County Manager Mark Schwartz compares a snapshot of Arlington from 100 years ago and today’s Arlington. Arlington County began as a rural area of farms — the last of which closed in 1955 — and grew into a densely populated community with housing developments, new businesses, and modernized infrastructure. The population followed suit as an increase of federal workers spilled into the area during the 1930s, as National Airport opened in 1941, as World War II saw the construction of the Pentagon, and as the Metrorail corridors were introduced in the 1970s. Today, it’s a “diverse and inclusive world-class urban community.”

To highlight the many changes Arlington undergone, Mr. Schwartz discussed the 1920 Census and several data points such as population, family size, demographic makeup (race, age, gender, languages spoken, housing types). He described how he used the census data and what it helps us understand today.

Mark Schwartz was named County Manager by the Arlington County Board in January 2016 after serving as Acting County Manager the previous six months. He was a Deputy County Manager from October 2010 through June 30, 2015, and was named Acting Deputy County Manager in November 2009.

This is one of a series of monthly virtual lectures hosted by the Arlington Historical Society. It was held in January 2021.