Population growth in DC and Virginia outpaces national rate

New U.S. Census Bureau data shows explosive growth in the number of people calling D.C. “home” over the last decade.

D.C.’s population rose by 14.6% between 2010 and 2020. The nation’s capital is now home to 689,545 residents as of last December, according to 2020 census data released to the public on Monday.

That number is larger than the populations of Vermont or Wyoming. But despite this, city residents have no voting representative in the House or Senate. Census Bureau data is used to periodically redraw congressional and legislative districts in all 50 states.

Virginia’s population grew over the past decade, but not enough to gain an additional seat in Congress. Data showed the state’s resident population grew by 7.9% to 8,631,393. That growth will not change Virginia’s allotted number of 11 congressional seats.

Maryland’s population rose by 7% and the state’s number of eight congressional seats will also stay the same. Maryland has had an increase of 403,672 people from 2010, with a population of about 6.2 million as of December 2020.

The overall U.S. population rose to 331,449,281 last year, a 7.4% increase over the previous decade that was the second-slowest ever.

West Virginia is among the states losing a House seat as a result of a 10-year exodus of state residents, reflected by the data.

More detailed census figures will be released later this year showing populations by race, gender and housing at geographic levels as small as neighborhoods. This redistricting data will be used for redrawing precise congressional and legislative districts — except in D.C.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

Matt Small

Matt joined WTOP News at the start of 2020, after contributing to Washington’s top news outlet as an Associated Press journalist for nearly 18 years.

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