For DC: Out with the Old, In with the Young

New census data reveals that at the same time Washington D.C. drew a record number of young adults, those over 55 left the city in large numbers. As a result, over the past three years, the city's median age has fallen by a full six months.
October 26, 2012, 1pm PDT | Jonathan Nettler | @nettsj
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New data from the American Community Survey shows that between 2009 to 2011, the Washington D.C. metro area, "averaged an annual net gain of more than 10,000 people aged 25 to 34, more than any metro region...ahead of Houston, Denver, Austin and Portland, Ore," reports Carol Morello. "So many young adults flocked to the area while the rest of the nation struggled with mounting job losses and foreclosures that Washington soared in the census rankings for that age group from 45th before the recession to No. 1," she notes.

The growth in young adults was matched by an outflow of older residents. "During that period, almost 7,000 more people 55 and older left the area than moved in, a number surpassed only by New York, Los Angeles and Chicago," says Morello.

But do the numbers reflect more than just the "ebb and flow of big cities"?

"Washington and a few other places, like Denver and Portland, have a lot going for them," said William H. Frey, a Brookings Institution demographer. "It's a combination of coolness, high tech and a place that probably has the prospect of staying economically above the water in the future."


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Published on Wednesday, October 24, 2012 in The Washington Post
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