Category Archives: Demographics

How Georgetowners Make Their Money

Photo by Thomas Hawk.

Last week, GM belatedly realized that the Census had released its updated American Community Survey numbers for 2010. This data gives a detailed picture of the American people, and the Five Year Estimates that the ACS produces can be drilled down to the level of a neighborhood as small as Georgetown.

So this week, GM will likely be trolling through these data sets looking for interesting information. And today that information answers the question: where do Georgetowners work? Here’s where:

  • Construction/Manufacturing – 3%
  • Wholesale/Retail Trade – 3%
  • Information – 6%
  • Finance/Insurance/Real Estate – 9%
  • Professional/Scientific/Management – 27%
  • Education/Health Care – 16%
  • Arts/Entertainment/Recreation – 6%
  • Other Services (non public) – 10%
  • Public Administration – 20%

Some of these categories are a little too broad (for instance, GM would like to see “professional”, “scientific”, “education” and “health care” as separate line items). But it nonetheless gives you a flavor for what Georgetowners “do”.

Another interesting metric is what class of worker Georgetowners fall into:

  • Private Sector Wage/Salary – 68%
  • Public Sector – 22%
  • Self-Employed – 9%



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Georgetown’s Phantom Density

There are many benefits to living in a dense city. The most obvious is that with so many people living in close proximity, their joint buying power and habits can support shops and restaurants within walking distance. It’s why a corner shop like Sara’s can survive in a totally residential neighborhood in a way that it couldn’t in a suburban subdivision (where it would probably be illegal in the first place).

But GM got to thinking about that density when he noticed that Sara’s instituted summer hours recently (on Sunday they don’t open till 1:00 and close at 7:00). It’s a reasonable easing of their normal hours, but GM believes it reflects one of the fundamental characteristics to Georgetown that will continue to seriously limit the amount Georgetowners will be able to support locally oriented businesses: not enough Georgetowners actually live here full time.

This was one factor that the owners of Griffin Market cited in their closing, namely that too many Georgetowners only live here part of the year. This was based on their own anecdotal evidence, but GM looked into the Census records and found some statistical evidence to support the observation. Continue reading


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Georgetown’s Population Didn’t Boom That Much Afterall

Last Friday, GM posted a particularly breathless report on the huge jump in the population count for Georgetown in last year’s census. The overall increase was 1,791, a 21.01% increase. Moreover, He found that the biggest gains in population were concentrated on the lower west side where there was an increase of 1,351 residents from 2000 to 2010.

GM cautioned that it would take a look at the block-by-block numbers before we could be certain where the growth specifically was. Well, he did just that, and the only conclusion he can reach is that the boom was primarily a product of increased reporting from students living outside the gates in GU residences.

Below is a map showing the blocks where there was a net gain of more than 50 residents from 2000 to 2010:

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Georgetown’s Population Booms

Update: GM’s enthusiasm got a little ahead of him. The boom is probably more a result of reporting changes. Read more here.

Yesterday, the U.S. Census released the results for the 2010 Census for D.C. While many immediately focused on the city-wide numbers and how they reflect rapidly changing demographics, GM dove into the neighborhood numbers. And what he found was absolutely astounding. Since 2000, Georgetown’s population has boomed.

Specifically, since 2000 Georgetown has added a whopping 1,791 net new residents. That brings the total number of Georgetown residents to 10,315, an increase of 21.01%. Ward 2 grew the most of all the wards, and even that was only at a 16% pace. That means Georgetown was likely one of the fastest, if not the fastest, growing neighborhoods in Ward 2.

And where did this growth occur? By a long, long shot it was on the lower west side of Georgetown. Check out this map:

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The Baby Boom in Georgetown

Photo by Sean Dreilinger.

Yesterday GM wrote about the increase in Georgetown children attending Hyde-Addison Elementary School and chalked up the growth to a Georgetown baby boom. It’s a topic GM has briefly mentioned a few times, but a reader asked him expand a little on the phenomenon and GM is happy to oblige.

GM bases his conclusions primarily on Census data. Unfortunately these data only go back to 1990. But the growth has been sharp even since then:

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Georgetown by the Numbers: Getting Here

Photo by theMuuj.

GM has written a bit on who lives in Georgetown and how we get around, but today he’s going to ask: how’d we get here. Well, maybe not how specifically, more like when and from where.

Here are the answers to those questions according to the American Community Survey:

When We Got Here:

According to the ACS, here’s how it breaks down as to when Georgetown residents arrived to the neighborhood (this is by household, not resident):

Moved in 2005 or later 38.36%
Moved in 2000 to 2004 28.32%
Moved in 1990 to 1999 18.21%
Moved in 1980 to 1989 10.73%
Moved in 1970 to 1979 1.57%
Moved in 1969 or earlier 2.81%

So most people got here since 2000.  Unsurprisingly, owner-occupied units tend to have been occupied longer than rental units:

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Counting Georgetown

Last December, an event happened that GM has been waiting for for years: the release of the five year estimates from American Community Survey. Sounds terribly dry, yes, but what it means is that data on a host of questions and categories has been released at the census tract level.

With this data, we can start to get an idea of what Georgetowners actually look like, and act like, and live like, etc. Before this release, the most current source of this information was the 2000 census.

Yes, those familiar with this data set be quick to point out that the margins of error on some of these statistics is huge. So you should take them with a grain of salt. But they’re certainly good enough to start the discussion, and they’re certainly the best we’ve got. (Also, it’s really important to keep in mind that these numbers are meant to be averages over the last five years, not a snapshot of today).

So that said, on to some of the first numbers! Continue reading


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Georgetown Census Participation Good, Not Great

GM was tipped by DCist today to check out the Census participation for Georgetown. You can look up on the Census website and find out how good each census tract is about answering those ten questions. Georgetown’s is already better than it was 10 years ago, but it’s still lagging behind the national average.

Here are the stats:

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Could Georgetown Join Ward Three?

It’s census time again. As GM prepared his ten answers, he started to wonder, could this census lead to Georgetown shifting over to Ward Three?

Most people are familiar with the Congressional redistricting that occurs as a result of the decennial census, but the District redistricts itself as well. To ensure that all eight wards are roughly the same population, the District redraws the maps every ten years.

Generally, when a ward grows in population it will shrink in size come redistricting time. Ten years ago, Ward Two did just that:

The 2000 census found that Ward Two had about 82,000 residents. The average per ward total in 2000 was about 71,000. So Ward Two had to lose about 11,000 residents to slim down to size. The map above shows where Ward Two gave up land (shown in red) and where it gained land (shown in green). As you can see, Ward Two gave up the entire residential portion of Southwest DC, a significant chunk of downtown, and the easternmost quarter of the Palisades. It gained Kalorama and a handful of blocks in north Dupont/U St. Continue reading


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Kids and Georgetown

Kids On Georgetown Street

Kids on the street - Georgetown 1935 - Photo courtesy of the Library of Congress

 It is often said that there are are few children in Georgetown these days. It is easy to see where people might get that idea: most homes large enough to house a family comfortably (even by townhouse standards) are too expensive for young families to afford.  Plus, you just don’t see that many kids running around the neighborhood that often. With that in mind it’s interesting to look at the numbers and see exactly how many kids there are in Georgetown and how that compares to other DC neighborhoods of similar demographics.

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