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Population Growth Overall

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Key Facts Population Growth Overall

Northern Virginia is on the front lines of a demographic transformation shaping the United States. There has been an extraordinary amount of population growth in Northern Virginia.

2000 to 2010 Period

Key Facts:

  • A population increase of 415,000, surpassing a previous decennial record of 360,000 added during the 1980s.

  • The population growth during the decade was equivalent to adding a number that exceeded the 2010 population count for Prince William County.

  • An average annual gain of nearly 42,000.

  • A ten-year growth rate of 23% compared to 9% nationally.

  • The population growth of Northern Virginia exceeded the population growth recorded in 35 of the 50 U.S. states.

  • Two-thirds of the population growth of the Washington metropolitan region settled on the Virginia side of the Potomac River.

  • Two-thirds of the population growth of Northern Virginia was located along the outer-ring suburbs of Prince William, Loudoun Counties, and the Cities of Manassas and Manassas Park.  This was the first time in the history of Northern Virginia that the preponderance of new population growth moved to the outer rim.

2010 to 2019 Period

Key Facts:

  • Nine years out from the last Census, Northern Virginia has added approximately 280,000 people, an increase that is greater than 34 states over the nine-year peri­od.

  • Growth peaked in 2010.  Growth in Northern Virginia has been on the decline in Northern Virginia since 2010, but it is still large and impactful on the region.  

  • Aside from the low annual growth from 2005 to 2006, the annual growth for the six year period from 2013 to 2019 has been the lowest since 2000.  The Washington metropolitan region has an economy that is heavily dependent on the federal government.  In 2013 federal sequestration began and the current presidential term began in 2016.  Federal employment in the Washington metropolitan region has dropped from 373,400 in 2013 to 364,200 in 2019 according to the Bureau of Labor Statistic.  Slower population growth in Northern Virginia has also occurred since 2013.   Growth from 2017 to 2018 was estimated to be 13,600 and from 2018 to 2019 was estimated to be 12,600, which are the lowest annual amounts in the 19 year period from 2000 to 2019.   

  • A nine-year growth rate of 12% compared to 6% nationally.

  • Where in Northern Virginia the growth is locating this decade is different than in the 1990s and 2000s.

    • The preponderance of population growth of Northern Virginia continues to be located in the outer-ring suburbs of Prince William, Loudoun Counties, and the Cities of Manassas and Manassas Park.  However, the share of the region's growth that is in the outer-ring has dropped from 65.1% to 59.8%. 

    • Arlington has seen its share of the region's growth more than double from what it experienced in the 1990's and 2000's.

    • Alexandria has seen its share of the region's growth become 2.4 times what it experienced in the 2000's.

    • Intensification of developmental pressures this decade in the inner-core is a response to the millennial generation preferences, demographics, urbanization, transportation and other market pressures.

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