Report shows city gains as Virginia’s population growth slows
Virginia’s overall population growth has slowed since 2010, but the growth of its cities has picked up.
The Weldon Cooper Center for Public Service at the University of Virginia has released a report showing that the commonwealth’s population rose 4.1 percent from 2010 to 2014 — its slowest growth pace in many decades.
Virginia cities, by contrast, have showed a growth spurt, making up more than half of the commonwealth’s 25 fastest-growing localities in this decade, the report says.
During the previous decade, populations growth was seen in Virginia counties rather than cities. Today, cities and counties have reached relative parity, the center said.
Virginia had an estimated population of 8.3 million on July 1. The commonwealth is the nation’s 12th-largest state and ranked 10th in numerical gain between 2013 and 2014.
Northern Virginia continues to account for nearly three-fifths of the commonwealth’s population gain, with eight of the 10 fastest-growing localities located there.
Localities with growth of more than 10 percent since 2010 included: Fredericksburg, with an estimated 2014 population of 28,213, up 16.2 percent; Loudoun County, 361,708, up 15.8 percent; Alexandria, 155,230, up 10.9 percent; Manassas, 41,830, up 10.6 percent; and Arlington County, 229,302, up 10.4 percent.
Among the commonwealth metro areas, the report showed:
Blacksburg-Christiansburg-Radford: Estimated population of 182,757 in 2014, up 2.5 percent since 2010.
Bristol: 95,888, down one-tenth of a percentage point
Charlottesville: 229,304, up 4.8 percent.
Hampton Roads: 1.69 million, up 3 percent.
Harrisonburg: 131,565, up 5.1 percent.
Lynchburg: 259,487, up 2.7 percent.
Northern Virginia: 2.87 million, up 7.1 percent.
Richmond: 1.25 million, up 3.6 percent.
Roanoke: 313,808, up 1.7 percent.
Staunton: 120,950, up 2.1 percent.
Winchester: 109,259, up 4.5 percent.