Projecting the population of the Washington area

Projecting the population of the Washington area

Traffic seems worse every day. The entire metro area looks like one big construction site. We read reports that the population of the Washington area is projected to grow substantially in the next 25 years. And now George Mason University (GMU) has come out with a report that the number of residents leaving the Washington area is growing. How can that be?

The overall population of Greater Washington grew by 63,793 from July 1, 2014 to June 30, 2015. But all the increase was from births and international immigration. In domestic migration, 27,900 more people moved away than moved here.

The Washington Business Journal talked to Terry Clower, director of GMUês Center on Regional Analysis, to find out why. The bottom line: The area economy has been sluggish (government shutdowns donêt help) and the Washington area is a very expensive place to live, especially when it comes to child care and housing.

Clower cites GMU research showing that the region must wean itself off its dependence on federal jobs. If the economy becomes substantially more diversified, 400,000 jobs could be added in the next 10 years. The areaês population could grow by 14 percent through 2025 instead of the 4 percent increase that would occur if nothing changed.

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