Tag Archives: Census

Counting Georgetown: Families



GM’s been going through the recent release of the American Community Survey and seeing what it has to say about Georgetowners. The other day, GM mentioned that the baby boom is continuing in Georgetown. Today he’ll explore that closer, and take a look at what the average family in Georgetown looks like.

According to the ACS, there are 4,187 households in Georgetown (that excludes the GU campus). There are 1,787 households with families in them. A family is defined to be a household with two or more people in it who are related by birth, marriage, or adoption. So it could be a married couple, a family of five, or two siblings. The average family household size in Georgetown is 2.63. Continue reading


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How Transient Are Washingtonians?

With a talented new quarterback and a baseball team in the major league playoffs for the first time since 1933, Washington sports are getting a lot of attention recently. But in commenting on the state of Washington sports culture, a lot of writers assert that DC is apathetic towards its team because the population is so transient. But how transient is DC?

The Census shows that in some ways the conventional wisdom is correct, but there’s not necessarily a correlation between a transient population and a lack of local fervor:

According to the Census, of DC’s population, 9.1% lived in another state the year before. How does that compare with other sports towns?:

  • DC – 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%

So of these cities, DC is far and away the highest. However, it’s worth noting, before going on, that this is not necessarily an apples-to-apples analysis. If someone moved from Arlington to DC, that would be captured whereas if someone were to move from Buffalo to Broadway, it wouldn’t. Continue reading

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Census Odds and Ends

On days when GM doesn’t have any particular article idea in mind, he likes to stroll back through the census numbers to see if there aren’t a few more nuggets of information worth digging up. And today is one of those days.


Surprisingly, only 81% of Georgetowners speak only English at home. Of the 19% of Georgetowners who speak another language at home, only 6% speak Spanish. Also surprising, 36% of these non-exclusively English speakers are native born US citizens. GM knows one family that would fit into this category, where the father is American, the mother European, and the child bilingual.


Georgetown families are not hurting, income wise. In east Georgetown, the median family income is $224,286 and the average family income is a whopping $348,784 (the reason these numbers are so different is that a few large incomes can skew an average but not a median). In west Georgetown, the median family income is $223,036 and the average $321,055.

Not all families are wealthy though. 21% of families in east Georgetown and 6% in west Georgetown make less than $75,000. Continue reading

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The Census: Odds and Ends

This week GM has been going through the American Community Survey records that were released by the Census recently and seeing what it has to say about Georgetowners.

Today being the end of the week, GM will just hit some remaining odds and ends that didn’t fit in to the previous days.

First, a subject newly close to GM’s heart: fertility. According to the records, 84 Georgetown women gave birth over an average year since 2005. Of those 84 women, 23 had a bachelor’s degree and 61 had some sort of a graduate or professional degree.

Second, The median commute for Georgetowners is 20-24 minutes. There are a lucky 91 Georgetowners that have a commute of less than 5 minutes. On the other end, 32 unlucky Georgetowners have a commute over 90 minutes.

Finally, only 81% of Georgetowners speak only English at home. About 6% speak Spanish at home. About 10% speak some “other Indo-European” language at home. And about 2% speak an Asian language at home.

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Hitting the Books

Photo by Alamosbasement.

This week GM is strolling through the recently released Census data finding interesting tidbits about Georgetowners. Today he takes us back to school.

Here’s what grade level Georgetown’s students are at:

  • Nursery/Pre-school – 198
  • Kindergarten – 26
  • Grades 1-4 – 95
  • Grades 5-8 – 191
  • High School – 78
  • College – 1713 (note that GM is not including Census Tract 2.01, which is the GU campus, so these numbers include just off campus students) Continue reading

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Where Georgetowners Came From

This week, GM is exploring the most recent Census data which reveals fascinating data about the who, what, where, and how about us.

Today, GM’s looking at the question of where we all came from.

First of all, a good number of Georgetowners came from here. Well, DC at least. Twelve percent of to be exact. Of all Georgetowners, 82% are U.S. born. So 69% were born outside of the District.

Of the Non-District born US-natives, the regional origin breakdown goes like this:

  • Northeast – 41%
  • Midwest – 21%
  • South – 28%
  • West – 10%

As a New Englander himself, GM’s glad to see that his fellow Northeasterners are still so dominant.

Of the 18% of Georgetowners who are foreign born 41% are naturalized American citizens. Continue reading


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The Georgetown Household

This week, GM is going through the recently released 2010 American Community Survey data from the Census. Today he’s exploring the Georgetown household.

A household, in Census parlance, is a single living unit. It can be a studio apartment all the way up to Evermay. And the ACS uses survey data to generate stats on what the average household in Georgetown looked like over the past five years. Here are the interesting bits:

There are 4,881 households in Georgetown. Of those, 89% are occupied, and 11% are vacant.

Of all the households, 6.74% are single family detached homes. A full 49% are single family attached homes (i.e. a rowhouse). Four percent are part of a structure with two units, and 3% are part of a structure with three to four units. Thirty percent of households are part of apartment buildings with 20 or more units.

It’s not a surprise that 63% of Georgetown households were built before 1939 (in fact the only surprise is that it’s not higher). A few percentage of Georgetown homes were built in each decade since then, with the exception of the 1980s, when 11% of Georgetown homes were built. Continue reading


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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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Walls Can’t Talk But the Census Does

Last November, GM moved into a house on 33rd St. City records say the house was built in 1900, but that’s the default year the city lists when the house was built before 1877 or the city just doesn’t know when the building was built. But from a database GM has, he was able to identify that the original building permit was issued to a Mr. D. Haggerty in 1895 (if you’re curious when your house was built, drop GM a line). So GM’s home was built sometime around 1895, but what GM was really curious about was who actually lived there. And that’s where the Census comes in.

The Census records from 1930 and earlier are publicly available (responses to the Census are confidential for 70 years). Most of what these records get used for is to build family trees, which they can be invaluable for. And that’s why the best websites for accessing old census records are typically genealogical websites. GM uses a pay website, Ancestry.com, but a good free one is FamilySearch.org. The problem is that they don’t normally let you search the census records by address. So in order to find your house’s record, you need to learn how the forms work and how to browse them.

Start with this one from 1900. Right at the top is President William McKinley and his family. If you read down the left side you’ll see that the street is Pennsylvania Ave. The second column tells you what street number the house is (except that in this particular case, no address is listed, so maybe it’s not a great example, but you can see how President McKinley’s neighbors, the Morisi family at 1710 Pennsylvania Ave., have their house number listed). Continue reading

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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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