There are 6,388 people per square mile in the Washington-Arlington-Alexandria metro area, roughly similar to the national population density of 6,321 Americans per square mile across all U.S. metro areas.

Population density can have a meaningful impact on home prices in an area. There tends to be more demand for available real estate in more densely populated areas, and home prices are often higher as a result. In Washington a typical home is worth $401,500, more than the national median home value of $194,500. Washington has the lowest median home value of any metro area in the state.

Dense metropolitan areas are often the most congested, with the average worker spending up to 38 minutes commuting to work in some cities. The average commute in Washington lasts 34.5 minutes, longer than the average commute time for District of Columbia as a whole of 29.8 minutes and the lowest of any metro area in the state.

One of the most effective deterrents to crime is other people. In denser cities there is often more people and more streetlight to act as natural surveillance that can in some cases prevent petty crime. In the Washington-Arlington-Alexandria metro area, there were 1,929 property crimes per 100,000 people in 2015, lower than the national property crime rate of 2,487 incidents per 100,000 Americans and lower than the statewide rate of 4,676 property crimes reported per 100,000 residents.

Rank Metro Area Population Density
10 San Diego-Carlsbad-San Marcos, CA 6,920.5
9 Miami-Fort Lauderdale-Pompano Beach, FL 7,395.3
8 Philadelphia-Camden-Wilmington, PA-NJ-DE-MD 7,773.2
7 Boston-Cambridge-Quincy, MA-NH 7,980.1
6 San Jose-Sunnyvale-Santa Clara, CA 8,417.7
5 Chicago-Joliet-Naperville, IL-IN-WI 8,613.4
4 Honolulu, HI 11,548.2
3 Los Angeles-Long Beach-Santa Ana, CA 12,113.9
2 San Francisco-Oakland-Fremont, CA 12,144.9
1 New York-Northern New Jersey-Long Island, NY-NJ-PA 31,251.4