Editorial Fellow