DC.Gov Home

How D.C.’s neighborhoods have changed since 2002

Monday, February 23, 2015 - 4:45pm

Last week we looked at the types of families living in different neighborhoods in 2013. Today we see how the mix of families in neighborhoods has changed since 2002.

The maps below show that in neighborhoods east of Rock Creek Park, childless singles became a larger share of tax filers while singles with dependents shrank compared to other family types. The biggest changes happened in neighborhoods close to the eastern end of downtown, like Shaw, Bloomingdale, Chinatown, NoMa, and H Street. In these neighborhoods the share of childless singles rose by double-digits and the portion of households consisting of singles with dependents decreased by double-digits.

We see a different story in neighborhoods west of Rock Creek Park. There, the share of taxpayers who were childless singles remained about the same, and even decreased in the far western corner of the District (which includes neighborhoods like AU Park, Spring Valley, Tenleytown, and Cathedral Heights). Meanwhile, there were no significant changes in the share of singles with dependents west of the park.

How do married couples fit into this picture? People who were married with no dependents became a larger share of households in neighborhoods close to downtown, like Adams Morgan, U Street, Shaw, Logan Circle, and H Street. Married people with dependents became a larger share of households in neighborhoods adjacent to the eastern end of downtown–like Capitol Hill and H Street–as well as farther-out neighborhoods in Northwest, like Foxhall, Palisades, and Spring Valley.

Some people might be surprised to see that neighborhoods like Petworth saw virtually no change in the share of taxpayers who were married with dependents. In fact, the number of married people with dependents around Petworth (zip 20011) did increase, but the share stayed about the same since so many more childless singles moved into the area.

This is a lot of information to digest. To get a better sense of neighborhood-by-neighborhood changes, we created the tool below. It shows you the mix of families in different D.C. zip codes in 2002 and 2013. Click on the graph below to access the tool.

Click here or on the graph below to see changes by neighborhood

What exactly is this data? We used data on people filing local income taxes in D.C. in 2001 and 2012. The addresses listed on this data will typically reflect where people lived in 2002 and 2013. “Childless singles” are people who filed as single and claimed no dependents. “Married with dependents” refers to people who filed as married on the same return and claimed dependents. “Married with no dependents” refers to people who filed as married on the same return and clamied no dependents. “Singles with dependents” are people who filed as heads of household and claimed dependents. We excluded all other types of filers (domestic partners, dependents filing taxes, people with dependents who file as single instead of head of household) from our analysis.