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Washington DC: How the Population in Our Nation's Capital has Evolved Following the Pandemic

Caroline Wu
Jun 2, 2023
Washington DC: How the Population in Our Nation's Capital has Evolved Following the Pandemic

Using one of's newer tools – Migration Trends – we are able to run a market analysis for any CBSA or DMA to better understand overall population growth, top net origins, and top destinations. Washington, DC is a market that we've received some questions about the past several weeks, so we thought we'd take a closer look at how the is population trending, where people are coming from, and where they are moving to.

Over the past 4 years, DC saw its lowest population in April 2020, but since then has seen some ups and downs, with the most recent few quarters surpassing 2019 population.  

The greatest number of new Washingtonians in the past 12 months are coming from MA, CA, and NY.  In terms of where they’re going, many are not moving too far - the top 2 destinations are nearby Alexandria City, VA and Arlington County, VA followed by two counties in Maryland.  

It does appear that this influx into DC is helping the 14th St Retail Corridor a bit as traffic is up year-over-year.

Looking at specific restaurants on 14th St, we see that indeed wining and dining are back compared to last year.  Colada Shop, a Cuban bar-cafe combo, performed exceedingly well in the winter months with its vibrant mix of coffees, cocktails, and light bites such as the Havana Ooh La La, which is an appetizer platter of empanadas, croquetas, house plantain chips with mojo black bean dip, and brownie bites.  Of late, Chicken + Whiskey, which serves a delicious pollo a la brasa and over 99 whiskeys, is hitting the spot.

Compared to pre-pandemic, Yo4Y visitation to the Mall at Prince George’s increased in the winter months and declined only slightly other months.  The other locations have not yet recovered to pre-pandemic foot traffic levels.

One of the reasons that the Mall at Prince George’s may be seeing steadier/improved foot traffic is due to the influx of residents from counties with higher median HHI, such as Montgomery County and Howard County, MD.  The average median HHI in Prince George’s County, MD is $87K.  The mall is also in close proximity to University of MD.

Examining the shift in segments using Experian Mosaic also reveals some interesting trends.  In addition to an overall increase in visitors to the mall, we also see that there is now a higher proportion of Singles and Starters, Cultural Connections, and Family Union (blue bar charts) compared to four years prior (red bar charts).

The Mall at Prince George’s has also been climbing up slowly but steadily in rankings compared to some of its competitors.  Within a local 15-mile radius, it has gone from 5th ranked in 2019 to 4th in 2023.  Nationwide, it has shot up from #264 of 602 super-regional malls to #187.

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Caroline Wu

Director of Research,

Caroline brings expertise in retail, CRE, entertainment, media, CPG, and tourism, and specializes in synthesizing broad datasets into actionable recommendations for growth. She has worked as the US Director of Consumer Insights at Unibail-Rodamco-Westfield, VP of Retail Insights and Intelligence at Omnicom, and Senior Director at Kantar. Caroline holds an MA in Sociology from Stanford University and a BA in International Relations from Stanford University.

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