Cars means commuters, and commuters means that D.C. grows substantially every day.
Washington, D.C.'s population swells by 79 percent every workday as commuters pour into the city from the around the region, far exceeding similar growth patterns in other large cities across the country.
According to new numbers released by the U.S. Census on Thursday, D.C.'s resident population between 2006 and 2010 stood at 584,400, but jumped close to 80 percent when commuters were factored in, reaching 1,046,036. That increase is almost double Boston's, which stood at 40 percent, and far above Houston, at 28 percent. (See other cities here.) It also represents an increase from 2000, when the daily population surge was 72 percent.
All told, the Census reported that during those years 754,615 workers toiled away in D.C., while only 292,979 lived and worked within city limits. A recent report from the National Capital Region Transportation Planning Board found that between 2000 and 2011 more workers were choosing to live in D.C.
But just as D.C. gains population during the workday, two Virginia communities lose it at a higher proportion that anywhere else in the country. According to the Census, for towns greater than 50,000, the Virginia towns of Dale City and Centreville lost 41.4 and 41.3 percent, respectively, of their people on a daily basis.
D.C.'s resident population in 2012 hit 632,323, over 60,000 people higher than in 2000.