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


Population by Age

While DC’s overall population has started to grown again after decreasing during the pandemic, the number of children is decreasing.

  • DC’s population of children decreased very slightly from roughly 124,600 in 2017 to 124,200 in 2022 (the most recent single-year estimates).
  • DC’s population of young adults ages 18-24 shrank during the same period, from roughly 74,800 to 68,300.

194,569 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 54% (roughly 67,300 children).
  • 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 adult population is whiter than DC’s children: 42% are Black, 10% are Latinx, and 39% are white.

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.

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Population by Ward

Where DC’s children live.

  • Wards 7 and 8 are home to more than one-third of DC’s children.
  • DC’s Latinx child population has grown in every ward but wards 1 and 3. Latinx children are clustered, with over half living in wards 1 and 4 and almost two-thirds living in wards 1, 4, and 5.

DC Children Living in Each Ward

Find more information about all the demographic measures in our data references section and visit our appendix to download a table with the full DC Kids Count 2023 data set.


Kim Perry
Executive Director, DC Action

Real Stories

“While we believe these data are a useful tool for advocating for policy change, they are only as powerful as the people using them to fight for change and the larger movement for equity. At this moment in history we have the opportunity to change lives for the better for generations to come. But we must do the work. Together.”

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