Sunaina Bakshi Kathpalia

Research Associate
D.C. Policy Center

Sunaina B. Kathpalia served on the D.C. Policy Center staff in the role of Research Associate from 2019 until May 2022. In this role, she provided data analysis and research support across a variety of projects.

Prior to joining the Policy Center in 2019, Sunaina worked for the Urban Institute as a data and research intern, where she focused on launching an open data platform. She has also worked as data analyst intern at the National Institute of Public Finance and Policy.

Sunaina is originally from New Delhi, India, and earned her bachelor’s degree in Mathematics at the University of Chicago.

Written By Sunaina Bakshi Kathpalia

Updated: Database of D.C. Planned Unit Developments (PUDs)

There have been hundreds of PUDs over the past two decades, but the data isn’t particularly well organized. It lives in a series of individual zoning orders and supporting documents — hundreds of PDFs buried within the zoning website. In 2019, contributor Nick Sementelli systematically combed through those documents to build a scannable, sortable database. We are publishing an update to that database to include 92 more recent PUDs.

June 1, 2022 | Sunaina Bakshi Kathpalia

Do residential properties in D.C.’s historic districts outperform the rest of the city in value appreciation?

Residential properties in the District’s historic neighborhoods are generally more expensive than those outside these neighborhoods. But data show that these buildings have underperformed in value appreciation compared to the rest of the city.

April 13, 2022 | Sunaina Bakshi Kathpalia

Chart of the week: A pandemic-induced exodus has broken the District’s population boom

According to data recently released by the U.S. Census Bureau, the District’s population fell by around 3 percent in 2021, to 690,093 – a loss of 20,043 residents. Domestic out-migration, or people moving from D.C. to other parts of the country, is the primary source of this decline. While domestic out-migration has been underway since 2018, over 23,000 residents left the city in 2021, setting a record high of the last two decades.

March 25, 2022 | Sunaina Bakshi Kathpalia

Examining office to residential conversions in the District

Employment centers in the District of Columbia have long been a source of economic activity and city revenue. Office buildings not only bring in businesses that pay corporate franchise taxes, but they also bring in workers, create employment for those who staff these buildings, and support surrounding retail and restaurants. The historically…

October 7, 2021 | Sunaina Bakshi Kathpalia

Births and international in-migration maintain the District’s population 15-year population growth

The U.S. Census Bureau’s recently-released estimates of components of population changes (April 2010 to July 2020) show that the District’s population total rose to 712,816 between 2019 and 2020—a gain 4,563 new residents. This gain is approximately a third of the average annual change seen in the first half of this decade….

June 24, 2021 | Sunaina Bakshi Kathpalia

Detailed data show the full picture of jobs retained by PPP loans in the District

In response to a Freedom of Information Act lawsuit, on December 1, 2020, the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) released additional details regarding the loans received through the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP), including recipient names as well as exact loan amounts. In contrast, the previous disclosure included only loan ranges for loans…

December 16, 2020 | Sunaina Bakshi Kathpalia

District residents are beginning to rejoin the labor force

New data released by the District of Columbia Department of Employment Services (DOES) show that between May and July, D.C. saw a slight growth in its labor force and employment, as well as a marginal decrease in unemployment. Between May and July, labor force participation increased by 5,300 workers over age 16…

September 8, 2020 | Sunaina Bakshi Kathpalia

Paycheck Protection Program in D.C.: Hard-hit industries receive a smaller share of loans

From its conception, the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) attracted a lot of attention. The PPP loans were thought of as lifelines for small businesses that have taken large losses from the pandemic-induced economic shocks. By providing sums of money to cash-strapped businesses, PPP loans were intended to allow small businesses to keep their employees on the payroll. Importantly, it was advertised that businesses that could demonstrate need and spend the loans mainly on preserving they employees would be able to convert these loans into grants.

August 19, 2020 | Sunaina Bakshi Kathpalia

Labor force participation continues to decline in the District

According to preliminary data released by the D.C. Department Employment Services, the District’s labor force declined by 15,000 between April and May, in addition to a 18,000 decline between March and April, and now stands at 387,500. Between April and May, 2,300 residents lost their jobs, and employment fell to 353,200. The…

July 14, 2020 | Sunaina Bakshi Kathpalia

How many small businesses are in D.C.?

Recently, many people were surprised that much of the “small business relief” in the federal CARES Act was received by large publicly owned companies. While later guidance from the U.S. Treasury clarified that these types of businesses were not the intended target of the program, and many national chains have returned their…

May 5, 2020 | Sunaina Bakshi Kathpalia

COVID-19: At-risk populations in the District

With the  novel coronavirus continuing to spread across the nation, the impacts have been uneven, both in terms of who is more likely to be exposed to the virus, and in terms of who is most likely to experience serious complications. These high-risk groups include adults over 65 years of age, as…

April 27, 2020 | Sunaina Bakshi Kathpalia

The District’s population grows for the 14th year in a row, but at a weaker rate

According to the latest population estimates released by the Census Bureau, D.C.’s population grew by just 4,202 residents last year, which is only 37 percent of the average annual growth since 2010. Almost all of this net growth—91 percent—is due to natural growth, or the number of births minus the number of…

April 15, 2020 | Sunaina Bakshi Kathpalia