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City of Alexandria, VA City of Alexandria, VA
Planning & Zoning
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Page updated Mar 26, 2015 10:53 AM

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Population 139,993 in April, 2010

The official Census 2010 population of Alexandria was revised to 139,993 in September, 2013, based on a count correction request submittal by the city. The 2010 census count was based on an attempt to count people residing in all households in the city. The decennial census taken every 10 years is considered the most accurate count available of the city's population. This compares to a 2000 Census population of 128,283, and is an increase of 11,710, or 9.13% over the 10-year period. The official census counts are made based on location of residence on April 1 of the year of each decennial census.

Current Population Estimates

Between these decennial census counts, the Census Bureau and the City attempt to estimate the current population of the city on a regular basis. However, these estimates are based on small sample counts and other information sources such as births, deaths and migration that have a much larger margin of error than the decennial census. Thus these estimates should be considered best estimates based on available information, and may be subject to substantial revision at the time of the next decennial census.

Census Bureau Population and Housing Estimates. The Census Bureau makes estimates of the population of the city for July of each calendar year that are released during the following year. The table below lists the Census Bureau estimates for the city's population for the years for which estimates are currently available. A summary of the Census Bureau estimates of the city's population since 2000 are available in this graph.

Year Census Bureau Population Estimate (July)
2010 140,810
2011 144,100
2012 146,294
2013 148,892
2014 150,575

City Population and Housing Estimates. City population and housing estimates are based on the 2010 Census population and housing counts with annual revisions based on the city's estimate of net housing construction over each year, rounded to the nearest 50 dwelling units and the nearest 100 people. Because the Census Bureau estimates for the city's population prior to the 2010 Census showed much greater growth than was demonstrated by the 2010 count, the method used by the Census Bureau may have a bias toward overestimating the change in the city's population from year to year. In an effort to minimize this potential bias, the estimates below are based on the assumption that the city's household size has remained constant since 2010 at approximately 2.03 persons per household. Household size has remained below 2.07 persons per household since 1980, was 2.04 in 1990 and 2000. It fell to 2.03 in 2010, in spite of the substantial growth in the number of children in the population and the number of school students between 2000 and 2010. The city has one of the lowest household sizes and highest percentage of single-person households in the U.S. compared to other places of comparable size. 

If other information including statistically significant trends in annual American Community Survey data indicate that the household size, vacancy rate, or other characteristics of the city's population and housing are changing in a way that would indicate a higher or lower population estimate is justified, these estimates may be changed.

Year  Department of Planning and Zoning Population Estimate (July)
2010        140,000
2011        140,100
2012        140,800
2013        142,000
2014        144,400

Population Characteristics

Information on population characteristics in the city comes primarily from the Census Bureau. The decennial census provides very detailed information every 10 years on just a few characteristics of the population based on the attempt to count everyone. Data is available on age, sex, race and ethnicity, household relationships, and whether households own or rent their housing unit. Much of this data is available to the census block level, usually equivalent to a city block.

The Census Bureau also conducts a continuing survey of households called The American Community Survey. This continuous survey reaches about 1% or more of all households each year and is tabulated and released yearly. This survey includes many more questions than the decennial census, including questions about income, employment, health insurance, disability, commuting patterns, and location of previous residence. Because the sample size is so small, annual results are released only for the city as a whole, and for places and counties over 65,000 population in the U.S. In addition, a five-year average is published every year that includes data to the census tract and block group level and is published for all counties and for places to 2,500 people. There are 39 census tracts and a lfew more than 100 block groups in the city, so the 5-year average can show geographic differences within the city and can indicate changes in various areas over time. However, this information should be used with caution since it is based on a sample of a very few households per year at the census tract and block group level. In addition, the sample reflects data taken over a 5-year period, so it may be difficult to judge the current situation when things are changing.

The report Alexandria 2010 Census Data Profile is a profile of the City prepared by City staff based on the 2010 Census and the American Community Survey 2006-2010 5-year average data. This report includes data on income, education, housing tenancy, ancestry, commuting, disability, foreign-born population, geographic mobility, and many other characteristics that help define who today's Alexandrians are.

American Community Survey current demographic data. To discover more detail about Alexandria's current population and recent changes, follow the link to the American Community Survey page. 

301 King Street, Room 2100
Alexandria, VA 22314
Fax: 703.838.6393

Office Hours:
Monday - Friday
8:00 a.m. - 5:00 p.m.