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Households Earning at Least $200K Are Now Biggest Group in Arlington

by Ethan Rothstein March 27, 2015 at 3:05 pm 6,561 0

(Updated at 3:30 p.m.) The proportion of Arlington households making at least $200,000 annually has tripled in the past decade.

As part of the county’s ongoing Community Facilities Study, staff from the county government and Arlington Public Schools presented data to a working group this week that will come as little surprise to anyone who follows the county’s demographic trends.

In 2000, less than 6 percent of Arlington households made $200,000 or more. The largest income group in the county was those making between $75,000 and $99,999 (about $100,000-$135,000 in 2013 dollars, according to the county).

In 2013, more than 18 percent of the county was earning $200,00 or more — which is more than any other income group. The second-biggest segment is the $75,000-$99,999 group, at less than 13 percent of the county’s population.

More relevant to the overflowing schools problem that continues to plague the county: the size of the average family has increased. Non-family households made up 53.9 percent of the county population in 2013, down slightly from 54.5 percent in 2000.

Four-person households saw the single-biggest growth over the same time period. In 2000, there were 6,715 four-person families in Arlington. In 2013, there were 8,263 — marking a 23.1 percent increase. These are the households that generate the most significant portion of APS students, according to the county.

To compound the growth in the sheer number of larger families in the county, more families than ever before are sending their kids to Arlington schools. In 2000, 82 percent of school-age children in Arlington attended public school in the county. That number climbed to 91 percent in 2010.

According to U.S. Census data, there were 145 more total school-age children in Arlington in 2000 than in 2010, but the APS population added 1,837 children anyway.

What the Community Facilities Study and the Arlington County Board do with this information is still to be seen. The group has been meeting for about two months, and will continue to meet this summer. The group is charged with determining the best way to use the county and school system’s buildings, property and open space to serve everyone.

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