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 11% from roughly 115,300 in 2014 to 127,900 in 2019.
  • DC’s population of young adults ages 18-24 shrank during the same period, from roughly 80,650 to 72,700.

200,604 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 56%.
  • 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: 44% are Black, 10% are Latinx, and 38% 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.
  • Wards 6 and 7 saw significant population increases for young children. Wards 4 and 8 also saw steady annual increases in children under age 5.
  • DC’s Latinx child population has grown in every ward but ward 1. Latinx children are clustered, with almost 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 and visit our appendix to download a table with the full DC Kids Count 2021 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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