Washington DC Metropolitan Area Profile and Demographics

An Overview of Washington, DC, Maryland and Virginia

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••• Photo © Matthew T. Carroll/Getty Images

Washington, DC is the capital of the United States with the federal government and tourism dominating the culture. Many people think that everyone in Washington, DC is a lobbyist or a bureaucrat. While lawyers and politicians come here to work on Capitol Hill, Washington is more than just a government town. Washington, DC attracts the highly educated to work at recognized colleges, high-tech and bio-tech companies, national and international non-profit associations, and corporate law firms.

Since the nation’s capital is a big tourist attraction, hospitality and entertainment are big business here as well.

Living in Washington DC

Washington is a nice place to live with lovely Neoclassical buildings, world-class museums, first-rate restaurants and performing arts venues, elegant homes, vibrant neighborhoods and plenty of green space. The close proximity to the Potomac River and Rock Creek Park offer easy access to recreational activities within the city limits.

The Washington, DC capital region includes the suburbs of Maryland and Northern Virginia. The region has a diverse population with people settling here from all over the world. Residents have high education levels and high incomes and the area has a higher cost of living than most cities in the United States. The region also has the largest economic gap in America, causing economic class to be a source of social and political tension more than differences in race or ethnic background.

Census and Demographic Information for the Capital Region

The U.S. Census is taken every ten years. While the original intent of the census was to determine how many representatives each state was entitled to send to the U.S. Congress, it has become a vital tool for Federal agencies in determining allocation of Federal funds and resources.

The census is also a key research tool for sociologists, demographers, historians, political scientists and genealogists. Note, the following information is based on the 2010 Census and figures may not be exactly the same today.

The 2010 U.S. Census sites the population of the city of Washington at 601,723 and ranks the city 21st in size compared with other U. S. cities. The population is 47.2% male and 52.8% female. The race breakdown is as follows: White: 38.5%; Black: 50.7%; American Indian and Alaska Native: 0.3%; Asian: 3.5%; Two or more races: 2.9%; Hispanic/Latino: 9.1%. Population under age 18: 16.8%; 65 and over: 11.4%; Median household income, (2009) $58,906; Persons below poverty level (2009) 17.6%. See more census information for Washington, DC

Montgomery County, Maryland has a population of 971,777. Major communities include Bethesda, Chevy Chase, Rockville, Takoma Park, Silver Spring, Gaithersburg, Germantown, and Damascus. The population is 48% male and 52% female. The race breakdown is as follows: White: 57.5%; Black: 17.2%, American Indian and Alaska Native: 0.4%; Asian: 13.9%; Two or more races: 4%; Hispanic/Latino: 17%. Population under age 18: 24%; 65 and over: 12.3%; Median household income (2009) $93,774; Persons below poverty level (2009) 6.7%.

 See more census information for Montgomery County, Maryland

Prince George’s County, Maryland has a population of 863,420. Major communities include Laurel, College Park, Greenbelt, Bowie, Capitol Heights, and Upper Marlboro. The population is 48% male and 52% female. The race breakdown is as follows: White: 19.2%; Black: 64.5%, American Indian and Alaska Native: 0.5%; Asian: 4.1%; Two or more races: 3.2%; Hispanic/Latino: 14.9%. Population under age 18: 23.9%; 65 and over: 9.4%; Median household income (2009) $69,545; Persons below poverty level (2009) 7.8%. See more census information for Prince George’s County, Maryland

See census information for other counties in Maryland

Fairfax County, Virginia has a population of 1,081,726. Major communities include Fairfax City, McLean, Vienna, Reston, Great Falls, Centreville, Falls Church, Springfield and Mount Vernon.

The population is 49.4% male and 50.6% female. The race breakdown is as follows: White: 62.7%; Black: 9.2%, American Indian and Alaska Native: 0.4%; Asian: 176.5%; Two or more races: 4.1%; Hispanic/Latino: 15.6%. Population under age 18: 24.3%; 65 and over: 9.8%; Median household income (20098) $102,325; Persons below poverty level (2009) 5.6%. See more census information for Fairfax County, Virginia

Arlington County, Virginia has a population of 207,627. No incorporated towns lie within the Arlington County boundaries. The population is 49.8% male and 50.2% female. The race breakdown is as follows: White: 71.7%; Black: 8.5%, American Indian and Alaska Native: 0.5%; Asian: 9.6%; Two or more races: 3.7%; Hispanic/Latino: 15.1%. Population under age 18: 15.7%; 65 and over: 8.7%; Median household income (2009) $97,703; Persons below poverty level (2009) 6.6%. See more census information for Arlington County, Virginia

Loudoun County, Virginia has a population of 312,311. Incorporated towns with the county include Hamilton, Leesburg, Middleburg, Percellville and Round Hill. Other major communities include Dulles, Sterling, Ashburn and Potomac. The population is 49.3% male and 50.7% female. The race breakdown is as follows: White: 68.7%; Black: 7.3%, American Indian and Alaska Native: 0.3%; Asian: 14.7%; Two or more races: 4%; Hispanic/Latino: 12.4%. Population under age 18: 30.6%; 65 and over: 6.5%; Median household income (2009) $114,200; Persons below poverty level (2009) 3.4%. See more census information for Loudoun County, Virginia

See census information for other counties in Virginia

Read more about the Neighborhoods of the Washington DC Capital Region