Chart of the Week: The most recent population numbers in three charts 

December 22, 2023
  • Daniel Burge
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On December 19th, the United States Census Bureau released its Vintage 2023 population estimates. Between July 1, 2022 and July 1, 2023, the District’s population grew by 1.2 percent (7th fastest across all states) to reach 678,972. D.C. bucked the national trend on this front—population growth for the nation was only 0.5 percent.  

Interesting insights can be gleaned from analyzing the components of the population growth. First, the District continued to experience domestic outmigration, but at a much slower rate. In 2022, 4,917 more people moved out of D.C. to other states than those who moved in (0.7 percent of the previous year’s population). In 2023, net domestic outmigration was down to 1,509 (0.2 percent of the previous year’s population). Despite this loss of people to other states, the total net migration to D.C. was positive, at 5,460, (0.8 percent of the previous year’s population) thanks to 6,969 net new residents who moved to D.C. from outside the United States.1

Births fell from 8,399 to 7,627, or by 772 from 2022 to 2023—which constitutes a 9 percent decline from 2022. But natural growth (births minus deaths) remained positive (2,607) because fewer people died. Natural growth was lower than in 2022 and constituted a smaller share of the population (0.38 percent of the population in 2023 compared to 0.42 percent in 2022). 

These numbers are certainly a bright spot. We look forward to digging into the details, specifically to better understand what is driving the strong immigration to D.C., and why births are declining.  

Data Notes:  

The data used in this analysis can be found here


  1. International migration is the movement between the United States (50 states and the District of Columbia) and abroad. When estimating this figure, the U.S. Census Bureau excludes commuters, tourists and business visitors but includes immigrants, temporary migrants and the U.S.-born moving between the United States and foreign countries, movers between the United States and Puerto Rico, and deployed U.S. military personnel overseas.


Daniel Burge

Director of the Alice M. Rivlin Initiative for Economic Policy & Competitiveness
D.C. Policy Center

Daniel Burge is the Director of the Alice M. Rivlin Initiative for Economic Policy & Competitiveness. Before joining the team at the D.C. Policy Center in late October of 2023, Daniel worked at the Center for Washington Area Studies at George Washington University. He performed data analysis for a report on mortgage market trends in the Capital Region and co-authored a policy brief on property tax lien sales. Daniel has published work in The Washington Post and Greater Greater Washington. He received his BA from the University of Puget Sound, his PhD in American history from Boston University, and his MPP (Master of Public Policy) from George Washington University.

You can reach Daniel at