WAMU: DC Has More High-Income Residents Than Ever Before, Audit Suggests

WAMU, February 4, 2020: D.C. has more high-income residents than ever before, audit suggests

It’s getting harder to be considered wealthy in the District of Columbia. In 2019, the percentage of D.C. residents reporting at least $100,001 in personal income hit an all-time high.

At least that appears to be the case, going by an audit of the city’s finances published last week by the Office of the Chief Financial Officer. The document shows almost a quarter (24.73%) of personal income tax filers last year reported six-figure-plus incomes — 11 percentage points higher than a decade ago and possibly the highest in D.C.’s history, according to a spokesperson for the agency.

Most new housing in the District targets smaller households with high incomes. Sixty percent of housing units constructed in D.C. between 2009 and 2019 were one-bedroom apartments, according to the Washington D.C. Economic Partnership, and the vast majority of new units are luxury, or “Class A.”

The average rent of those “Class A” apartments was nearly $2,500 in the second quarter of 2019. That’s considered affordable for renters who earn at least $8,400 per month.

The District was named the country’s most gentrified city in a 2019 report from the National Community Reinvestment Coalition.

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