2005 Demographics and Development for Commuter Service Managers Guide

The purpose of this guide is to: compile demographic information to help guide commuter services managers in planning and delivering services; summarize demographics of Arlington County residents and commuters based on U.S. Census Bureau and Arlington Planning Division data; understand residential and commercial development characteristics and trends in Arlington County; and forecast future populations, employment numbers, and commuter work sites.


Arlington County Demographics:

  • Arlington County’s population in 2005 was around 200,000; By 2030 it is expected to be approximately 250,000
  • From 1990-2000 North Arlington and various other tracts outside the Metro corridors declined slightly in population, while the Ballston-Virginia Square Metro station area experience more than 30% population gain
  • In 2005 the largest segment of Arlington County’s population was between the ages of 25-44.  Other age groups were ranked in size as follows: 45-64, Under 15, 15-24, and 65+.
  • In 2000, around 40% of residents were in minority racial groups; in 2005, Hispanic/Latino residents accounted for 19% of the population.
  • In 2005, almost 30% of Arlington’s residents were foreign-born.
  • A third had only lived in Arlington between 2-5 years, just under a third had lived there for less than a year.  Only 12% had lived in Arlington for 20+ years.
  • In 2000, 82% of residents in the Ballston tract had lived there 5 years or less, while in the North Arlington area 68% had lived there more than 5 years.
  • In 2005, the majority of Arlington residents were service or government employees.  This was a consistent pattern since 1969.
  • In 2000 29% of workers in Arlington lived in Fairfax County.  Arlington residents comprised the second largest group of workers at 21%.
  • Arlington County’s daytime population has increased significantly, and this trend was expected to increase over time.
  • The daytime population was larger than the number of people employed in Arlington County.


  • In 2005, over half of those employed in Arlington drove alone to work while almost a quarter took public transportation. Arlington was ranked 7th out of 9 major cities, including New York, LA, DC and Chicago, for the percentage of residents using public transportation (23%).
  • The number of people riding Metro increased from about 60,000 in 1990 to 90,000 in 2003.
  • Car ownership by households was higher in 2005 than at any other time.


  • In 2005, most Arlington County residents rented rather than owned their residences.
  • Between 2000 and 2005, almost 17,000 residential units had been built, were being built, or were approved to be built.
  • The county has approved residential development projects in all areas of Arlington, but especially in central Arlington.
  • Between 2000 and 2005, almost 3.5 million square feet of office space were built.  At the time of the study, seven major office projects were in construction, and another 2 million square feet had been approved.
  • The county had approved commercial development projects for all areas of Arlington, but especially in central Arlington.
  • 75% of Arlington County was built out.


  • Areas surrounding Metro stations are expected to see the most population and employment growth in the next 25 years.
  • Rosslyn, Ballston, and Court House areas were expected to see the most population growth by 2030.
  • Rosslyn and Crystal City areas were expected to see the most employment growth by 2030.


Full Presentation (PDF):  Information to Help Guide Commuter Services Managers–Report

Technical Summary (PDF):  Summary – 2005 Demographics and Development for Commuter Svc Mgrs GUIDE


Contact the ACCS Research Team for more information.


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