People of Color Comprise Nearly 60% of County’s Population

Nearly 60% of Montgomery County residents are people of color, according to the county Planning Department. 

The jurisdiction has seen a “dramatic change in racial composition of the county since the 1960s, when we were less than 4% people of color,” according to Caroline McCarthy, chief of research and strategic projects with the Planning Department, during a county council meeting Tuesday.

The department shared demographic data about the county before the council. McCarthy said key data sources were the U.S. Census Bureau and the annual American Community Survey.

In three of seven council districts, Hispanic residents make up more than one-fifth of the population. In two districts, Asian residents are close to one-fifth of the population.

Montgomery County is the 44th largest county in the nation at more than one million residents, second largest in the region behind Fairfax County. McCarthy said no other county in the region is forecast to break the one million mark through 2045. But, Montgomery County is growing more slowly than several decades ago. Population increased from 972,000 in 2010 to 1.06 million in 2020. The average annual growth rate in 2021 was .78%, which is about 8,000 people.

11% of the population was ages 65+ in 2000. That population was 17% as of 2021 and is projected to rise to 21% by 2045. 

Countywide, two-thirds of residents are homeowners, with variations between districts. 83% of residents in district 7 are homeowners, while in district 4, renters make up more than 53% of the population. McCarthy noted there are significant rental challenges throughout all districts. 

One in five households has an income less than $50,000, and those households are more likely to be Hispanic or Black residents, McCarthy said.

Population density is concentrated around Metro stations, up the Georgia Avenue corridor, up the Metro red line, further out in Gaithersburg and Germantown, and over in Fairland. 

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