High earners who left DC during pandemic cost city $3 billion in tax revenue, data reveals

About 31,000 people left D.C. during the pandemic and it cost the city a lot of money.

The District lost about $3 billion in taxable personal income by people moving out. Many of them earned $100,000 to $200,000 a year. An analysis, released by the city using IRS data, showed many of those who left are between the ages of 26 and 44, and they took their money to the suburbs.

Many who left ended up in the close-in suburbs of Alexandria and Arlington and other parts of Northern Virginia. But the top destination for D.C. residents who left was Prince George’s County.

In terms of how much D.C. lost in tax revenue, the top five places people went are Montgomery County, Prince George’s County, Fairfax County, Alexandria, and Annapolis.

According to the report, “the top destinations for DC tax filers were the city’s inner suburbs, to which DC lost a net of more than 8,000 tax-filing households and more than $1.2 billion in taxable income.”

The report also added that the District “lost a net of about $600 million in taxable income to Montgomery County, Maryland, alone.”

Some others went to the beaches of Delaware and as far away as Los Angeles and Denver Colorado. The report also said D.C.’s population is beginning to rebound noting the most recent census population estimates shows nearly 672,000 made D.C. home in 2022, up from 669,000 in 2021.

Bolded cities indicate those outside the D.C. metro area. (Courtesy D.C. Office of Revenue Analysis)

The report said “the gain was driven by international migration and births, according to the breakdown by Census.”

Kyle Cooper

Weekend and fill-in anchor Kyle Cooper has been with WTOP since 1992. Over those 25 years, Kyle has worked as a street reporter, editor and anchor. Prior to WTOP, Kyle worked at several radio stations in Indiana and at the Indianapolis Star Newspaper.

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