SILVER SPRING, MD – The largest leap in Montgomery County’s population occurred in Germantown, which added close to 20,000 residents in the last decade. Germantown’s 2010 population was 86,395, and includes a 149-percent jump in the Hispanic population. Hispanics are the fastest-growing minority group in the county.
Demographic experts in the county Planning Department analyzing the 2010 Census data released Tuesday identified population characteristics for communities such as Germantown, Wheaton, Aspen Hill, Rockville, Gaithersburg, Bethesda, Fairland and Silver Spring to create a snapshot of the people who live in the county.
Their analysis also helps planners better understand the communities where they work. For example, accurate demographics advance current planning efforts in the East County Science Center and Burtonsville Commercial Crossroads by providing insight into community needs.
Germantown, a community of about 13,000 acres that straddles I-270 north of Gaithersburg, began drawing people in the 1990s. The former farming community had been identified in the 1960s-era General Plan to be one of several Corridor Cities along I-270.
The 2009 Germantown Master Plan calls for the community to be a commercial and cultural center for upper Montgomery County. The plan built upon a multi-cultural trend in Germantown: the Census reveals that all minority populations grew significantly; in addition to Hispanics, it saw gains in the Asian/Pacific Islander population by 119 percent and blacks by 60 percent.
Approved and adopted by the County Council in October 2009, the Germantown plan covers 2,400 acres and creates a vision for areas with a mix of residential and retail served by MARC commuter rail and the future Corridor Cities Transitway, a proposed light rail or rapid bus transit system running from Shady Grove to Clarksburg. The plan also highlights new zoning tools and design guidelines that will encourage a more lively walkable, sustainable environment for the emerging suburban center.
County planners analyzing the Census data also document the rapid growth of the Hispanic population in such communities as Wheaton, Aspen Hill, and Gaithersburg. The Asian/Pacific Islander population also grew in Rockville, Clarksburg and North Potomac. The African American population increased in Germantown, Fairland and Montgomery Village, but at slower rates than the other minority groups.
Clarksburg had highest percentage increase in population, gaining 11,295 residents, or a 480- percent increase from the year 2000 level of 2,371.
Learn more about population trends in Montgomery County.
With a total population of close to 1 million, Montgomery County is Maryland’s most populous county and ranks second in the metropolitan Washington, D.C. region to Fairfax County, whose population stands at 1,081,726.