Arlington County and the Region: Highlights From the 2000 Census



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This report highlights the most recently released information from the 2000 Census for Arlington County and other Washington, DC, area jurisdictions. Detailed tables and graphs are attached. The data presented in this report are primarily from the 2000 Census Summary File 3 (SF3) that was released for Arlington and neighboring jurisdictions at the end of May. The SF3 contains sample data that are based on answers to the questions on the long-form Census questionnaire. The SF3 tables present information on social characteristics (e.g., educational attainment, place of birth); economic characteristics (e.g., employment status, income, poverty); and housing characteristics (e.g., number of units in structure, monthly rent and mortgage). Currently, SF3 data is available at the County level only. Data for County sub-areas (e.g., Census tracts, zip codes) will be available later this summer.

For more Arlington County demographic data, please see the 2000 Census Highlights: Overview (PDF Format) report issued by the Planning Research and Analysis Team in February 2002. This report, along with the County PROFILE and additional Census data, is available on Arlington County's Census Data web site.


Population Arlington County's population grew from 170,936 in 1990 to 189,453 in 2000, an increase of 10.8 percent. With the exception of Prince Georges County, all of the suburban jurisdictions in the metropolitan Washington, DC, area experienced faster population growth in the 1990s. Not surprisingly, the populations of the outer Northern Virginia suburbs increased much faster than the regions inner suburbs. Loudoun County grew by 96.9 percent and Prince William County grew by 30.2 percent. The District of Columbia lost population during the decade, declining by 5.7 percent.  View data.

Race and Hispanic Origin In 2000, about 69 percent of Arlington County's population was white, compared with 59.8 percent of Alexandria's population and 69.9 percent of Fairfax County's population. Prince Georges County had the highest proportion of black or African-American residents (62.7%) and Loudoun County had the lowest proportion of black or African-American residents (6.9%). The largest concentrations of Asian Americans were in Fairfax County (13.1%) and Montgomery County (11.3%). Arlington County has the highest proportion of Hispanic or Latino residents among the Washington, DC, jurisdictions. In 2000, nearly one-fifth of Arlington's residents were Hispanic (18.6%).  View data. 

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Age Among the Washington, DC, area jurisdictions, Arlington County had the smallest proportion of residents under 18 years old in 2000 (16.5%). The highest concentration of children in the region was in Prince William County, where more than 30 percent of residents were under 18. Arlington County had the highest percentage of elderly residents compared with other Northern Virginia jurisdictions (9.4%). In Montgomery County, 11.2 percent of residents were age 65 or older and in the District of Columbia, 12.2 percent of residents were age 65 or older.  View data.

Educational Attainment All of the metropolitan Washington, DC, jurisdictions have a much higher proportion of residents with bachelors degrees, compared with the national average. Arlington County's residents are among the most well-educated in the nation. Compared to the area jurisdictions, Arlington County had the highest percentage of residents with a bachelors degree or higher in 2000 (60.3%). This percentage is an increase over the 1990 figure of 52.3 percent. In addition, over 30 percent of Arlingtonians held a graduate or professional degree in 2000, up from 24.0 percent in 1990.  View data.  

Marital Status Home to a large number of people in their 20s and early 30s, Arlington County had the highest proportion of never-married individuals among the area Virginia and Maryland jurisdictions (41.7%). In the District of Columbia, 48.4 percent of residents have never been married. Loudoun County had the highest proportion of married people (65.3%) and the District of Columbia had the largest fraction of divorced or separated individuals (34.1%).  View data.  

Residence in 1995 Arlington County residents are among the most geographically mobile people in the Washington, DC, metropolitan area. About 57 percent of Arlingtonians had lived in the County for 5 years or more at the time of the 2000 Census, meaning 43.5 percent had moved into the County in the previous 5 years. Only Alexandria and Loudoun County residents were more mobile, with 47.7 percent and 43.6 percent of residents, respectively, moving into the city or county in the previous 5 years.  View data.

Disability Status About 14 percent of Arlington County's working-age population (21 to 64 years old) had a disability in 2000, compared with 13.4 percent in Alexandria, 11.7 percent in Fairfax County, and 21.9 percent in the District of Columbia. (Disability data for 2000 are not directly comparable with the 1990 Census.)View data.  

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Language Spoken at Home and Place of Birth Indicative of the racial and ethnic diversity of its population, Arlington County had the highest proportion of residents who speak a language other than English (33.1%). In 1990, the comparable figure was 25.2 percent. The majority of non-English speakers spoke Spanish at home. In Alexandria and Fairfax County, 30.0 percent of individuals spoke a language other than English at home.

Also related to ethnic and racial diversity is the number of foreign-born residents. Arlington County had the highest percentage of foreign-born residents of any of the Washington, DC, area jurisdictions (27.8%). In fact, in Arlington County the foreign-born population increased 4 times faster than the overall population between 1990 and 2000. Montgomery County had the second largest proportion of foreign-born residents (26.7%). Only 12.9 percent of District of Columbia residents were foreign born. View data.  

Commuting to Work and Number of Vehicles While the number of workers using public transportation for commuting dropped slightly between 1990 and 2000, use of public transit was more prevalent in Arlington County than in any other jurisdiction except the District of Columbia. Almost one-quarter of Arlington's workers used public transportation to get to work. Loudoun County residents were least likely to ride transit-only 1.5 percent reported using public transportation for their commute. Prince William County residents were most likely to carpool (18.8%). After the District of Columbia, Arlington County households were most likely to have no vehicles-12.4 percent reported having no vehicle in 2000. Almost 50 percent of Arlington households had 1 car, 29.6 percent had 2 cars, and 9.7 percent had 3 or more cars. Prince William County has the most cars per household-fully one-quarter of households had 3 or more cars. The District of Columbia is home to the most vehicle-free households (39.6%).View data.  

Labor Force and Employment About three-quarters of Arlington County's population was in the labor force in 2000 (i.e., were working or actively seeking work). According to the 2000 Census, 2.0 percent of Arlington residents were unemployed, lower than the rates in all other jurisdictions except Fairfax County (1.9%) and Loudoun County (1.6%). Prince William County had the largest percentage of residents in the Armed Forces (3.9%), while Arlington County had the second highest proportion (2.2%).  View data.  

Income and Poverty Status Median household income in Arlington County increased by 41.3 percent between 1990 and 2000; median family income increased by 42.5 percent. The highest incomes in the area were in Fairfax County, where the median household income was $81,050 and the median family income was $92,146. In Arlington County, the median household income was $63,001 and the median family income was $78,877. In 2000, Arlington County had the highest per capita money income in the region ($37,706) which is primarily a result of the large number of households in the County that do not have children.

Arlington County's overall poverty rate increased slightly between 1990 and 2000. In 2000, 5.0 percent of Arlington County families and 9.1 percent of Arlington's children lived in poverty. The highest poverty rates in the region were in the District of Columbia where 16.7 percent of families and 31.1 percent of children lived in poverty. (The poverty threshold for a family of four in 2000 was $17,603.)  View data.  

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Home Value and Rent The Washington, DC, region is a relatively expensive place to live and Arlington County has among the highest home values and rents in the area. Almost three-quarters of homes in Arlington County were valued at $200,000 or more; 37.0 percent were worth $300,000 or more; and 7.8 percent were worth $500,000 or more in 2000. The least expensive homes were in Prince William County where 72.9 percent were valued at less than $200,000.

About 60 percent of Arlington residents paid less than $1,000 per month in rent. However, along with Fairfax County, Arlington had the highest proportion of renters paying $1,500 or more per month in rent (12.3%). The District of Columbia had the lowest rents-30.5 percent of renters paid less than $500 per month.  View data.  

Type of Residence Just over 30 percent of housing units in Arlington were single-family, detached houses and another 11.4 percent were townhouses or duplexes. Arlington County had a relatively high proportion of housing units in 3-4 unit buildings (4.9%) and Arlington also had the highest proportion of residences 20+ unit buildings in the region (37.1%). Loudoun County was home to the largest percentage of single-family detached houses (57.3%).View data.

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Last Modified: April 14, 2014
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