A Gold Mine of Information About Our Community

Published on May 14, 2019

Cover-e1557779215842.jpg Do you know how many veterans live in Arlington? Or how many people rent versus own their homes?

What about the number of languages spoken by students in Arlington Public Schools? Or how many people take transit or bike to work? Have you ever wondered how many square feet of new development is under construction in the County?

The questions you can answer by thumbing through Arlington's 2019 County Profile are many. For more than three decades, our Department of Community Planning, Housing and Development (CPHD) has compiled this annual report highlighting the latest data and statistics on population, housing, employment, development, transportation, community resources and more.
EXPLORE ONLINE: Arlington's 2019 County Profile

It's all part of making information about Arlington readily available so that anyone who lives, works, plays or does business here can know more about who we are and how we live.

The data come from over 25 different sources. One main one is the U.S. Census Bureau, which conducts a nationwide population count every 10 years, as well as more detailed community-based surveys in the years in between. We also gather data from various local, regional and other national sources, and conduct our own data collection and analysis.

RELATED: Arlington County Kicks Off 2020 Census Season

Anyone familiar with the County Profile will notice a few big changes this year — an all-new look, more data broken down in more ways, and new interactive, online components for easier digital access and exploration.

So, what does the 2019 County Profile tell us about Arlington? Below are a few things we found interesting. Look for yourself and see what else you learn!

Arlington's population is rising slowly but steadily


If you lived in Arlington in 1980, you had about 153,000 fellow Arlingtonians you could call your neighbors. Today, that number is up to 226,000. That amounts to growth of nearly 50 percent over the last four decades, or about 1 percent per year.

Arlington's population has grown at about 1% per year, starting at 152,599 in 1980 and climbing to 207,627 in 2010.

Recently, the County has added population through both new births and people moving into the County. In one recent year, the County added about 2,200 residents through natural causes (3,000 births minus 800 deaths) and about 2,500 through net in-migration (30,500 moving in minus 28,000 moving out).

In 2016, the greatest net out-migration of residents from Arlington was to Fairfax County (2,316) and Alexandria (735). The main source of net in-migration was from DC (796).

A few other population-related stats:

  • About 1 in 5 Arlingtonians were born outside the U.S.

  • Arlington is home to more than 12,000 civilian veterans.

  • Arlington's "daytime" population — counting people traveling here to work — swells to more than 300,000.

  • Students in Arlington Public Schools speak 107 languages.


Half of residents live in less than a quarter of the County's land area


Arlington has long embraced Smart Growth principles in planning for new development. These principles are enshrined in the County's General Land Use Plan — or GLUP — which has guided development for more than half a century.

In 2019, 51 percent of Arlingtonians lived in one of the County's three Planning Corridors, areas designated for continued growth. Those corridors occupy just 22 percent of the County's land area. That means more efficient use of land and public infrastructure, including water and sewer systems and transportation facilities.

51% of Arlington's population lives in one of the County's three Plannign Corridors, which occupy just 22% of the land area.

A few other development-related stats:

  • High-density, transit-oriented planning corridors are home to 3 times the concentration of people age 25-34 than the nation as a whole.

  • 6 in 10 Arlingtonians rent their home, while 4 in 10 own.

  • 22 percent of Arlington households are households with children.

  • In 2018, 1.2 million square feet of office, retail and other non-residential development was under construction or approved for construction.


Less than half of Arlingtonians drive alone to work


Multimodal transportation is a hallmark of Arlington's strategic Smart Growth approach to development. Having a variety of transportation options means that not everyone will hop in a car for every trip, helping to reduce traffic on our streets and roads.

With all that infrastructure in place — and plenty of job opportunities nearby — nearly 6 in 10 Arlingtonians use a mode of transportation other than driving alone to get to work.

Looking at weekly commute trips by mode, 44.7% of commuters drive alone, 28.8% take the train, 12.8% take the bus, 5.7% bike, 4.6% walk, and 3.4% carpool or vanpool.

The most popular mode is Metro, which nearly 1 in 3 workers use to get to work. In the dense Route 1 corridor, which is well served by transit, half of people take the train, and less than a quarter drive.

A few other transportation-related stats:

  • 55 percent of Arlingtonians live within 1 mile of a Metro station.

  • 5.7 percent of Arlingtonians bike to work.

  • Arlingtonians traveled more than half a million miles via Capital Bikeshare in 2018.

  • 98 percent of residents live within a 10-minute walk to a park.


More growth is on the way through 2045


The 2019 Profile ends on a forward-looking note, highlighting forecasts of population and job growth over the next quarter century.

Those forecast show that our population will crack 300,000 by 2045, that we'll add another 30,000 or more housing units to accommodate that growth, and that 60,000 more jobs will be located here.

85% of Arlington's population growth through 2045 is forecast to occur in the County's three planning corridors.

Where will it all go? The vast majority of population growth — 85 percent — is forecast to occur in the three Planning Corridors, especially Route 1 and Columbia Pike. Most of the jobs are likely to locate in these areas, as well.

The challenge will be to find creative ways for more people to live, work and travel more efficiently in our community.

See what else you can learn! Visit the County website to download the 2019 County Profile or use the interactive version.