2020 U.S. Census
- Thursday, August 12, 2021 - Recent data released from the U.S. Census Bureau shows that the City of Alexandria gained nearly 20,000 new residents, and that it is becoming more diverse. On August 12, the U.S. Census Bureau released the first local-level results from the 2020 U.S. Census. States use the data on voting-age population, race and ethnicity, and housing units to redraw the boundaries of congressional and state legislative districts. The data received indicates that the City of Alexandria’s 2020 population was 159,467, an increase of 19,501 residents over the past decade. This increase represents a 13.9% increase in population, compared to an overall state population increase of 7.9%, in the past 10 years. Alexandria’s percentage of growth was comparable to that of neighboring Arlington County. The Hispanic or Latino community’s population grew from 22,524 to 29,372 residents (30%), outpacing Alexandria's overall growth (13.9%). The city’s housing unit count increased by 8,103, with an average household size of 2.11 residents, an increase from the 2010 average household size of 2.06.
- Tuesday, January 12, 2021 - City Council Legislative Session
- City Council received the Final Report from the Alexandria Complete Count Committee summarizing outreach activities and commended the members of the Committee and the Complete Count Partners for their work resulting in a Complete Count for Alexandria.
Alexandria Reaches Complete Count in 2020 U.S. Census
The City was notified by the U.S. Census Bureau that the Alexandria community achieved a complete count in the 2020 U.S. Census! The Bureau’s Crystal City Area Census Office, which includes all of Alexandria, was the only such office in the Washington, D.C. metro region to count 100% of households by the time data collection ended on October 15. Because almost 74% of Alexandria households completed the census questionnaire by mail or online, census workers had to visit fewer households in person.
“Our entire community should take great pride in knowing that everyone in Alexandria counts,” said Canek Aguirre, chair of the Alexandria Complete Count Committee and member of the Alexandria City Council. “This accomplishment is even more remarkable given the unprecedented challenges faced by residents and census workers this year. We are grateful to the Committee members, City staff, partner agencies, businesses, faith community and non-profits who worked tirelessly to ensure outreach to traditionally undercounted parts of our community.”
An accurate count is important because census data are used to apportion seats in the U.S. House of Representatives and allocate more than $675 billion in federal resources to state and local governments. The City uses census data to learn about Alexandria’s population and serve all residents equitably.
What is the Census?
The Decennial Census (Census) is a full count of United States residents, which includes all people who live in the United States. The Census is conducted by the U.S. Census Bureau every ten years, and is mandated under Article 1, Section 2 of the US Constitution. After collecting data from households, the Census Bureau processes those data to protect every resident's privacy. It then aggregates the data, and disseminates the results to the President, the states, and the American people. Census data are most prominently used to apportion seats in the U.S. House of Representatives; distribute over $675 billion federal dollars to state and local governments; redistrict at the federal, state, and local levels; provide statistical support for grant applications; and help communities plan for future needs.
In March 2020, every household in the United States received an invitation to participate in the 2020 Census. For every 1% of Alexandrians not counted, Alexandria loses $18 million dollars in federal funding over the next ten years. The City of Alexandria uses Census data to learn about our population and serve all residents equitably. Whether you were born in the U.S., moved here 10 years ago, or moved here 10 days ago, you are entitled to your share of representation and resources.
Census Ambassador Training
To help make sure all residents are counted, the City encouraged residents to help spread the word about the 2020 Census by becoming Census Ambassadors. The City’s Complete Count Committee provided training to community members wishing to volunteer as Census Ambassadors, helping residents learn what questions to expect on the Census, how the Census will take place, and how the Census benefits Alexandria.
- Virtual 2020 Census Ambassador Training
City of Alexandria Joins Supreme Court Brief in Support of Fair 2020 Census
The City of Alexandria is one of 190 cities, counties, and state and local officials around the country represented in a brief filed with the U.S. Supreme Court to challenge the addition of a citizenship question on the 2020 U.S. Census. The brief, filed on April 1 in support of plaintiffs in the case Department of Commerce v. New York, argues that the addition of a citizenship question will significantly impair the accuracy of the count, which determines the allocation of more than $900 billion of federal funding.
The City of Alexandria further opposed the addition of a citizenship question to the 2020 Census by issuing Resolution No. 2874. In this resolution, the City calls on its congressional representatives to urge members of the Senate Committee on Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs and the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform to oppose the addition of the citizenship question and conduct oversight hearings on the Secretary of Commerce's decision to include it. The City will continue to oppose the addition of the citizenship question going forward.
Resources and Information
- City of Alexandria Census Brochure (English, Spanish, Amharic, and Arabic)
- US Census Bureau 2020 Census website
- City Council Resolution Establishing the Complete Count Committee
- Census Bureau videos
- City of Alexandria Hard to Count Population Summary
This document summarizes demographic statistics for hard-to-count populations in Alexandria, by Census Tract. It is intended to be used to develop robust strategies for engaging diverse, multifaceted communities throughout the City.
- 2020 Census Complete Count Committee Guide
- 2010 Complete Count Committee Final Report
- Census 2020 Hard To Count (HTC) Map
This resource was developed by the CUNY Mapping Service at the City University of New York's Graduate Center. It identifies Census tracts that had low mail-return rates in the 2010 Census, and provides information on hard-to-count populations in those tracts.
- Libraries' Guide to the 2020 Census
The American Library Association developed this resource to prepare libraries for the 2020 Census.
Contact Maggie Curran, Department of Planning and Zoning, 703.746.4666.