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The United States Census Bureau has released its 2014-15 population analysis and has found Washington, D.C. is the 14th fastest-growing city in the United States.
Between July of 2014 and July of 2015, the population in the District of Columbia grew by 12,392 people, reaching a total population of 672,228. In terms of year-over-year population growth, D.C. just barely edged out San Francisco (12,279) to claim the #15 spot.
By sheer numbers, New York had the largest population gain, adding 55,211 new residents over the same time period. The top five cities were rounded out by Houston, Los Angeles, San Antonio, and Phoenix, in that order.
Social scientists argue, however, that the best way to measure population growth is as a percentage change. In that metric, a suburb of Austin, Texas, known as Georgetown City, took the top spot with a 7.8% population growth between 2014 and 2015. That brought Georgetown City's total population to 63,716. While that city is much smaller than the other cities on the list, such a large percentage population increase can speak to overall trends for the Austin, Texas, area.
With these numbers being two to three years ago, we will have to wait a little while longer for the Census Bureau to release its findings for 2017. With control of the federal government being transferred from one party to another in January of 2017, some expect to see pretty neutral population growth in Washington, D.C. this year as Democrats and Obama administration officials are largely replaced by their Republican counterparts.
Washington, D.C. recently hit a 40-year population high, but one noticeable trend is that these population gains were almost exclusively the result of people moving into the District. With rental prices for a one-bedroom apartment in Washington, D.C. sitting at more than twice the national average, many people who live in D.C. can't afford to raise a family there.
Another important detail to note is that these census numbers refer exclusively to the District of Columbia and do not include population gains in commuter suburbs in Maryland and Virginia. No cities in Maryland or Virginia were included in the Census Bureau's rankings, leading many to wonder whether the population in the D.C. metro area is really growing as fast as some suggest.