Washington-Arlington-Alexandria, DC-VA-MD-WV Metropolitan Statistical Area

Data for the Metropolitan Area

This MSA includes the following Metropolitan Divisions:
Bethesda-Rockville-Frederick, MD Metropolitan Division
Washington-Arlington-Alexandria, DC-VA-MD-WV Metropolitan Division
In this Metropolitan area:
Counties:Alexandria city, Arlington County, Calvert County, Charles County, Clarke County, District of Columbia, Fairfax County, Fairfax city, Falls Church city, Fauquier County, Frederick County, Fredericksburg city, Jefferson County, Loudoun County, Manassas Park city, Manassas city, Montgomery County, Prince George's County, Prince William County, Spotsylvania County, Stafford County, Warren County, , , , , , A note about boundaries
Principal Cities:Alexandria, VA, Arlington, VA, Bethesda, MD, Frederick, MD, Gaithersburg, MD, Reston, VA, Rockville, MD, Washington, DC, , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Ethnic and racial composition

Total Population Non Hispanic
Non Hispanic
Hispanic Asian Other Races
1980 3,265,898 2,196,229 863,348 95,128 79,981 31,212
67.2% 26.4% 2.9% 2.4% 1%
1990 4,122,913 2,633,338 1,047,651 227,452 199,181 15,291
63.9% 25.4% 5.5% 4.8% 0.4%
2000 4,796,183 2,653,239 1,298,788 429,688 365,941 48,527
55.3% 27.1% 9% 7.6% 1%
2005-09 ACS 5,332,297 2,731,703 1,397,939 649,004 456,785 96,866
51.2% 26.2% 12.2% 8.6% 1.8%
2010 5,582,170 2,711,258 1,477,126 770,795 581,304 41,687
48.6% 26.5% 13.8% 10.4% 0.8%

1980 1990
2000 2005-09 ACS 2010

Segregation: Three Measures

Index of Dissimilarity (D)
The dissimilarity index measures whether one particular group is distributed across census tracts in the metropolitan area in the same way as another group. A high value indicates that the two groups tend to live in different tracts. D ranges from 0 to 100. A value of 60 (or above) is considered very high. It means that 60% (or more) of the members of one group would need to move to a different tract in order for the two groups to be equally distributed. Values of 40 or 50 are usually considered a moderate level of segregation, and values of 30 or below are considered to be fairly low. For a more detailed explanation, click here.
Exposure Index
Another measure of residential segregation is a class of exposure indices (p*) that refer to the racial/ethnic composition of the tract where the average member of a given group lives. For example, the average Hispanic in some metropolis might live in a tract that is 40% Hispanic, 40% non-Hispanic white, 15% black, and 5% Asian.(Note that these various indices must add up to 100%.) These are presented below in two categories: exposure of the group to itself (which is called the Index of Isolation) and exposure of the group to other groups). For a more detailed explanation, click here.
Isolation Index
The isolation index is the percentage of same-group population in the census tract where the average member of a racial/ethnic group lives. It has a lower bound of zero (for a very small group that is quite dispersed) to 100 (meaning that group members are entirely isolated from other groups). It should be kept in mind that this index is affected by the size of the group -- it is almost inevitably smaller for smaller groups, and it is likely to rise over time if the group becomes larger. For a more detailed explanation, click here.
Exposure to Other Groups
Indices of exposure to other groups also range from 0 to 100, where a larger value means that the average group member lives in a tract with a higher percentage of persons from the other group. These indices depend on two conditions: the overall size of the other group and each group's settlement pattern. For a more detailed explanation, click here.


©Spatial Structures in the Social Sciences, Brown University