10/27/2011 12:07 pm ET Updated Dec 27, 2011

Census: More Young People Flock To D.C.

WASHINGTON -- According to U.S. Census Bureau figures released Thursday, the Washington metropolitan area gained roughly 7,000 people between the ages of 25 and 34 in the past three years, according to The Washington Post. The rate, which factors in D.C.'s suburbs in Maryland and Virginia, was the sixth-highest in the nation.

It's a marked change from pre-recession stats, which had the region losing 8,000 young adults a year to metropolitan areas with lower living costs. The change is due in part to the availability of jobs in a city that has fared better economically than most others in recent years.

Some demographers also say that D.C. has a growing reputation as a cool place for young people to live. Census numbers from earlier this year revealed that a third of the city's population is in its 20s and early 30s, responsible for nearly all growth in the last decade.

William Frey, a demographer with the Brookings Institution who analyzed the census data comparing the 2005 to 2007 period with 2008 to 2010, told the Post that "the economy and hipness” are a powerful combination:

"Young people are going to places that have a certain vibe. If there's a recession, they want to ride it out in a place like that. And Washington has the extra advantage of being a government town that's not as hard-hit by recessions as others."

The news comes amid more reports of young people moving back home because of the economy, including many in the D.C. area. According to 2010 Census data, nearly 1.2 million residents of the region's 6 million were living with extended family members and friends last year.