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2013 was a good year for the city of Washington

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Mayor Vincent Gray today welcomed the latest estimates from the U.S. Census Bureau showing that the District’s population continued its rapid growth between July 2012 and July 2013, adding 13,022 residents and keeping D.C. among the list of fastest-growing areas in the country.

This means D.C.’s total population now stands at 646,449—a figure not seen since the 1970s. The District grew by 2.0 percent over the year, or by an average of 1,085 new residents per month. (Note: The previous 2012 population estimate of 632,323 has been revised upward to 633,427). This number means that the city has grown on average by 1,146 new residents per month between April 1, 2010 (when the 2010 Census count closed) and July 1, 2013. This continued trend of growth moves the District closer to its Sustainable DC goal of increasing the city’s population by 250,000 residents within the next twenty years.

“The new population estimate demonstrates that the District continues to be one of the most attractive and competitive cities in the nation. I set a goal for this city to be healthiest, greenest, and most livable city in the country within 20 years. These results tell us that people across the nation and around the world already see us as well on our way,” Gray said.

Harriet Tregoning, Director of the DC Office of Planning, said that the city growth is a return on the investment city leaders have made in providing better customer service. “This continued growth is an endorsement of the livability of our dynamic city and a literal return on the investment that we have made in improved city services, transportation choices, public safety, education quality, school facilities, parks, libraries and in the quality and convenience of our many neighborhoods,” Tregoning said.

Signs of development in the city can be seen in every quadrant. The recent opening of Walmart this year added to the success of the Costco Warehouse last year and showed a continued effort on the part of Gray to bring more jobs into the city. “People are continuing to choose the Washington area to call home because of several factors. While other areas of the nation are emerging from the economic downturn and begun adding jobs, there are greater opportunities for finding a job in the Washington region,” Gray said

The Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) reported that from July 2012 to July 2013, the Washington region added 32,800 jobs of which 13.4 percent were added in the District. From the height of the recession in 2009 to the present, the region’s unemployment rate dropped from 6.5 percent to 5.3 percent. During the same period, the District’s unemployment rate dropped from a high of 10.5 percent to 8.6. The launch of the District’s Five-Year Economic Development Strategy in November 2012, with the goal of growing and diversifying the District’s economy while also preparing the workforce for new employment opportunities, is already bearing fruit. Efforts implemented under the strategy have already yielded 17,500 new jobs, according to the BLS calculations.

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