2021 | Government

New census data show Montgomery County population increased 9% in decade

Double-digit percentage increases for Black, Asian, Hispanic residents

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Montgomery County’s population increased 9.3% from 2010 to 2020, according to 2020 U.S. Census data released Thursday.

The data show a substantial decrease, since the 2010 census, in the county’s white population, and increases in the county’s Black, Latino and Asian populations.

The Census Bureau released raw data from the 2020 Census on Thursday afternoon, following a media briefing. It will send a reformatted version of the data to counties and municipalities next month.

According to the 2020 Census, Montgomery County’s population increased from 971,777 in 2010 to 1,062,061 in 2020.

It was the first time the county had passed 1 million after a decennial census. However, it already was beyond that mark according to annual estimates since the last census. The 2019 estimate was 1,050,688.

Montgomery County remains Maryland’s most populous county, followed by Prince George’s County, at 967,201, and Baltimore County, at 854,535.

Maryland’s population grew by 7% from 2010 to 2020, going from 5.8 million to 6.2 million.

Montgomery County’s breakdown of race by ethnicity in 2020 was:

  • White alone: 457,783 (43.1%)
  • Black or African American alone: 197,077 (18.6%)
  • Asian alone: 163,507 (15.4%)
  • Two or more races: 119,262 (11.2%)
  • Some other race alone: 116,786 (11.0%)
  • American Indian and Alaska Native alone: 7,036 (0.7%)
  • Native Hawaiian and other Pacific Islander alone: 610 (0.1%)

The Census Bureau has a separate category from race called Hispanic Origin, referring to “the heritage, nationality, lineage or country of birth” of the person or their parents or ancestors, according to the website. It is not included in the race category because people who identify as Hispanic, Latino or Spanish may be any race.

According to the 2020 Census, Montgomery County had a Hispanic or Latino population of 217,409 (20.5%).

Among the significant changes in the county’s racial makeup from 2010 to 2020 were:

  • A decrease in the county’s “White alone” population by 18%.
  • An increase in the “Black or African American alone” population by 17.8%
  • An increase in the “Asian alone” population by 20.7%
  • An increase in the Hispanic or Latino population by 31.4%

The Maryland Department of Planning also released data from the Census Thursday afternoon, including the populations of census incorporated places and census designated places.

Some of Montgomery County’s municipal populations from the 2020 census were:

  • Gaithersburg: 69,657 (up from 59,993 in 2010)
  • Rockville: 67,117 (up from 61,209)
  • Takoma Park: 17,629 (up from 16,715)
  • Chevy Chase (census designated place): 10,176 (up from 9,545)
  • Poolesville: 5,742 (up from 4,883)
  • Town of Chevy Chase: 2,904 (up from 2,824)
  • Kensington: 2,122 (down from 2,213)
  • Chevy Chase Village: 2,049 (up from 1,953)
  • Somerset: 1,187 (down from 1,216)
  • Chevy Chase View: 1,005 (up from 920)
  • Garrett Park: 996 (up from 992)
  • Martin’s Addition: 946 (up from 933)
  • Village of Chevy Chase Section Three: 802 (up from 760)
  • North Chevy Chase: 682 (up from 519)
  • Village of Chevy Chase Section Five: 672 (up from 658)
  • Laytonsville: 572 (up from 353)
  • Washington Grove: 505 (down from 555)
  • Glen Echo: 279 (up from 255)
  • Brookeville: 166 (up from 134)
  • Barnesville: 144 (down from 172)

Census data are used for redistricting at the congressional, state and local level.

However, that process won’t occur until after Maryland officials have reformatted the data to ensure that prisoners are counted at the last known address prior to being incarcerated in a jail or correctional facility.

Montgomery County’s redistricting commission will use the reworked data before submitting its proposal to the County Council in November.

Dan Schere can be reached at daniel.schere@bethesdamagazine.com