To understand what it looks like
to grow up in DC we start with


Population by Age

The population of children is growing at a faster rate than the overall DC population.

  • DC’s population of children increased 16% from 105,291 in 2013’s five-year-average to 121,737 in 2018’s five-year average.
  • DC’s population of young adults ages 18-24 shrank during the same period, from roughly 83,773 to 75,780.

197,517 Children and Young Adults Reside in DC

Race & Equity

Children Under 5







Population by Race

Children continue to reflect the “Chocolate City” moniker, but just barely.

  • While a majority of children are Black, the share of Black children has declined in DC over the last five years to 57%.
  • One in four DC children have at least one parent who was born abroad.
  • DC’s population of 18- to 24-year-olds has similar demographics to the overall population. DC’s young adults are less Black (45%) and Latinx (10%), and more white (37%), than DC’s population of children younger than 18.

DC Children’s Black Majority is Shrinking

Equality versus Equity

When you advocate for equality, you settle for less. In other words, if the starting points are staggered and children and young people are given the same kind of resources, the outcome will still be equally staggered because not everyone came from the same place.

Read More
Population by Ward

Where DC’s children live.

  • Wards 7 and 8 are home to more than one-third of DC’s children.
  • Ward 6 saw significant population increases for young children. Wards 2, 4, 5, 7, and 8 also saw steady annual increases in children under age 5.
  • DC’s Latinx child population has grown in every ward. Latinx children are clustered, with more than half living in wards 1 and 4. However, the increase in the number of Latinx children is actually bigger in ward 3 than ward 1 with sizeable percentage increases in wards 2 and 8 as well.

DC Children Living in Each Ward

Find more information about all the demographic measures in our data references section.

Real Stories

As leaders in public policy and advocacy on behalf of children and youth, we pledge our continued commitment to use data-driven analysis and the lived experience of parents and young people to inform the creation of policies and programs that break down structural barriers and allow every young person to reach their full potential.