Arlington, VA

(Updated at 6 p.m.) Striking new research reveals that where children are born in Arlington can have a decades-long ripple effect on their futures, with kids in the county’s more ethnically diverse neighborhoods growing up to make less money and end up in jail at higher rates than their counterparts.

The analysis, compiled by the Census bureau and a team of academic researchers, shows that children born to a family in a wealthy, predominantly white North Arlington neighborhood earn tens of thousands of dollars more, on average, than kids from a more diverse, lower income South Arlington neighborhood. Incarceration rates generally follow the opposite pattern.

These effects largely persist regardless of a child’s race, or the income level of their parents, mirroring results researchers found around the country in creating this new “Opportunity Atlas.” The interactive map combines anonymized data on 20 million people born 30 years ago with granular Census tracts, in order to provide a glimpse of the gaps in opportunity across different neighborhoods nationwide.

Researchers are still sorting out the exact reasons behind these disparities — everything from the quality of local schools to an area’s employment rate could help explain the variations. But officials and public policy analysts increasingly view this data as a key way to guide where government intervention might be most needed to lift people out of poverty, particularly when evaluating which neighborhoods have borne the brunt of decades of racially discriminatory policies.

In Arlington, the atlas helps provide concrete examples of how the split in income levels and diversity between the northern and southern halves of the county affect residents of each neighborhood.

For instance, kids born in the Douglas Park Census tract, an area just off Columbia Pike with the largest share of non-white residents in the county as recorded in the 2010 Census, grew up to record an average household income of $36,000, regardless of their race or income level. That figure is the second lowest in the entire county.

Low-income children, defined as those born to families making $27,000 a year or less, in the area grew up to make $33,000 a year. High-income kids, who were born to families making $94,000 a year, grew up to make about $51,000.

In Nauck, a historically black community, children grew up to earn $34,000 a year, the lowest salary in the county.

Children born to low-income families made $30,000 a year, the lowest figure among that cohort in the county. Kids in high-income families there grew up to make $42,000 a year, again the lowest for the income bracket in Arlington.

People in Nauck are also incarcerated at the highest rate in the county — 4.8 percent of the people studied in the area are currently in jail. That includes 6.9 percent of children born to low-income parents and 1.6 percent of those born to high-income families, rates that are both among the highest in the county.

The results are also striking in the High View Park Census tract, which encompasses the historically black Halls Hill neighborhood, which was literally walled off from its white neighbors for decades in the Jim Crow era.

Kids growing up in the area, of all income levels, went on to make about $44,000 a year, roughly the median for the county. Low-income children, however, recorded the third lowest salary among that group in Arlington, at $29,000 per year. High-income kids went on to make about $57,000 per year, much more towards the county’s median. The neighborhood has the second-highest share of incarcerated residents in the county, with 9.2 percent behind bars.

By contrast, children born in the county’s whitest areas tend to grow up to become considerably wealthier, regardless of their family’s income level.

In the county’s Census tract with the lowest share of non-white residents (an area including neighborhoods like Bellevue Forest, Dover Crystal and Woodmont), children grew up to make an average of $68,000, tied for the second highest salary in the county. Low-income kids recorded that same $68,000 average, as did high-income kids.

Similarly, the county’s second whitest Census tract — an area in Northwest Arlington containing neighborhoods like Country Club Hills and Arlingwood — kids grew up to make $80,000, the highest salary in the whole county. Low-income kids eventually made an average of $51,000 per year, while high-income children made it to $70,000 a year.

And, in the vast majority of the county’s whitest areas, incarceration rates were below 1 percent.

Graphic via Opportunity Atlas

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VIP opening party for Good Stuff Eatery in Crystal CityArlington County has seen a surge in new restaurants in 2015.

So far this year, 56 new restaurants have either opened or are expected to open by the end of the year. That includes all types of restaurants, from Oz to Pepita Cantina to Kona Grill to Cinnabon.

The 56 openings this year is compared to a relative lull in new restaurants in 2014, with only 30 restaurant openings.

(The statistics, which come from ARLnow.com’s reporting on new restaurants, are approximate and may exclude certain small restaurant openings and changes in business.)

While fewer in number, the vast majority of the restaurants that opened in 2014 are still in business, a notable achievement in the competitive and volatile restaurant business. There are, of course, some exceptions.

Chart of restaurant openings in ArlingtonPizza Vinoteca in Ballston was one of 2014’s most hyped openings and quickest closings. Another one that bit the dust this year was 100 Montaditos, which folded after 13 months in Rosslyn. Other notable restaurant closings, just since May 1, include Bungalow Sports Grill, Jay’s Saloon, Tutti Frutti Frozen Yogurt, Johnny Rockets, Ri Ra Irish Pub, Ted’s Montana Grill, Corner Bakery, Charlie Chiang’s, Boston Market and Willow.

The past two years of volatility in restaurant openings followed three years, from 2011-2013, when restaurant openings held relatively steady, with a slight year-over-year decline — 38 in 2011, 37 in 2012 and 36 in 2013. That period brought local restaurants with staying power, like Green Pig Bistro and Copperwood Tavern, and those that fizzled out, from Fat Shorty’s to Red Parrot Bistro to Wiinky’s.

What should Arlington food fans expect in 2016? Anecdotally, there haven’t been many new restaurant announcements as of late, but there are at least three 2016 openings worth watching, and they’re all in the same place: Matchbox, Sugar Factory and Shake Shack are coming to the expanding Fashion Centre at Pentagon City mall next year.

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Arlington County has released the latest version of its annual Profile publication, a compendium of vital statistics about the county. The 2012 Arlington County Profile includes information about the county’s demographics, economy and cultural resources.

In terms of population, Arlington’s Community Planning, Housing and Development (CPHD) department estimates that there are 99,900 total household in the county. Arlington’s population, meanwhile, will exceed a quarter of a million by 2040, according to CPHD forecasts.

  • 2012 Population: 211,700
  • 2012 Employment: 227,500 (jobs located in Arlington)
  • 2040 Population: 252,400 (est.)
  • 2040 Employment: 308,400 (est.)

Government was the top job sector in Arlington, based on 2012 estimates.

  • Government: 26.4%
  • Professional and technical services: 20.7%
  • Hospitality and food: 7.1%
  • Transportation and warehousing: 4.5%
  • Real estate: 3.7%
  • Information: 2.9%
  • Finance and insurance: 2.4%
  • Construction: 2.1%
  • Other services: 21.4%
  • Other (including retail): 8.9%

As of 2011, the top ten private employers were:

  • Deloitte: 5,100 jobs
  • Lockheed Martin: 2,700 jobs
  • Virginia Hospital Center: 2,120 jobs
  • Marriott International: 1,940 jobs
  • Bureau of National Affairs: 1,906 jobs
  • Booz Allen Hamilton: 1,400 jobs
  • SRA International: 1,360 jobs
  • CACI: 1,217 jobs
  • SAIC: 1,200 jobs
  • Corporate Executive Board: 1,060 jobs

Arlington’s economy remains strong, with low unemployment and high household income. The 2012 median household income in Arlington is $99,600, while per capita income is $78,000. Total retail sales in Arlington came to $3.14 billion in 2011. The residential rental vacancy rate was 4.6 percent while the average rent went up by 2 percent from 2010 to 2011. Arlington’s civilian labor force of 141,073 had an unemployment rate of 3.9 percent as of March 2011.

Arlington’s 2012 tax base was divided between 49 percent commercial and 51 percent residential.

Arlington is also rich culturally. The county had 8 libraries, 149 county parks, 13 community centers, 3 nature centers, 6 senior centers, 120 athletic fields, 118 tennis and basketball courts, and 86 miles of bicycle routes and jogging trails.

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Good news, Arlington. According to a new book, we live longer than just about everybody else in the country.

Residents in the Eight District of Virginia — us — and the Eight District of Maryland — another D.C. suburb — live more than 83 years, on average.

That makes the Virginia and Maryland Eighths the congressional districts in which Americans are living the longest, according to the book Measure of America 2010-2011: Mapping Risks and Resilience.

We’ll drink to that.

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Crime Down in 2009

Arlington’s violent crime rate fell 8.3 percent in 2009, the Arlington County Police Department announced this afternoon. The overall crime rate dropped by 3.7 percent.

There were four homicides in 2009, compared to two in 2008. There has been one homicide (for which an arrest has been made) so far this year.

There were 15 rapes in 2009, compared to 23 the year prior, a 35 percent decrease

There were 319 burglaries last year, an 18 percent decrease versus 2008.

There were also 297 vehicles reported stolen in 2009. Vehicle theft in Arlington County has not been that low since the early 1960’s.

“This is very good news for our community,” said Arlington County board chairman Jay Fisette. “In these tough economic times, to see a drop in the overall crime rate, and a significant drop in the violent crime rate, is more evidence that Arlington is a safe place to live — and getting safer.”

“Our officers have accomplished a great deal in the past year combating crime in Arlington and receive notable support from the community,” police chief M. Douglas Scott said. “We continue to enjoy a close working relationship with the community to increase awareness and the practice of good crime prevention strategies.”

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Hey, Big Spenders

If you live in Arlington, congratulations, you live among the most prolific spenders in the country. Personal finance web site Bundle.com has compiled a list of the most spend-thrift cities in the U.S., and Arlington (which is technically a county, but we’ll let it slide this time) ranked fourth, behind Austin, Scottsdale and San Jose. The District placed 11th.

Arlingtonians, on average, spent $56,746 on average household expenses (not including mortgages or rent) in 2009, according to Bundle. That’s $7,315 more than D.C., and $40,300 more than Detroit, the most thrifty city in the country.

Pool photo by mosprott.

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Home sales surged by more than 50 percent last month compared to the same period one year ago. Also, average home prices rose 3.4 percent compared to February 2009.

The comparison is a bit skewed, since recessionary jitters kept many people out of the real estate market last winter, and since the credit crisis prevented many would-be homeowners from even getting a mortgage.

More from the Sun Gazette.

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Arlington County officials, taking a breath after back-to-back snow storms, released a wealth of information today about the county’s massive snow removal operation.

We learned that the county received emergency support from the state in advance of Wednesday’s blizzard. Eight front end loader and 16 operators arrived from Richmond Monday night.

We also learned who was driving all those dump trucks and other heavy equipment, seen on main corridors during the height of the storms. Starting on Friday, on the eve of Snowmageddon, the county contracted with the following companies to provide snow removal services: DHC Corporation, Bell Brothers, Inc., Rock Hard Contracting, Inc., Sagres Construction, Inc., Martin & Gass, Inc., and DRC Emergency Services, LLC.

And we now know that the county had to replenish its salt supply twice in the past week. On Monday, the contractors sent 15 trucks to pick up salt from the Port of Baltimore. The trucks made another salt resupply trip Wednesday night. Arlington has used more than 10,000 tons of salt so far this winter.

More extraordinary numbers, after the jump.

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