Where New Residents of Washington, D.C. Are Moving From

Washington D.C.’s isn’t just the nation’s capital, but it is a bustling city of more than 658,000 people. And it is getting bigger.

The Washington D.C. metro population grew 1.1 percent from 2014 to 2015, adding more than 63,700 people.

That got us at SpareFoot curious to find out where all these people are moving from, so we looked further back at some other Census data from 2009-2013 that shows the different places people moved to the Washington D.C. metro area from.

Moving to Washington D.C.

Specifically, we looked at data for county to county migration to the District of Columbia. According to the data 48,742 people moved into the district during that five year period.

Here are the top 10 places where people are moving to Washington D.C. from.

  1. Prince George County, MD
  2. Montgomery County, MD
  3. Arlington County, VA
  4. Fairfax County, VA
  5. New York County, NY
  6. Los Angeles County, CA
  7. Alexandria City, VA
  8. Baltimore County, MD
  9. Cook County, IL (Chicago)
  10. Kings County, NY (Brooklyn)

All that movement generates demand for local self-storage facilities.

Current Trends

We looked at our own data to see where people are moving to Washington D.C. from currently.

To compile our list, we looked at the number of Sparefoot.com searches for storage in the Washington D.C. metro area from April 2015 through March 2016. We also found the top ten places those searches originated from.

The metro area includes several of the top counties we looked at above.

Based on our analysis, New York City is the top city where people are likely to be moving to Washington D.C. from, followed by Philadelphia, Boston and L.A.

Below are the top ten cities:

Top 10 MSA’s by number of searches for storage in Washington D.C. / Percent share of top 10
New York-Northern New Jersey-Long Island 37%
Philadelphia-Wilmington-Atlantic City PA-NJ-DE-MD CMSA 19%
Boston-Worcester-Lawrence MA-NH-ME-CT CMSA 9%
Los Angeles-Riverside-Orange County CA 7%
Seattle-Tacoma-Bremerton WA CMSA 7%
Chicago-Gary-Kenosha IL-IN-WI CMSA 6%
Atlanta GA MSA 4%
San Francisco-Oakland-San Jose CA CMSA 4%
Miami-Fort Lauderdale FL CMSA 4%
Norfolk-Virginia Beach-Newport News VA-NC 3%

We believe that storage searches made from one city for storage space in another city likely indicates intent to relocate to that city.  

Keep in mind that the Census looks at county migration to within the city limits, while our data looks at movement from one metro statistical area to another.

From our data, it looks like the largest percentage of likely movers to the Washington D.C.-Baltimore metro area are coming from New York City. Fellow East Coast cities Philadelphia and Boston round out the top three.

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Al Harris