Census Frenzy: Ward 2 Population Up 16%, Ward 1 Up 4%
From Matty Rhoades
The U.S. Census Bureau released D.C.’s results on Thursday. The big buzz was that (1) D.C. gained people for the first time since 1950 and (2) the black majority is on the verge of disappearing, with only 50.7% of residents now being African-American. There were huge gains in the number of whites and smaller gains in the numbers of Latinos and Asians living in D.C. Citywide, African Americans are about 51% of the population, Latinos are at 9%, Asians at 3% and non-Latino whites are at 35%.
D.C. now has more than 601,000 people, a 5.2% increase from 2000 — but still far below the city’s peak year of 1950 when the Census recorded 802,000 people in D.C.
Growth in Wards 1 and 2
Locally, Ward 2 — the bulk of the Borderstan.com coverage area — grew the fastest with a 16% population increase, from 68,000 to 79,000 people. This means it will have to lose people – certain blocks will have to be moved to other Wards — some eastern parts of the Ward could go to Wards 5 and 6. However, some northern chunks of Ward 2 could possibly go to Ward 1, which grew at a much smaller 3.9% rate.
Logan Circle. Census Tract 52.01 is a great example of how Ward 2 gained so many new people in the past 10 years. The tract’s boundaries are 14th Street NW on the east, 16th Street on the west, Massachusetts Avenue on the south and S Street on the north. The tract registered a 33% increase, going from 4,559 to 6,077 residents. It’s easy to figure out how this happened: the new rental and condo buildings on the 1400 blocks of P and Church Streets NW, plus additional units on the west side of 14th Street and on the 1400 block of Rhode Island Avenue.
Kevan Marvasti of the 1400 block of Church Street NW is representative of the new residents in 52.01. Marvasti moved to the D.C. area and was living in Arlington. He considered buying there, but thought Logan Circle was a better bet, long term. Marvasti bought his unit in 2008 in a building that was an auto body shop until 2004 — the block was lined with them 10 years ago.
“The previous owner was a young couple who purchased it right after the building was converted in 2004,” Marvasti said. He also lists many of the same reasons other people have moved to the area: “I like being able to walk everywhere and the vibrant nightlife.”
U Street. In the southern end of Ward 1, Census Tract 44 registered an 87% population increase from 2000 to 2010 — from 2,589 to 4,572 residents (the population was 3,598 in 1980). The tract’s boundaries are U Street NW on the south, Florida Avenue on the north, 7th/Florida Avenue on the east and 14th Street on the west. This is another portion of the neighborhood that is brimming with large new residential buildings, especially on 14th and U Streets.
A Geek’s Delight: Online Maps
Both The New York Times and The Washington Post have interactive maps where you can check out detailed information about local census tracts. They are map-data-stats geek’s delight:
- Mapping the 2010 U.S. Census from The New York Times
- Explore the 2010 census from The Washington Post
- The Post also has an an interactive map of the city’s eight wards that show the city’s changing racial dynamics.
- Plus, Neighborhood Info DC has historical information from the Census.
New Ward Boundaries
The Census data will be used to redraw the boundaries for the city’s eight council wards as well as the Advisory Neighborhood Commissions. All eight wards must have populations that are within 5% (above or below) the average for all wards. Since Ward 2 grew at a much faster rate than others, it will have to lose people. Conversely, Wards 7 and 8 must gain people.
David Alpert at Greater Greater Washington created a Google Maps application that allows you to try your hand at drawing the new ward boundaries; check out the Redistricting Game.
In the coming weeks Borderstan will have more on local Census numbers and how the Dupont-Logan-U Street has changed in the past decade.