Way back in 2009, GM took a look at the population data for Georgetown and predicted that the neighborhood was on the cusp of a baby boom. This was based upon the rate of increase in the child population over the preceding nine years. And in 2017, GM went back to test his prediction and found that it had mostly come true.
Sadly though the boom appears to have gone bust (or perhaps never existed in the first place).
In 2000, there were 615 children 14 years or younger in Georgetown. In 2010, that number grew to 838. In 2017, population estimates put that number at approximately 1,029. But in 2019 estimates put that number back down to 873.
To be fair, both the 2017 and 2019 numbers are estimates based on survey data spanning five years each. The margin of error is in the hundreds. So it’s completely possible that the 2017 numbers were simply on the upper end of the margin for error. An accurate picture of the numbers won’t become clear until the Census Bureau releases the age data from the 2020 count.
But just from a pure anecdata perspective, GM can’t help but feel that the demographics of Georgetown really have shifted over the past several years. Most of the times when a house has been sold in and around GM’s block over the past several years, it’s gone either to a wealthy retired couple looking for a pied a terre or a wealthy not yet retired couple looking for housing for their GU student child. Only one has gone to a young family.
If that experience reflects a wider shift, GM can’t help but place the blame on the relentlessly growing housing costs. Just ten years ago, you could find plenty of two or three bedroom homes for under $1 million. Now they’re all selling for well over that. There are only so many young families that can swing that, and there’s even fewer that can outbid a bunch of wealthy boomers looking to stash their massive pile of money into safe investments.
It’s sad because there was a time when Georgetown’s streets were full of kids. There was once eight different elementary schools in Georgetown (of course segregation contributed a lot to that). Sure, nowhere in this country do households look like they did when all those schools were full. But it’s still a shame if neighborhood ends up evolving into a place that’s almost exclusively just senior citizens and college students.