Report: DC area’s immigrant population nearly doubles

WASHINGTON — Almost 30 years ago, immigrants made up just 12 percent of the local population. That percentage has nearly doubled in recent years, to 23 percent, according to a new report. 

The State of the Region: Human Capital Report, from the Council of Governments, offers the latest snapshot of the region’s immigrant population.

“The proportion of the metro region’s population that are foreign-born has been greater than the U.S. average and that continues today,” said Executive Director Chuck Bean.

Based on 2015 census data, the report finds about 1.3 million people in the D.C. area are foreign-born, and most hail from El Salvador, represented locally by around 207,000 people.

The most common country of origin for foreign-born residents nationally is Mexico at 27 percent, compared with 3 percent in the D.C. area.

The rest of the top five countries of origin for immigrants in the area are India, China, South Korea and Vietnam.

When it comes to educational attainment, Bean said, “About 42 percent of the region’s immigrant population holds a bachelor’s degree or higher.” That compares with 49 percent of the general population in the D.C. region and 31 percent nationally.

The report finds that about 28 percent speak a language other than English at home, and Spanish is the second most common language used locally.

Read the full report below.

Council of Governments — “State of the Region: Human Capital Report” by wtopweb on Scribd

Zeke Hartner

Zeke Hartner is a digital writer/editor who has been with WTOP since 2017. He is a graduate of North Carolina State University’s Political Science program and an avid news junkie.

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