Demographics are a critical base of information for City planning; the City’s housing, transportation, economy, parks and recreation, and social framework rely on current and future population trends and needs. The Demographics Chapter of the City’s Comprehensive Plan was last updated 13 years ago, in 2005. Since that time, several changes have occurred in and around the city, so an update is timely.
This chapter examines Falls Church’s demographic profile and explores the City’s population, workforce, and housing trends using data from the U.S. Census Bureau, the Metropolitan Washington Council of Governments (MWCOG), and the City of Falls Church. It covers the recent population trends of the City, how it compares to neighboring jurisdictions, and makes informed projections about our continued growth through 2045, and explores connections to various topics in community planning.
The demographic trends report discussed with City Council on November 13, 2018 identified several topics for Falls Church and the Northern Virginia region. Population, housing, and workforce trends were explored as a means to determine characteristics such as age and racial diversity, the overall economic strength of the community, and also how the City’s growth might relate to what is being seen in the surrounding Arlington and Fairfax Counties. Among many other conclusions, the trends report identified that Falls Church has recently seen an increase in single-person households, that multi-family housing is more widely available, and that many residents have jobs in higher-paying industries outside of the City.
The most recent phase of the demographic study presented to City Council on March 4th, 2019 is an exploration into the city’s future demographics. The projections are calculated estimates that take into account local and regional economic development as well as housing availability. These projections use several different methodologies to increase confidence and assess the inherent variability in projecting future conditions. The projections were developed using a range of information sources, including data from the U.S. Census, Washington Council and Governments, and recent and projected development activity in the City.
Following the forecasting phase of this demographics effort, the consultant team and city staff will shift focus on questions of community connections. This section will put the data in perspective of city functions and explore questions raised in reaction to both the trends report and the demographic projections.