Washington, DC

Photo by PoPville flickr user Jordan Barab

From an email:

“I thought you’d like to know that the District of Columbia’s Office of Revenue Analysis is starting a new blog, District, Measured, www.districtmeasured.com. The blog will feature our research on economic trends shaping the city.

Our first post features research on which residents stay in D.C. and which leave. Recently, two of my colleagues wrote on whether first-time parents are leaving the city at rates similar to the past and showed that new parents today tend to leave the city at rates similar to the new parents of early 2000s.

In this new study, we ask: what kinds of economic and demographic characteristics explain a District resident’s decision to stay in the city? To see that, we tracked people filing taxes in the District between 2004 and 2012. The main findings are below and I’ve attached the study to this email:

· The District’s population is transient. Only 23 percent of the 42,257 tax filers who first filed in 2004 remained on the tax rolls in 2012.

· People tend to stay if there is a change in the family structure. Singles tend to leave and those who change their filing status, for example, because of a marriage, tend to stay.

· Family dynamics matter beyond marriage. We have shown elsewhere that the first child plays an important role in the decision to move out of the city. A second or a third child increases the probability that families will stay.

· The District attracts high-income residents. Among those who were in the highest income quintile when they arrived in the city in 2004, 41 percent were still found on the tax rolls. Only a quarter of filers who were in the lowest income quintile, however, were still on the tax rolls in 2012.”

Full report below:

Family Structure Study (PDF)


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