As County Gets More Diverse, Bethesda Doesn't Change Much


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As Montgomery County has become a majority-minority county, Census numbers released last week show Bethesda hasn't contributed much to the area's shifting demographics. The U.S. Census Bureau released its American Community Survey five-year estimates from 2007 to 2011 on Thursday, which showed the population of white people in Bethesda was actually higher than estimated in the 2010 Census, though the statistics were collected differently. According to the Survey, the total population was 58,661 compared to 60,858 in the 2010 Census. Nearly 80 percent of that population was white, 9 percent asian, 6.5 percent Latino and 2.9 percent black, according to the Survey. The 2010 Census showed 77.8 percent of Bethesda's population was white. In Montgomery County as a whole, whites accounted for 50 percent of the population compared to nearly 60 percent in the 2000 Census. Unemployment in the county was at 4.2 percent. In Bethesda, the Survey estimated unemployment at 4 percent. Other trends in the study included a majority of the population enrolled in school were in pre-kindergarten, kindergarten or elementary school (classified as grades 1-8), coinciding with an expected surge in high school students and causing MCPS officials to plan accordingly. More than 53 percent of enrolled students have yet to enter high school. The study also shows that of 30,703 Bethesda workers age 16 and older, 58 percent drive alone, 16.6 percent use public transportation, 6.6 percent carpool and 5.7 percent walk to work. North Bethesda's population of 40,970 did not yet show any signs of increasing as the significant development in White Flint ramps up. The 2010 Census estimated North Bethesda's population at 43,828. Flickr photo by Steve Unlikely!

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