Brief State of Immigrants in the District of Columbia
Data Profiles of Immigrants from Latin America, Asia, Africa, and the Caribbean
Peter A. Tatian, Sara McTarnaghan, Olivia Arena, Yipeng Su
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This brief focuses on immigrants in Washington, DC, to help the mayor’s office and its partners better understand and serve DC’s immigrant community. The total immigrant population in the DC metropolitan area has increased tenfold from 130,000 in 1970 to 1.3 million today, according to the 2012–16 American Community Survey. Most of that growth has been in the DC suburbs. Nevertheless, the city’s immigrant population has grown steadily, from 33,600 to 95,400, between 1970 and 2016. Though immigrants represented only 4 percent of the city in 1970, immigrants make up 15 percent of DC’s population today and have contributed to the demographic, economic, and cultural growth of our nation’s capital. The brief highlights Latinos, Asians and Pacific Islanders, Africans, and Caribbean islanders, which collectively represent three in four immigrants living in DC. Additionally, in the fact sheets below, we present data on demographics, economic opportunity, education, health, and housing.

Research Areas Neighborhoods, cities, and metros Immigration Greater DC
Tags Immigrant access to the safety net Immigrants and the economy Immigrant children, families, and communities Washington, DC, research initiative
Policy Centers Metropolitan Housing and Communities Policy Center
Cities Washington-Arlington-Alexandria, DC-VA-MD-WV