Statistics and Demographics
Alexandria Official Census Population Estimate 139,966 as of April 1, 2010.
The most recent official Census Bureau estimate of the population of the City of Alexandria is 139,966 as of April 1, 2010, from the 2010 Census complete count. This count was published on February 3, 2011. Historic Census data and forecasts of future population, households and employment are included in the City's most recent Statistical Profile, linked below.
Previous estimates published by the Census Bureau indicated a population as high as 150,006 in 2009. The new count does not indicate a decline since 2009, but is an indication that the 2009 estimate was more than the City's actual population at that time. Intercensal estimates are based on secondary data and a small sample of the population, and in general cannot be as accurate as the complete Census counts. The City still needs to verify that the 2010 Census count is accurate based on City information on housing construction, occupancy and other factors.
Census 2010 Data
The first data from Census 2010 for Alexandria was released on February 3, 2011. Citywide demographic profiles were released in May. Summary File 1, the major data release on the total population at the tract, block group and block level, was released on July 21, 2011. Additional maps and data at the citywide, tract and block level based on these releases will be linked or posted here as the data becomes available.
- Alexandria 2010 Census Data Profile. February, 2012. A profile of the city in 2010 prepared by city staff based on a variety of U.S. Census sources is now available for on-line viewing or downloading. Based on the 2010 U.S. Census, 2006-2010 American Community Survey 5-year average data by census tract, and the 2010 American Community Survey, the report includes comparisons to the City in 2000 and earlier, to surrounding areas including the Washington, D.C. metropolitan area, and to the U.S as a whole. Data on population and race dating from the first U.S. Census in 1790 is included. The report outlines the important and continuing influence of the postwar baby boom on growth and change in the U.S. and the city. Recent changes in race and ethnicity within the city are mapped. The report includes data on income, education, housing tenancy, ancestry, commuting, disability, foreign-born population, geographic mobility, and many other characteristics that help define the Alexandria of today.
- Census 2010 Comparative Demographic Profiles (PDF file) for Alexandria, the region, Virginia and the U.S.
This 8-page table compares Census 2010 demographic profiles released in May, 2011 for Alexandria, Arlington County, Fairfax County, the Washington, D. C. metropolitan region, the state of Virginia, and the United States. Selected comparable data for Alexandria from the 2000 Census is also provided.
The data indicate that the City has grown about 9.1% in total population since 2000, consistent with the City's long-term growth of about 1% per year since 1960. The housing count indicates that the City's average household size has remained approximately constant since 2000.
The 2010 race and ethnicity data does not show dramatic changes in the city's overall racial and ethnic makeup since 2000. When viewed at the tract level, however, both the Hispanic and Black or African American populations have changed in their concentration and distribution within the city. The Hispanic population has grown about twice as fast as the citywide total, reaching 16.1% of the total in 2010. The Black and African American population has grown a little more than half as fast as the total, declining to 21.8% of the total in 2010. The Asian population has grown faster than the overall average, reaching 6% of the total in 2010.
While the number of vacant housing units and the vacancy rate show a significant increase from 2000, the City's vacancy rate varies cyclically between census periods, and was at an unusually low rate at the time of the 2000 Census. More than half of Alexandria's housing units are rentals, and the 5.9% vacancy rate observed at the time of the 2010 census is within the range of vacancy rates that is consistent with a healthy housing market in which units are generally available but not staying vacant for long periods of time.
This graph compares Alexandria's population in 5-year age groups with similar data for the United States, and for Alexandria in the year 2000. The data values for this graph are all found in the Comparative Demographic Profiles table listed just above.
The U.S. population profile (the gray bars in the graph) shows a population relatively evenly distributed among the 5-year age categories up through age 59, with only about one percentage point separating the largest and smallest groups. Between 6.4% and 7.4% of total population is in each if these groups nationwide.
Alexandria's age profile is dramatically different from the nationwide profile because of its central location within the Washington, D.C. metropolitan region, the nature of its housing stock because of that location, and and its relation to transportation corridors and employment centers:
- Alexandria has approximately half the U.S. average share of population in the age 10 to 14 and 15 to 19 groups in middle and high-school years. Families with school-age children often choose more house and yard rather than proximity to employment, are unlikely to choose to locate in inner suburbs, and may even relocate out of places like Alexandria for this period of their lives. Alexandria's school-age population has declined as a percentage of the total population since 2000, though in absolute numbers, this age group has slightly increased.
- The City has nearly double the typical share in the 25 to 29 and 30 to 34 year groups, which include singles and young families early in their careers when they tend to be renters, to relocate frequently with changes in income and household structure, and to locate near transportation corridors providing access to employment and urban activity centers. Typical of inner and middle suburbs in metropolitan areas, Alexandria has a greater share of rental housing than the national average, attracting this young and mobile population group.
A coming permanent shift to a new and stable age distribution in the United States. The percentage of total population in the over-70 group in Alexandria has declined since 2000, while the share in the 60-to-70 group has increased significantly. This change reflects the national population structure by age, as the initial group of post-World War II baby boomers reached age 65. Based on the almost uniform distribution of population among age groups in the U.S. below age 60, the aging of the population over the next 20 years will complete a lasting shift in the age distribution of the total population that began in the 1940s, and that should persist indefinitely unless modified by migration or significant (and not now anticipated) changes in mortality or fertility.
The City's age distribution should continue to reflect household market choices based on the City's location in the region. High prices for single-family homes combined with a large number of apartments and condominiums convenient to regional transportation will influence location choice. This combination is expected to continue to result in a relatively low share of school-age children, and a high share of young people and singles locating near employment and transportation corridors.
This table summarizes the first data release from the 2010 Census, the initial redistricting data for the City as a whole, and compares this data to similar data from the 2000 Census.
This page provides PDF copies of presentations including demographic information, trends and forecasts.
- May 18, 2012. People, Place, Change. Presentation by Planning Director Faroll Hamer to Alexandria Library staff on Library Staff Day. Covers recent changes in the demographics of the city, and trends shaping the future.
- April 24, 2012. Census 2010 Data Profile. Presentation to City Council summarizing population, economic, housing, commuting and other information from recent releases of additional information from the 2010 Census and the 2006-2010 American Community Survey 5-year average data. The complete report on which the presentation is based can be found here.
- February 22, 2011. Census 2010 Redistricting Data Briefing. Presentation to City Council. This briefing also includes a comparison of the City to other jurisdictions in the region and to the nation as a whole based on information from the 2005-2009 5-year American Community Survey average data.
Return to Demographics main page