Vincent Gray: D.C. Is 'Fastest-Growing State' In U.S.

12/21/2011 04:14 pm ET | Updated Dec 21, 2011

WASHINGTON -- District of Columbia Mayor Vincent Gray's office announced Wednesday that the nation's capital is the "fastest-growing state in the country."

From the mayor's office:

According to the Census Bureau, the District’s population as of July 1 stood at 617,996 -- an increase of 16,273 new residents since April 1, 2010, when the 2010 Census count concluded. That means the District grew in population by 2.7 percent during a period of 1 1/4 years -- handily beating even fast-growing states like Texas (2.1 percent growth over the same period) and Utah (1.8 percent growth). The District's growth during that 15-month period equals more than half of the city's growth over the entire previous decade, when D.C. gained nearly 30,000 residents.

Gray attributes 66 percent of the city's 15-month population increase to "net migration" -- new residents coming to D.C. from other parts of the U.S. and from abroad.

"We've made historic investments in public safety, education, infrastructure, economic development and sustainability, and those investments are now paying dividends," Gray said, according to a statement. "It's no secret that the District is one of the most dynamic cities in the country and that we have made significant efforts to grow and diversify our economy. It certainly looks like those efforts are working."

The Census Bureau notes that this is the first time D.C. has "led states and equivalents in growth since the early 1940s."

Gray's office this week also announced that D.C.'s November unemployment rate fell, from 11.0 percent in October to 10.6 percent in November.

The announcement also celebrates some new federal numbers showing a modest gain in jobs:

The federal statistics show the District gained 3,200 jobs in October, for a total of 719,000. The private sector added 4,000 jobs, while the public sector payrolls were reduced by 800 jobs. The numbers are drawn from the United States Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) through its monthly survey of D.C. employers.

Since January, the total number of private-sector jobs in the District has increased by 3.7 percent, or 17,100 jobs.

RELATED VIDEO: Vincent Gray Speaks At A Protest For D.C. Voting Rights And Self-Determination On Capitol Hill On April 11, 2011.

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