Non-Hispanic blacks are on the verge of losing their majority in the District of Columbia as their population is being pushed out to the south and east of the city while the central city becomes increasingly diverse and whites concentrate in the western half of the District, new census data show.
|District by the numbers|
|D.C.'s total population increased to 601,723.|
|2010 population||Share||Change from 2000|
|Non-Hispanic whites||209,464||34.8%||+50,286 (+31.6%)|
|Non-Hispanic blacks||301,053||50.0%||-39,035 (-11.5%)|
|Non-Hispanic Asians||20,818||3.5%||+5,779 (+38.4%)|
|Hispanic or Latino||54,749||9.1%||+9,796 (+21.8%)|
|Total population||Share of D.C.||Change from 2000|
|Ward 1||76,197||12.7%||+2,833 (+3.9%)|
|Ward 2||79,915||13.3%||+11,046 (+16.0%)|
|Ward 3||77,152||12.8%||+3,434 (+4.7%)|
|Ward 4||75,773||12.6%||+594 (+0.8%)|
|Ward 5||74,308||12.3%||+2,868 (+4.0%)|
|Ward 6||76,598||12.7%||8,563 (+12.6%)|
|Ward 7||71,068||11.8%||+541 (+0.8%)|
|Ward 8||70,712||11.8%||-215 (-0.3%)|
|Source: U.S. Census Bureau|
Non-Hispanic black residents have dropped by more than 39,000 people and now account for just 50 percent of D.C.'s population. By comparison, non-Hispanic blacks comprised 70 percent of the District's population at the peak of expansion in 1980, according to Benjamin Orr, a Brookings Institution research analyst. Meanwhile white, Asian and Hispanic populations are all on the rise.
The shift follows a trend seen in other cities, especially in the north, of blacks leaving urban environments while other races' populations grow.
Orr said the District's decreasing black population has been declining for decades. But the speed at which it fell over the last 10 years surprised some demographers, he said.
"All the development ... combines to increase the cost of living in the District," Orr said. "Which is fine for households that can afford it but it causes others to make tough choices about whether to move out of the District."
Meanwhile, non-Hispanic whites now account for 35 percent of the city's total 601,723 residents, an increase of nearly one-third since 2000. More than half of the group lives in two wards that encompass downtown, Foggy Bottom, Georgetown and Friendship Heights. The neighborhoods are also home to more than half the city's Asian population, which increased significantly but totals just 3.5 percent of residents.
To the east, 62 percent of the city's blacks live across the Anacostia River and in Northeast D.C. Hispanics and Latinos increased to 9.1 percent of the population and live mostly in the center and northern neck of D.C. in the city's most diverse wards.
In Ward 4 along the upper 16th Street corridor and Georgia Avenue neighborhoods, whites make up slightly less than half the population, blacks account for one-third and Hispanics account for one-fifth. Ward 1, home to Adams Morgan and Columbia Heights, is nearly 60 percent white with the remaining 40 percent divided nearly evenly between blacks and Hispanics.
The census did not break down the demographics about specific wards into non-Hispanic populations.