DC TRENDS

ECONOMICS

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2008

One in five DC residents is poor, a higher rate than in any year since 1997-98. Since the late 1990s, some 27,000 more DC residents have fallen into poverty. Thirty-two percent of the District of Columbia's children live in poverty, nearly twice the national average.

There are over 52,000 families on the waiting list for affordable housing

There are at least 6,000 homeless in DC every night

The AIDs infection rate (1 in 20), infant mortality rate (16:1,000) and illiteracy rates far exceed national averages

Forty-one percent of children arrested in the city tested positive for drugs.

There were 2,340 children in foster care in 2006. The average length of stay in foster care was 45 months.

One out of two children in DC is at risk of hunger.

Only 22 percent of children have received a dental screening.

In 2000, the system served 51 percent of the families who applied for shelter; by 2005 the service plummeted to 19 percent.

People's Property Campaign

DC FISCAL POLICY INSTITUTE - A detailed review of the District's economy reveals a number of disturbing trends and shows that the city's wide economic disparities are getting wider:

- Despite city-wide job growth, employment among African-American residents and those with no more than a high school diploma has been falling. The employment rate for these groups is at nearly the lowest level in 30 years.

- The gap between high-wage and low-wage workers in the District is at an all-time high. Wages have barely changed in 30 years for DC's lowest-wage workers, after adjusting for inflation, while DC's top earners have seen large earnings gains.

- Income inequality in the District is greater than in nearly every large U.S. city. DC's rich-poor gap has widened over the past two decades. An analysis of 59 large U.S. cities by the Brookings Institution found that income inequality in DC was greater in 2006 than in every city except Atlanta and Tampa.

- Poverty in the District is at the highest level in nearly a decade. Since with the late 1990s, some 27,000 more DC residents have fallen into poverty.

These findings show that the District has two different economies: one represented by construction cranes, new jobs, and growing incomes - and another represented by people who work but earn very little, who are not moving into better jobs or higher wages, and who may not be working at all. The gleaming side of DC's economy could continue to grow and prosper, but there is little evidence to suggest it would lead to any improvements for the thousands of residents who live on the other side.

Other stats:

- African-American residents are five times more likely than white residents to be unemployed. This gap was greater in 2006 than in any year since 1985.

- Employment among African-American adults has been falling since the late 1980s. The employment rate among black adults has even fallen during the city's recent economic boom. Some 51 percent African-American adults worked in 2006, compared with 62 percent in 1988.

- Employment among residents with a high school diploma is at the lowest level in nearly 30 years. Just 51 percent of DC residents at this education level are working. In the late 1980s, by contrast, nearly two-thirds of residents with a high school diploma were employed.

- Real wages have barely changed for low-wage workers over 30 years. Hourly earnings for low-wage working DC residents rose just six percent between 1979 and 2006, after adjusting for inflation, compared with a 40 percent increase for high-wage workers.

- African-American median income is no higher than in 1980. . .

http://www.dcfpi.org/

DC SECOND TO MISSISSIPPI IN POVERTY RATE

DC EXAMINER - New census data illustrated the stark economic divide along racial lines in the District of Columbia as whites got richer while income for minorities stayed well below the national average. Nearly 80 percent of the 108,100 District residents who live below the poverty line are black, according to the figures for 2006 released by the U.S. Census Bureau.

The data show the District has the second-highest poverty rate in the country at 20 percent, far above the national poverty rate of 12.3 percent. It trails only Mississippi, where 21 percent of residents are below the poverty level. . .

The median income for the District was $51,847. However, median income for white residents was $88,969, while median income for blacks was $34,484.

WASH POST - One in three children in the District continues to live in poverty, and there has been a slight increase in the city's overall poverty rate, according to the D.C. Kids Count Collaborative. . . More than one-third of African American children still live below the federal poverty level, the report says, and more than half of the children live in homes with single mothers.

Infant mortality increased in 2005, the highest level since 2000. From 2005 to 2006, child-abuse cases increased 6 percent but neglect complaints decreased. The number of young adults ages 19 to 21 in foster care rose to 12 percent in 2006 from 8 percent in 2003. . . Enrollment in the Head Start program increased 9 percent during the 2006 school year. . .

Although the number of new cases of AIDS among young adults remained steady, the diagnosis of some sexually transmitted diseases fell by as much as 13 percent from 2005 to 2006.

The number of children eligible for Temporary Assistance for Needy Families decreased from 29,741 in 2006 to 28,212 in 2007.

There was also a drop in the number of families living on the streets or in emergency shelters. In January 2007, there were 400 fewer homeless people than the year before. . .

MARC FISHER, WASH POST - A $25,000-a-year family. . . faces a greater burden in Washington than in suburban Maryland or Virginia. But at the $50,000 income level, the District turns out to have the lowest tax burden of the three jurisdictions, and for the next three higher brackets in the survey-- families with annual incomes of $75,000, $100,000 or $150,000 -- the District lands pretty much in the middle, ranking third among six area jurisdictions.

2007

DC FISCAL POLICY INSTITUTE - A detailed review of the District's economy reveals a number of disturbing trends and shows that the city's wide economic disparities are getting wider:

- Despite city-wide job growth, employment among African-American residents and those with no more than a high school diploma has been falling. The employment rate for these groups is at nearly the lowest level in 30 years.

- The gap between high-wage and low-wage workers in the District is at an all-time high. Wages have barely changed in 30 years for DC's lowest-wage workers, after adjusting for inflation, while DC's top earners have seen large earnings gains.

- Income inequality in the District is greater than in nearly every large U.S. city. DC's rich-poor gap has widened over the past two decades. An analysis of 59 large U.S. cities by the Brookings Institution found that income inequality in DC was greater in 2006 than in every city except Atlanta and Tampa.

- Poverty in the District is at the highest level in nearly a decade. Since with the late 1990s, some 27,000 more DC residents have fallen into poverty.

These findings show that the District has two different economies: one represented by construction cranes, new jobs, and growing incomes - and another represented by people who work but earn very little, who are not moving into better jobs or higher wages, and who may not be working at all. The gleaming side of DC's economy could continue to grow and prosper, but there is little evidence to suggest it would lead to any improvements for the thousands of residents who live on the other side.

Other stats:

- African-American residents are five times more likely than white residents to be unemployed. This gap was greater in 2006 than in any year since 1985.

- Employment among African-American adults has been falling since the late 1980s. The employment rate among black adults has even fallen during the city's recent economic boom. Some 51 percent African-American adults worked in 2006, compared with 62 percent in 1988.

- Employment among residents with a high school diploma is at the lowest level in nearly 30 years. Just 51 percent of DC residents at this education level are working. In the late 1980s, by contrast, nearly two-thirds of residents with a high school diploma were employed.

- Real wages have barely changed for low-wage workers over 30 years. Hourly earnings for low-wage working DC residents rose just six percent between 1979 and 2006, after adjusting for inflation, compared with a 40 percent increase for high-wage workers.

- African-American median income is no higher than in 1980. . .

http://www.dcfpi.org/

2006

MARIE TYLER, WASHINGTON TIMES - The Washington area has the highest median household income among major metropolitan regions in the United States. The region, which includes the District of Columbia and 15 surrounding countries, had a median household income of $72,799 last year, the annual regional report by the Greater Washington Initiative says. The median household income of the region has increased by more than $8,000 since 2000, spurred by the growing job market. The region added nearly 72,000 jobs in 2005, more than any other large metropolitan area except Miami. The area moves above San Francisco, which was No. 1 in 2004, according to the report. . . However, almost 19 percent of D.C. residents live below the poverty line -- $19,157 a year for a family of four with two children, according to U.S. Census Bureau figures for 2004. That earns the city 27th place among cities. Almost 34 percent of children live below the poverty line, placing the District No. 12 nationally.

http://insider.washingtontimes.com/articles/normal.php?StoryID=20060607-091429-2587r

WASH BUSINESS JOURNAL - An annual report by asset management company U.S. Trust says Washington ranks fourth nationally for wealthy individuals, using figures that don't include the value of a primary residence. There are 247,219 individuals in metropolitan Washington with a net worth of more than $1 million. An additional 356,430 have a net worth for at least $500,000. Washington has plenty of very wealthy individuals as well, with 21,875 "pentamillionaires," folks U.S. Trust says have a net worth of more than $5 million, the highest cutoff for its annual survey. Washington ranked only behind New York, Los Angeles and Chicago for wealthy individuals. Philadelphia, Boston, San Francisco, Dallas and Detroit round out the top 10.

http://washington.bizjournals.com/washington/stories/2006/06/05/daily27.html?surround=lfn


WASHINGTON SPARK

WASHINGTON SPARK - Homelessness in the District has risen for the fourth consecutive year, increasing 27.2 percent between 2001and 2005. In 2005, 8,977 homeless persons were counted by the Homeless Services Planning and Coordinating Committee. In 2004, 3326 families applied emergency shelter. Within those families applying for shelter, 6,993 were children. Of the families with children in need of shelter, 35 percent had children who were five years old or younger.

http://washingtonspark.org/page_images/May2006/May2006city.pdf

WASH BUSINESS JOURNAL - An annual report by asset management company U.S. Trust says Washington ranks fourth nationally for wealthy individuals, using figures that don't include the value of a primary residence. There are 247,219 individuals in metropolitan Washington with a net worth of more than $1 million. An additional 356,430 have a net worth for at least $500,000. Washington has plenty of very wealthy individuals as well, with 21,875 "pentamillionaires," folks U.S. Trust says have a net worth of more than $5 million, the highest cutoff for its annual survey. Washington ranked only behind New York, Los Angeles and Chicago for wealthy individuals. Philadelphia, Boston, San Francisco, Dallas and Detroit round out the top 10.

http://washington.bizjournals.com/washington/stories/2006/06/05/daily27.html?surround=lfn

NY TIMES - Facing accusations that lawmakers are not serious about breaking the tight bond between Capitol Hill and K Street, the Senate voted Wednesday to bar members of Congress and their aides from accepting gifts and meals from lobbyists. . . One group lobbying against the meals ban, not surprisingly, is the restaurant industry. Washington is a city where considerable business is conducted over meals, and Lynne Breaux, the president of the Restaurant Association Metropolitan Washington, said she was working with her national organization to defeat the ban. Ms. Breaux - who is no relation to John Breaux, the former Louisiana senator who is now one of Washington's leading lobbyists - said past estimates have found that as much as 30 percent of Washington's fine-dining business was related to Congress, though she said that figure had probably declined in recent years as Washington's restaurant business had expanded.

http://www.nytimes.com/2006/03/09/politics/09lobby.html?_r=1&oref=login&pagewanted=print

HOW IS LOBBYING REFORM GOING TO AFFECT RESTAURANTS?
http://www.voiceofthehill.com/LobbyistEateries.htm

IN THE DISTRICT, the richest families had incomes 12 times higher than the poorest ones early this decade, compared with seven times higher in the troubled economy of the early 1980s. The major reason for the widening gap: The highest incomes are growing more sharply than the lowest ones. Incomes at the top fifth rose 81 percent during those two decades, to an average of $157,700. Those at the bottom went up 3 percent, to an average of $12,700. That's an increase in real dollars of $382 for the poorest DC residents and $70,382 for the richest. It's what they call economic development. [Washington Post, DC Fiscal Policy Institute]

2005

MIKE RUPERT, DC EXAMINER - More than 1 in 4 children in the District live in poverty, according to numbers released this week by the U.S. Census Bureau. . . In 1995, 36.8 percent of children under 18, or 40,000 children, lived in poverty, according to Census data. In 2003, the number had dropped to 31,838 children, or 29.6 percent.

http://www.dcexaminer.com/articles/2005/12/01/news/d_c_news/01anewsdc1poverty.txt

LOWEST-INCOME NEIGHBORHOODS SUFFERED LARGE POPULATION & INCOME LOSSES IN THE 1990s

ED LAZERE AND ANGIE RODGERS, DC FISCAL POLICY INSTITUTE - Income inequality in the District of Columbia - the gap between high-income and low-income households - is as wide as or wider than in any other major U.S. city. By the late 1990s the average income of the top fifth of District households was 31 times the average income of the lowest-income fifth of households. The large gap grew in the 1990s, as a result of expanding income for the highest-income District households and stagnating incomes for the lowest-income residents.

Just as the income gap among District households grew, neighborhood economic disparities also widened during the 1990s, as most lower-income neighborhoods suffered large losses of income and population, while high-income neighborhoods experienced large increases in average income and typically had population gains or only modest declines. The District's middle-income neighborhoods remained somewhat stagnant, with the exception of a few showing gains that appear to be signs of gentrification.

Of the District's 13 low-income neighborhood clusters, 11 lost neighborhood income. Moreover, the top six decreases in neighborhood income were found in low-income neighborhood clusters: Barry Farms, Historic Anacostia, Ivy City, Capitol View, Mayfair, and River Terrace. Declines in these neighborhood clusters were as high as 25 percent.

The decreases in income reflect a combination of population change and drops in per capita income. Most of the District's neighborhood clusters - 26 of 39 - lost population in the 1990s, resulting in a net loss of almost 28,000 residents over the decade. The largest population declines, however, were in low-income neighborhood clusters.

These findings suggest, together with the findings on growing income inequality, that the District's economic gains have not been shared by all of its residents. Increasingly, the District's lowest-income households are being concentrated and isolated in neighborhoods that, over time, bear the brunt of the District's declines in population and income. Low-income residents already find it difficult to afford quality housing, food, childcare, and health care. These declines in low-income neighborhoods make it difficult to sustain acceptable service levels - in education, child care, health care, retail and development, and quality affordable housing - because the income and population base that would support these services has been continuously eroding.

http://www.dcfpi.org/10-31-05pov.htm

WASHINGTON POST - The District of Columbia ranks ahead of all 50 states in women's median wage, while Maryland is a close second and Virginia ranks eighth, according to a new state-by-state report on the status of women. Nationally, women are still decades away from achieving pay equity with men, according to the report. When race is factored in, the wage gap is even larger and will take women of color longer to close. The difference among women shows up sharply in the District, where the median annual salary for black women is more than $20,000 less than for white women. But overall, women who work full time in the city come closest to matching men's salaries, with a median annual salary of $37,800, 92.4 percent of what men are paid. The District also led the survey with 49.3 percent of women in managerial or professional positions.

Average house price 1996: $193,000
Average house price 2005: $384,000

2004

MSNBC -The Cost of Dating Index , developed by Match.com, tracks the cost of dating in 10 major cities, allowing you to compare the price of coffee dates in Chicago ($6.70) or Seattle ($8), or the price of a romantic dinner in Denver ($52) or D.C. ($80), as well as other singles-oriented items and activities.

New Orleans (.81) is the least expensive city in which to date, followed closely by Denver (.86) and Seattle (.88). At the other end of the spectrum, New York (1.50) is the most expensive, almost 50 percent higher than the next-most expensive city, Dallas (1.06). [Washington DC is third]

The CDI also provides detailed cost information by type of date. For example, the coffee date, long a solid choice for first meetings and informal follow-ups, is hands-down the best value. The average cost for a coffee date - a regular sized coffee and a cookie - was $7.37. The most expensive city for coffee dates was Washington, D.C. ($8.10). Conversely, prices in the Mile High City were anything but - coffee and cookie in Denver made a relatively modest date ($6.50).

THE HIDDEN STORY OF DC'S BUDGET

(Unless otherwise noted, all 1990 figures below are adjusted for inflation to be comparable with 2004 figures.)

DC FISCAL POLICY INSTITUTE - Despite recent increases, the District's budget is only slightly larger today than it was in 1990, after adjusting for inflation. Moreover, the DC budget grew far more slowly than the District's economy during this period - and thus now consumes a smaller share of the city's economic resources.

While overall spending has not grown, spending priorities have changed markedly. In particular, funding has fallen dramatically for several services targeted on low-income and other vulnerable populations - in the areas of housing, human services, and employment services. A handful of agencies, on the other hand, have experienced significant budget increases.

The District's local funds budget for fiscal year 2004 is $3.60 billion. This is 3.1 percent higher than the fiscal year 1990 budget, which totaled $3.49 billion when adjusted for inflation to equal 2004 dollars. The relatively modest budget growth occurred despite significant increases in some program areas that largely were out of the control of local officials.

In particular, local Medicaid spending rose from $189 million in 1990 to $324 million in 2004, after adjusting for inflation, as part of the national trend of rising health care costs. (DC's Medicaid program grew more slowly than in nearly every other state during this period.) If Medicaid is excluded, the remainder of DC's local budget for fiscal year 2004 is one percent lower than in fiscal year 1990.

The District's local budget consumes a much smaller share of the city's economic resources today than it did in 1990. While the inflation-adjusted budget has remained stable, the economy - measured in terms of personal income - grew 15 percent after adjusting for inflation between 1990 and 2004. As a result, the DC budget as a share of personal income fell from 15.2 percent in 1990 to 13.7 percent in 2004.

The fiscal year 2004 budget is $400 million lower than it would be if spending had grown at the same rate as personal income since 1990. While overall local spending in the District in 2004 is roughly the same as in 1990, there have been significant reductions in a number of program areas, most notably in agencies that serve low-income and vulnerable populations.

EMPLOYMENT SERVICES: Local funding for the Department of Employment Services is $10 million in fiscal year 2004, or 80 percent lower than the local budget of $51 million in 1990.

HOUSING: Local funding for affordable housing programs is $26 million in 2004, or less than half the 1990 budget of $55 million. This decline occurred despite efforts in recent years to boost funding for the Housing Production Trust Fund, including a $21.5 million appropriation for fiscal year 2004. Without the Trust Fund appropriation, local support for affordable housing this year would be over 90 percent lower than in fiscal year 1990.

HUMAN SERVICES: The local budget for the Department of Human Services fell from $346 million in 1990 to $233 million in 2004, a 33 percent decline. This reflects cuts in a variety of services, including child care, homeless services, emergency assistance, and welfare.

NON-MEDICAID HEALTH SERVICES: Local funding for health services other than those provided through Medicaid fell 15 percent, from $159 million in 1990 to $135 million in 2004, including an $18 million cut in addiction services. Other reductions in programs for low-income and vulnerable populations include a 21 percent cut in funding for Mental Health and a 15 percent cut in the Office of Aging.

IN ADDITION TO THESE CUTS, other notable spending cuts include:

- A 57 percent cut in support for the University of the District of Columbia;

- A 26 percent reduction in funding for the Department of Parks and Recreation.

- Finally, the Department of Consumer and Regulatory Affairs and the Office of Personnel have faced significant budget cuts since 1990, 42 percent and 57 percent respectively.

Substantial budget increases, on the other hand have been limited to a handful of agencies. In general, these increases reflect factors that are beyond the District's control or efforts to address highly dysfunctional systems.

MEDICAID: The District's local Medicaid budget has increased from $189 million in 1990 to $324 million in 2004, an increase of 72 percent after adjusting for inflation.

K-12 EDUCATION: Local spending on DC Public Schools and DC Charter Schools in 2004 will be $883 million. This is $169 million, or 23 percent higher than school spending in 1990, which stood at $714 million. The increase stems in large part from a substantial increase in the number of students receiving special education services, including students enrolled in private schools but supported by DCPS funds and students served within the DC schools. A second factor is the establishment of the charter school system in the 1990s. Charter schools, which did not exist in 1990, have a budget of $137 million in 2004. Finally, per-pupil spending in DC Public Schools is 2.9 percent higher than in 1990, after adjusting for inflation. This increase accounts for about one-fifth of the overall increase in the K-12 budget.

FINANCIAL AND OTHER MANAGEMENT: Three agencies that support basic government functions have experienced significant budget increases: the Chief Financial Office, the Office of the Inspector General, and the Corporation Counsel. In addition, the cost of legal settlements against the District has grown. Together, the local budgets for these agencies grew from $98 million in 1990 to $135 million in 2004, an increase of 38 percent.

CHILD WELFARE: The fiscal year 2004 local funds budget for the Child and Family Services Agency, which provides foster care and adoption services, is $145 million. This is $59 million, or 67 percent higher than the amount spent on child welfare services in fiscal year 1990, which stood at $86 million. In 1997, DC's child welfare system was placed under a federal receivership, following a lawsuit that found major deficiencies in the system. The growth in the child welfare budget - all of which has occurred since 1997 - reflects efforts to meet court mandates and to otherwise address shortcomings in the District's provision of these services.

SOCIO-ECONOMIC CLEANSING SHOWN BY NEW STATS

D'VERA COHN, WASHINGTON POST - The gap between rich and poor is as great in the District as in any other major city and has grown more here than in most places, a widening chasm that troubles government leaders. A study to be released today by the D.C. Fiscal Policy Institute said the top 20 percent of the city's households have 31 times the average income of the 20 percent at the bottom. The gap in the District is fed by extremes at both ends: The poor have less average income than in most of the country's 40 biggest cities, and the rich have more. . .

The study deepens the picture of an increasingly fractured city, where poverty and wealth both grew in the last decade. The average household income for the top group was $186,830, and the average income for the poorest group was $6,126. . .

Another recent analysis, by the Lewis Mumford Center at the State University of New York at Albany, found that the District now ranks higher among economically polarized cities than it did in 1990. . .

A single young professional can earn $100,000 in his or her first year out of law school. At the other end of the income scale, Lazere's study said, the D.C. minimum wage, $6.15 an hour, is worth less when inflation is taken into account than it was worth in 1979. The purchasing power of the city's maximum welfare benefit -- $379 for a family of three -- fell by nearly a third over the decade, it said.

DC FISCAL POLICY INSTITUTE - The average income of the top fifth of the District’s households —$186,830 in 1999 — was 31 times higher than the average income of the bottom fifth of households — $6,126. The gap between high-income and low-income households in the District is as wide or wider than in any of the central cities of the nation's 40 largest metro areas. Two other cities — Atlanta and Miami — have similar income gaps, but in most cities the gap is much smaller than in DC.

In the typical large city, the income of the top fifth of households is 18 times the income of the bottom fifth. Income inequality widened in the District in the 1990s, as the benefits of its economic expansion went almost exclusively to its highest-income residents.

The average income for the top fifth of DC households grew 38 percent during this period, adjusting for inflation, while the average income of the bottom fifth of households rose just three percent.

While the District has taken some steps to boost the incomes of its lowest-income residents — such as establishing a DC Earned Income Tax Credit — there are other policies that could be adopted to reduce income inequality. These include:

  • increasing the minimum wage
  • adopting a “living wage” requirement
  • using economic development programs to promote creation of good-paying jobs
  • expanding child care and other supports for low-wage workers
  • increasing public assistance benefits for families that are not able to work or are preparing to enter the work force.

The average income of the top fifth of District households — $186,830 — ranked higher than the high-income group in all but two other major cities — San Francisco and San Jose. As a result, the gap between low-income and high-income households in DC — measured as the ratio of the average income of the top fifth to the average income of the bottom fifth — is as large or larger than in any other large city.

The income gap is similar in some cities, such as Atlanta and Miami, but the gap in most cities is much smaller than in the District. While high-income households in DC have incomes nearly 31 times the income of the lowest-income households, the top-to-bottom ratio in most major U.S. cities is less than 20.

INCOME INEQUALITY HAS WIDENED

Although the District experienced an economic expansion during the 1990s, the benefits of this growth went almost exclusively to its highest-income households. Despite the economic rebound, incomes stagnated for the District’s lowest-income residents.

Average income for the top quintile rose 38 percent between the late 1980s to the late 1990s, after adjusting for inflation. By contrast, average income of the bottom quintile increased by three percent during this period. The average incomes of the second and middle fifths of the District’s households also increased only modestly — by four percent and eight percent, respectively — and the average income of the second highest fifth rose 21 percent. As a result, the gap between low-income and high-income DC households grew even wider over the past decade, as did the gap between middle-income and high-income residents.

WAGE INEQUALITY

Nationally, wages at the bottom and the middle of the wage scale have grown far more slowly than wages at the top over the past two decades. This trend is found in the District as well.

Between 1979 and 2000, the hourly wage for DC’s lowest-earning workers — those in the bottom 10 percent of the earnings distribution — rose from $7.07 to $7.19, an increase of 1.7 percent. (The 1979 figure is adjusted for inflation to equal 2000 dollars.). . . Hourly wages for the District’s highest earners — those in the top 10 percent of the earnings distribution rose 17.2 percent during this period, from $27.54 to $32.28. The incomes of the District’s lowest-income households have been affected by a decline in the value of the minimum wage. The average wage for workers in the lowest-income fifth of DC households in 1999 — $6.18 an hour — was only slightly higher than the District’s minimum wage of $6.15 an hour, which suggests that the earnings of DC’s lowest-income households are affected significantly by the level of the minimum wage.

The value of the minimum wage in DC has declined significantly over the past two decades. This is true even though the District enacted legislation in 1992 to set its minimum wage at $1 an hour above the federal minimum wage. The current value of DC’s minimum wage is 11 percent lower than the value of the federal minimum wage alone in 1979 (before the District enacted a separate minimum wage), which equaled $6.92 an hour when adjusted for inflation to equal 2004 dollars.

FALLING PUBLIC ASSISTANCE INCOME

Reductions in income from public assistance also contributed to the low income levels for DC’s poorest households. This reflects both a decline in the percentage of households receiving income from public assistance and in the average benefits for those getting assistance, primarily among non-elderly households.

Among non-elderly households in the bottom quintile, the share of households getting any income from public assistance fell from 34 percent to 25 percent. For non-elderly households receiving public assistance, the average benefits fell from $5,422 to $4,197, a drop of 23 percent. (Both figures are presented in 1999 dollars.)

The low average income of the bottom fifth of DC households in part reflects the fact that the District is home to a particularly large share of the metro area’s poor residents. If low-income families were equally distributed throughout the metro area, the poverty rate in the District and its suburbs would be the same. In actuality, the poverty rate in Washington is much higher than in the suburbs, and the city-suburban poverty gap is wide.

The District’s poverty rate in 1999 — 20.2 percent — was 3.5 times higher than the 5.8 percent poverty rate in the Washington metro area's suburbs. The ratio of poverty in the city to poverty in the suburbs was larger in the Washington metro area than in all but eight other large metropolitan areas. This means that the District is home to a particularly large share of the metro area’s poor residents — and thus that the District bears an unusually large responsibility for providing services to the area’s poor. . .

It bears noting that in most cases, cities and their suburbs are part of the same state — which means that taxes paid by higher-income suburban residents can be used, in part, to support services for low-income city residents. This is not the case in the Washington metro area. The District is a separate jurisdiction from the Maryland and Virginia suburbs, and the costs of providing services to low-income residents are not shared across the metro area.

Home insurance cost in DC ranks fourth highest nationally after Texas, Louisiana, and Florida. DC ranks 27th for rental insurance. [CNBC]

Number of food service establishments:

-- DC - 1,976
-- VA - 14,122
-- MD - 11,472

-- In 2002 Metropolitan Washington food and beverage establishments
generated $3.9 billion in annual sales and employed 84,000 workers

-- National annual average food expenditure away from home - $2,137,

-- Entertainment - $1,863

-- Washingtonians' food average - $2,692,

-- Entertainment - $2,535

[Restaurant Association of Metropolitan Washington]

DC'S COST OF LIVING NEAR THE TOP


SOURCE: STATE OF MISSOURI

WASHINGTON TIMES - Though the number of U.S. tourists to the District dropped by 3 percent last year, this year's numbers show improvement. The Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority reported that Wednesday's subway ridership of 726,789 was the third-highest in its 27-year history. . . 7/03

Hotel bookings have also increased. The occupancy rate from roughly February to April increased from 65 percent to 74 percent, according to the Washington, DC Convention and Tourism Corp. The rate was 81 percent last week - a 1 percent increase compared with the same time last year and a huge improvement from the 25 percent low seen after the September 11 attacks. WASHINGTON TIMES

WTOP - Maintaining a car in Washington costs thousands of dollars less a year than if you owned the same car in New York, according to an analysis by a Wisconsin-based management consulting firm. San Francisco is the most expensive car maintenance city in that nation with New York close behind, both over 6 cents per mile. Other cities that rank among the most expensive car maintenance cities include New York, Honolulu, Chicago, Miami, St. Louis, Sacramento and Seattle. Bismarck, N.D., and Richmond, Va. came in at the bargain end of the scale, less than 4 cents a mile. Washington came in fairly high, not quite 4.9 cents, and Baltimore was economical at less than 4.5 cents.

WASHINGTON POST - The Washington area leads the nation in African American prosperity, including the number of black homeowners and of black households with $100,000-plus incomes. The region also ranks at the top of metropolitan areas in the number of college-educated black residents, according to the 2000 Census. . . The number of $100,000-plus black households, for example, grew nearly 70 percent after adjusting for inflation. . . One in four black adults in the region holds a college degree, according to the census figures. Roughly one in eight black households has an income of $100,000 or more, and half of black households here are homeowners. The Washington region, with 1.3 million African Americans, has as many top-income black households as New York, which has 1 million more black residents. And it has more black homeowners than New York or Chicago, whose African American population of 1.6 million also is larger than Washington's. . . The epicenter of the affluent black population locally continues to be Prince George's County, which has more than 40 percent of the region's black households with $100,000-plus incomes. . . The number of black homeowners in the District did not grow.

- 109,500 District residents live in poverty, or 20 percent of the population.

- This is an increase of 14%, or more than 13,000 residents from a decade ago.

- The 2000 poverty rate is also the highest in the District over the last four censuses.

- More than 35,000 children are living in poverty - an increase of more than 6,700 in the last decade. More than 30% of the District's children now live in poverty, an increase of 24% since 1990. A majority of children in Ward 8 live in poverty.

- African-Americans had the largest numeric and percentage increase among all racial categories. More than one quarter of the African-American population is now in poverty, representing 77% of all District residents in poverty. The Asian and Latino populations also saw significant increases in poverty.

- Ward 8's poverty rate stands at 38%, increasing by 15% since 1990. This is the highest poverty rate in the city by nearly 13 percentage points.

- More than 60% of the population in poverty lives outside Wards 7 and 8. The majority of poor residents live in Wards 1 through 6.

- The number of residents in poverty grew in every Ward. - DC Agenda

WASHINGTON POST - Poverty rose in most District neighborhoods during the 1990s, even in those outside the city's historically poor areas, according to a study of 2000 Census data. During the same period, the nature of the city's poverty changed: The number of people who are severely poor - with incomes that are half the federal poverty line - rose sharply. Poverty among the city's children also is growing, now reaching one in three.

The number of severely poor neighborhoods -- with poverty rates of 30 percent or more -- also rose. Ten of the city's 39 neighborhood groups now fit that definition, compared with seven in 1990, according to DC Agenda, a nonprofit civic group that studies District issues.

At a time of gentrification and revitalization in the city, the economic growth did not reach across all segments of the population, the numbers show. . . The 2000 Census, on which the report was based, found that one in five D.C. residents was poor, reflecting conditions more than two years ago, before the recession hit. . .

Poverty grew in every ward of the city, and in 32 of 39 neighborhood clusters, which the city designates for planning purposes. It increased even in relatively well-off places such as Glover Park and Capitol Hill, the DC Agenda report said. It noted that six in 10 poor people live west of the Anacostia River, outside the areas traditionally known as poverty neighborhoods. The poorest neighborhoods, however, are still east of the river. The report said half the children in Ward 8, which encompasses the city's neediest neighborhoods, live in poverty.

ACCORDING TO the National Association of Realtors, the Washington metro area is the fifth hottest real estate market in the country - behind Nassau/Suffolk County, Worcester MA, Atlantic City, and New York City. Washington area prices are up 20% from 2001

PEOPLE IN GEORGETOWN, compared to people in Anacostia, are:
- 1/5 as likely to be unemployed
- Have a $67,000 great average annual household income
- Live in a house worth $400,000 more in median value 8/02

TOP NON-GOVERNMENTAL EMPLOYERS IN DC

George Washington University
Georgetown University
Washington Hospital Center
Howard University
Children's Medical Center
Fannie Mae
Washington Post
George Washington University Hospital
Providence Hospital
Howard University Hospital

[DC Marketing Ctr, 2002]


HOUSEHOLDS EARNING LESS THAN $25,000

1990 102,157 41%
2000 79,976 32%

CHANGE (22,181)

HOUSEHOLDS EARNING $100,000 OR MORE

1990 19,399 7.8%
2000 40,721 16.4%

CHANGE 21,322

FAMILIES IN POVERTY

1990 16,453
2000 19,365

CHANGE 2,912

Number Percent
INCOME IN 1999
Households................................................................................. 248,590 100.0
Less than $10,000................................................................................. 36,939 14.9
$10,000 to $14,999................................................................................. 14,594 5.9
$15,000 to $24,999................................................................................. 28,443 11.4
$25,000 to $34,999................................................................................. 30,592 12.3
$35,000 to $49,999................................................................................. 35,311 14.2
$50,000 to $74,999................................................................................. 39,553 15.9
$75,000 to $99,999................................................................................. 22,437 9.0
$100,000 to $149,999................................................................................. 20,790 8.4
$150,000 to $199,999 ..................................... 8,292 3.3
$200,000 or more........ 11,639 4.7
Median household income (dollars)................................................................................. 40,127 (X)
Per capita income (dollars)................................................................................ 28,659 (X)
 Median earnings (dollars)    
Male full-time, year-round workers................................................................................. 40,513 (X)
Female full-time, year-round workers................................................................................. 36,361 (X)
poverty poverty
Subject level level
POVERTY STATUS IN 1999
Families................................................................................ 19,365 16.7
With related children under 18 years............................. 15,231 24.5
With related children under 5 years...................................... 7,662 29.5
Families with female householder, no husband present. 14,272 30.0
With related children under 18 years.... 12,184 37.3
With related children under 5 years....................... 6,186 47.7
Individuals........................................................................ 109,500 20.2
18 years and over................... 74,133 17.2
65 years and over.................. 10,887 16.4
Related children under 18 years..................... 34,350 31.1
Related children 5 to 17 years.................................... 23,940 30.4
Unrelated individuals 15 years and over…………………… 42,071 22.5

Square feet of retail space per person

In US: 16
In DC suburbs; 24
In DC: 8

[Delta Associates]

CITY LEADS ALL STATES IN GROWTH
OF INCOME INEQUALITY

A STUDY BY the Economic Policy Institute and the Centder for Budget Polices and Priorities finds that DC has had greater growth in income inequality in the 1970s to 1990s than any state in the union. Although the groups did not list DC along with the states, they provided information that showed DC substantially ahead of New York, the number one state. Aong the findings:

o The richest 20 percent of families had average incomes 21.6 times as large as the poorest 20 percent of families. (In New York it's 12.8 times)

o The richest 20 percent of families had average incomes 4.3 times as large as the middle 20 percent of families. (In New York, it's 3.1 times)

o Over the past decade, income inequality has increased in the District of Columbia. In the late 1980s, the richest 20 percent of families had average incomes 16.4 times as large as the poorest 20 percent of families. By the late 1990s, that ratio had increased to 21.6.

o The average income of the poorest fifth of families increased by $300 between the late 1980s and the late 1990s, from $9,100 to $9,400.1

o The average income of the middle fifth of families increased by $3,540 between the late 1980s and the late 1990s, from $43,320 to $46,860.

o The average income of the richest fifth of families increased by $53,490 between the late 1980s and the late 1990s, from $149,690 to $203,190

From 1992 to 2000, private-sector employment increased 27 percent; total government employment decreased 11 percent. In 1991, one in six workers was a federal employee, compared to one in eight in 2000.

The service sector is the largest industry with 1,126,700 employees. Retail trade is next with 410,400 employees, and the federal government is the third-largest employer with 333,100 employees.

The population increased from 4.7 million in 1990 to 5.5 million in 2000, representing a 17 percent increase in total population. In 2000, the total population was composed of 58 percent whites, 25 percent blacks, 8 percent Hispanics, 7 percent Asian and Pacific Islanders and 3 percent two or more races.

The region's median income in 1999 was $68,000, up from $43,000 in 1990.

Adults older than 25 with at least a bachelor's degree increased from 36 percent in 1991 to 42 percent in 2000, a percent far in excess of the 26 percent national rate in 2000.

Low-income residents face a shortage of affordable housing. In 1998, there were twice as many households (176,809) with annual incomes below $16,000 as there were affordable housing units (87,826).

Residents experienced an annual delay of 46 hours because of traffic congestion in 1999, up from 41 hours in 1994.

In 1999, the top 20 percent of households in the region enjoyed incomes of $115,259 and higher, up 68 percent since 1990, while the bottom 20 percent had incomes below $30,790, up only 40 percent from the 1990 level.

Expenditures by the nonprofit sector totaled $25.4 billion in 2000. Since 1992, they have increased by 41.6 percent. Nonprofit organizations located in the District of Columbia accounted for 56 percent of these expenditures, while those in Northern Virginia and Suburban Maryland accounted for 24 percent and 20 percent, respectively.

The average white resident of the metro area lives in a census tract that is 71 percent white, and the average black resident lives in a tract that is 59 percent black.

42 percent of adults 25 and older have at least a bachelor's degree. We are second only to the Silicon Valley, CA region in educational attainment.

MORE

Increase in homelessness in 2000: 33%


DC FISCAL POLICY INSTITUTE

Two of every five District households have incomes below $25,000

Two of every five DC residents who have left welfare are unemployed. [DCFPI]

States With the Largest Percentage of African American-Owned Firms: 1997
State African American-owned firms All firms African American-owned firms as a percent of all firms
U.S. Total 823,500 20,821,900 4.0
District of Columbia 10,900 45,300 24.1
Maryland 47,600 400,200 11.9
Mississippi 17,600 167,900 10.5
Georgia 55,800 568,600 9.8
South Carolina 23,200 260,300 8.9
Louisiana 25,800 295,700 8.7
Virginia 33,500 480,100 7.0
North Carolina 39,900 570,500 7.0
Alabama 19,100 285,200 6.7
New York 86,500 1,509,800 5.7

States with the Largest Percentage of Hispanic-Owned Firms: 1997
State Hispanic-owned firms
(number)
All firms
(number)
Hispanic-owned as a percent of all firms
U.S. Total 1,199,900 20,821,900 5.8
New Mexico 28,300 131,700 21.5
Texas 240,400 1,526,000 15.8
Florida 193,900 1,301,900 14.9
California 336,400 2,565,700 13.1
Arizona 28,900 329,000 8.8
New York 104,200 1,509,800 6.9
New Jersey 36,100 654,200 5.5
Colorado 20,900 410,200 5.1
Nevada 6,600 129,800 5.1
District of Columbia 2,200 45,300 4.8

DC has the smallest differential between male and female pay in the country compared to the 50 states. The figure for DC is 86 cents in pay for women for each dollar men make. Following DC: New York, California, Arizona, Florida, Texas. Worst state is Wyoming where women earn 63% as much as men. Also poor: Louisiana, Utah. [Census Bureau]

DC has 24,000 residents living in public housing (2001)

Number of technology firms in DC: 332 [DC Agenda, 2001]

THE GATED CITY: How important money has become in DC is dramatically illustrated by figures compiled by David Schwartzman that show that those earning over $100,000 paid 66% of all US income taxes from DC in 1998. In 1989 the figure was only 43%.

  • Those earning over $200,000 paid 50% of all US income taxes in 1998 compared with only 29% in 1989.
  • While these figures do not account for inflation, they do illustrate the incredible power of a tiny number of DC residents. To be exact, those earning over $200,000 and paying 50% of all US income taxes represent only 2.6% of DC's population. It was 1.2% in 1989. Those earning over $100,000 represent 8.1% of the city's population as opposed to 3.8 in 1989.
  • How many people are we talking about? Less than 22,000 taxpayers, 7,000 of whom earn over $200,000.
  • At the other end are 209,000 taxpayers who earn less than $50,000. Together, they provide only 16% of the city's federal income tax.
  • As the socioeconomic cleansing of DC continues, these folks are leaving town. DC lost 11% of those earning less than $50,000 between 1989 and 1998 and 20% of those earning less than $30,000 a year.

The DC areas has more than 2,300 high tech and scientific companies, with revenues of $21 billion and employing 262,000 persons. According to Inc. magazine, more fast growing top companies are located in this area than anywhere else in the country, including New York and Silicon Valley.

ECONOMIC POLICY INSTITUTE: Many families in Washington, DC saw improvements in their standard of living over the 1990s, as median family income and the wages of low-and median-wage workers grew. However, wage increases for low-wage workers did not make up for losses in the 1980s. The poverty rate and income inequality in Washington, DC grew over the 1990s, leaving DC far behind the nation in these important areas

Middle-income families in Washington, DC have fared well during the current economic expansion. Median family income for four-person families was $60,674 in 1998, surpassing its 1989 level of $53,335 (in 1998 dollars). In the 1990s, median income grew faster in Washington, DC than in the nation, and the DC median income was higher than the national median.

Washington, DC has the highest rate of income inequality in the nation, and income inequality in Washington, DC grew faster over the 1990s than in any state in the nation. In the late 1990s, the income of the wealthiest 20% of families was 27.1 times that of the poorest 20% of families. By comparison, in the late 1980s, the wealthiest 20% of families had 16.4 times the income of the poorest 20%.

The poverty rate in Washington, DC grew during the 1990s, from 16.6% in 1987-88 to 22.1% in 1997-98. In the late 1990s, Washington, DC had the highest poverty rate in the nation (the national rate was 13.0% in 1997-98).

In Washington, DC in the 1990s, the wages of both low-wage workers and workers in the middle of the wage distribution grew. For low-wage workers, gains in the 1990s did not make up for losses in the 1980s. In 1999, the inflation-adjusted hourly wages of low-wage workers (workers at the 20th percentile) were 4.6% lower than they were in 1979. For median-wage workers, increases in the 1990s made up for losses in the 1980s. The inflation-adjusted median wage (the wage of workers in the middle) was 1.7% higher than it was in 1979.

In contrast to most of the nation, the unemployment rate in Washington, DC grew from 5.0% in 1989 to 6.3% in 1999, leaving the DC unemployment rate above that of the nation (4.2% in 1999).

In addition, people of color and less-educated workers (especially women) had unemployment rates that were above the District average. For example, while in 1999 the general unemployment rate in Washington, DC was 6.3%, the unemployment rate for women with less than a high school education in 1997-99 was 42.4%.

Many jobs in Washington, DC pay poverty-level wages. In 1999, 18.9% of jobs in Washington, DC paid below the wage needed to lift a family of four above the poverty line with full-time, full-year work. The share of jobs that pay poverty-level wages in Washington, DC decreased over the 1990s, and DC still has a smaller share of these jobs than does the nation as a whole.

STATE OF WORKING AMERICA SEP 2000

Only 31,000 new non-government jobs were created in the city between 1984 and 1998. Meanwhile, emloyment of local residents has gone down from 321,000 in 1984 to 244,000 in 1998.

EMPLOYMENT BY TOP TEN BUSINESSES
1985 24,947
1996 18,613
1998 22,092
A
NON GOVERNMENT EMPLOYMENT
1984 358,000
1994 382,000
1998 389,000

Between the late 80s and the late 90s, DC's richest 5th gained 37% in income, while the middle 5th declined 14% and the poorest 5th declined 17% [Center on Budget and Policy Priorities]

City sheltered homeless population in 1996 as a percent of New York City's: 29%
DC's population as a percent of New York City's: 8% [HUD]

--DC now has the highest income gap between rich and poor in the nation, compared to the 50 states [1999]

--DC families with children lost 27% in income between 1978 and 1996 while the top fifth gained 56%.

--One half of our children live below the poverty level [1999]

--Between 1995 and 1996 the total income of DC residents making over $100,000 rose $624 million.

-- Federal workforce in DC 1990-1996: down 13% to 181,000

-- Number of vendors in DC 1993-1996: down 55% to 1219