Housing Complex

Just How Transient is D.C.? Depends How You Count

Each summer brings a familiar sense of malaise for young D.C. professionals, as a sizable chunk of their friends decamp for New York or grad school or elsewhere, never to return. The District sometimes feels full of 22- and 23-year-olds on a two-year layover between college and whatever comes next.

But just how transient is D.C.? Over at Greater Greater Washington, Topher Mathews takes a look at the numbers, inspired by the recent spat over whether the District is a good sports town.

On the simplest metric, D.C. is indeed more transient than other big cities—a far higher percentage of D.C. residents moved from another state in the past year:

D.C. 9.1%
Boston (Suffolk County) 5.9%
Philadelphia 3.2%
Atlanta 4.8%
Chicago 3.2%
Baltimore City 3.0%
New York City 2.8%
... Manhattan 6.2%

But "another state" is kind of a funny metric for a town whose suburbs are exclusively in other states. And if, for non-D.C. cities, you add in people moving from other counties within the same state, suddenly D.C. doesn't look so exceptionally transient:

D.C. 9.1%
Boston 10.0%
Philadelphia 4.6%
Atlanta 11.0%
Chicago 4.1%
Baltimore 6.7%
New York City 4.9%
... Manhattan 9.1%

Mathews also breaks the numbers down by age group. Check out his post for the full rundown.

  • latteman

    People move to DC for a job, then move to the suburbs as they get settled into the metro area. Neighborhoods in Chevy Chase and Bethesda are over the line or a short commute.

  • http://distcurm.blogspot.com/ IMGoph

    latteman describes something that regularly happened decades ago, and is becoming less prominent every year.

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