District of Columbia Population 2017

691,963

Washington, D.C., also known simply as D.C. or the District, is the capital of the United States. Washington, D.C. is a federal district under the jurisdiction of Congress, and thus is not a part of any state in the United States. The District was formed from land donated by Virginia and Maryland and named in honor of George Washington. In 2017, Washington, D.C. has an estimated population of 691,963.

Washington, DC Population

Washington, D.C. has an estimated population of 691,963 in 2017, which makes it the 22nd most populous city in the U.S. It has a population density of 9,856.5 people per square mile. During the work week, however, the population swells to more than one million as commuters come from Virginia and Maryland. The Washington metropolitan area has a population estimated at over 6 million, which makes it the 7th largest metro area in the United States. If the District is included with Baltimore and the suburbs, the Baltimore-Washington Metropolitan Area has a population of more than 9 million, which makes it the 4th largest CSA in the country.

If Washington, DC were a state, it would be the 49th most populous ahead of Wyoming and Vermont.

Washington, DC Religions

There are many religions represented in Washington, DC, including Baptist (17%), Catholic (13%), Evangelical Protestant (6%), Methodist (4%), Episcopalian (3%), Jewish (2%), Eastern Orthodox, Pentecostal, Buddhist, Adventist, Lutheran, Muslim, Buddhist, Mormon, Hindu and Presbyterian.

Washington DC Population History

The District of Columbia was formed in 1791 from territory ceded by Maryland and Virginia, but remained in some respects under their jurisdiction until the National government moved there in 1800. The District included the existing small cities of Georgetown and Alexandria as well as the site chosen for the Nation's new capital, Washington. In 1846 the portion south of the Potomac River, including Alexandria, was retroceded to Virginia.

In 1800 the census reported the District as part of Maryland and Virginia. All populations shown in the table exclude the portion returned to Virginia in 1846.

District of Columbia Population Chart

Washington, DC Population Growth

The District's population in 2016 is a more than 7.5% increase from the 2010 Census population, continuing a trend of growth set since 2000 after 50 years of decline. In 2010, Washington, DC was the 24th most populous city. The Washington, DC area currently ranks 5th among metro areas in the US for population growth. According to officials, the growth is due to people migrating to the area from other parts of the US. Growth is expected to continue into the future, with projections showing that the population may exceed 718,000 by 2030.

Population Data via US Census

District of Columbia Growth Rate

District of Columbia Population Rank

Year Pop % Change
2020724,3421.51%
2019713,5491.54%
2018702,7561.56%
2017691,9631.58%
2016681,1701.61%
2015670,3771.73%
2014659,0051.52%
2013649,1652.18%
2012635,3272.39%
2011620,4773.12%
2010601,7230.51%
2000572,059-0.59%
1990606,900-0.50%
1980638,333-1.68%
1970756,510-0.10%
1960763,956-0.49%
1950802,1781.92%
1940663,0913.14%
1930486,8691.07%
1920437,5712.83%
1910331,0691.74%
1900278,7181.92%
1890230,3922.64%
1880177,6243.04%
1870131,7005.78%
186075,0803.80%
185051,6874.36%
184033,7451.10%
183030,2612.63%
182023,3364.20%
181015,4716.63%
18008,1440.00%

District of Columbia Facts

District of Columbia Population in 2018Source: Spyder Monkey

  • The second president of the U.S., John Adams, was the first president to live in the White House. Construction was not completed while George Washington was in office.
  • The Washington Monument was the tallest structure of its time when it was erected in 1884. Just five years later, the Eiffel Tower in Paris held the honor.
  • Washington, D.C., gets an average of 39 inches of rainfall per year. That amount is more than Seattle sees annually.
  • Over 175 embassies and international cultural centers are located in the District of Columbia.
  • The Smithsonian Museums have an astounding collection of almost 138 million items.
  • The D.C. Metro is the second busiest subway system in the nation.
  • The Old Stone House is the oldest building in D.C. and dates back to 1765.
  • The Residence Act of 1790 designated a site along the Potomac River as the country's permanent capital.
  • Fifteen percent of D.C.'s residents speak a language other than English.

District of Columbia Population Density by County

District of Columbia

  • Population681,170
  • Density11140.23 per sq km
  • Growth Since 201012.56%
  • State Rank1
  • % of State100.00%

District of Columbia Population Growth Rate by County

Population Pyramid

0k2k4k6k8kDistrict of Columbia Male Population0k2k4k6k8kDistrict of Columbia Female Population

To compare District of Columbia to other states, click here.

Population by Race

Race Population Percentage
Two or More Races18,1312.7%
Native Hawaiian and Other Pacific Islander1,0630.16%
Asian28,2984.21%
American Indian and Alaska Native3,7500.56%
Black or African American324,69448.3%
White296,29244.08%

Washington D.C. has had a large African American population since its founding in 1791. Between 1800 and 1940, African Americans made up 30% of the population, reaching a peak of 70% in the 1970s before declining as more African Americans moved to the suburbs. Between 2000 and 2010, there was a 31% jump in the non-Hispanic white population and an 11.5% decline in the black population.

Approximately 1 in 7 Washingtonians are immigrants, many of whom come from El Salvador, Vietnam and Ethiopia. Due to the large number of immigrants who are not fluent in English, about 35% of District residents are considered functionally illiterate.

The largest Hispanic groups in Washington DC is Salvadoran, which have mostly settled in the Mount Pleasant area. It is estimated that there are over 18,000 Salvadorans living in Washtington D.C., with an estimated Hispanic population that totals over 45,000.

Languages Spoken in District of Columbia

Language Population Percentage
Mandarin1,0300.18%
Portuguese1,4200.24%
Kru, Ibo, Yoruba2,0800.36%
German2,6250.45%
Chinese2,6650.46%
Amharic5,2600.90%
French8,3601.43%
Spanish44,4557.63%
English507,07486.99%
Population 5 years and over582,879100.00%

This chart shows the top 10 non-English languages that are spoken at home in District of Columbia. The data comes from the most recent release of the American Community Survey (ACS).

District of Columbia Economy

IndicatorValue
High school graduate or higher 88.9%
Bachelor's degree or higher 53.4%
With a Disability 8.2%
Persons Without Health Insurance 5.8%
In Civilian Labor Force 67.9%
In Civilian Labor Force (Female) 65.6%
Food Services Sales $5,101,602
Health Care Revenue $8,963,981,000
Manufacturers Shipments $309,832,000
Merchant Wholesaler Sales $2,591,868,000
Total Retail Sales $4,439,933,000
Total Retail Sales per Capita $7,022
Mean Travel Time to Work 29.8 minutes
Median Household Income $69,235
Per Capita Income (past 12 months) $46,502
Persons in Poverty 17.7%

This chart shows the employment and labor force participation rates in District of Columbia for residents over 16 years of age. The 2015 unemployment rate is 6.5% and the labor force participation rate is 69%.

District of Columbia Business

IndicatorValue
Total Nonemployer Establishments 55,013
All firms 63,408
Men-owned Firms 30,237
Women-owned Firms 27,064
Minority-owned Firms 29,983
Nonminority-owned Firms 29,521
Veternan-owned Firms 5,070
Nonveteran-owned Firms 54,217

District of Columbia Housing

IndicatorValue
Housing Units 296,719
Owner Occupied Housing Rate 41.6%
Median Value Owner Occupied Housing Units $454,500
Median Monthly Owner Costs (w/Mortgage) $2,322
Median Monthly Owner Costs (no mortgage) $608
Median Gross Rent $1,302
Building Permits 4,956
Households 267,415
Persons per Household 2.22 persons
Living in Same House 1 Year Ago 80%
Language Other than English Spoken at Home 16.5%
Data Sources
  1. US Census State Population Estimates - Most recent state estimates from the Census Bureau's Population Estimates Program
  2. US Census County Population Estimates - Most recent county estimates from the Census Bureau's Population Estimates Program
  3. American Community Survey (2009 - 2013)
  4. Census QuickFacts
  5. Historical Populations of States and Counties (1790 - 1990)