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Race and Ethnicity Overall

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Race and Ethnicity Overall

Key Facts Race and Ethnicity Overall

A big story of the region is its diversification and majority-minority transition.  There will soon be a day when the majority of people will belong to a minority group (any group other than non-Hispanic White alone).  Much of this is attributed to the sizable increases in the number of Hispanics, Asians, and multiracial persons in the region.

The following charts show the region's race, ethnic, and minority breakdown for Northern Virginia and its counties and cities.  Hispanic and Latino are displayed separately from race because Hispanic and Latino is an ethnic classification and not a race classification.  Hispanic and Latino persons can be of any race.  Minorities are defined as anyone other than a person self-identifying as white non-Hispanic.

Decennial Census Data

The Decennial Census is based on a survey of the entire population.  It is conducted once a decade.  The 2020 Decennial Census population was released on August 12, 2021.  The Decennial Census regional, county, and city population data is shown in the interactive charts that follow. 

Comparisons of changes in race and ethnicity between 2020 and prior years should be viewed with caution.  According to the Census Bureau, “The observed changes in the multiracial population could be attributed to a number of factors, including demographic change since 2010.  But we expect they were largely due to the improvements to the design of the two separate questions for race and ethnicity, data processing, and coding, which enabled a more thorough and accurate depiction of how people prefer to self-identify.” For details on the changes please view the U.S. Census Bureau's technical information.

Annual Estimates Data

Annual estimates of population paint a portrait of the annual growth patterns in the towns of Northern Virginia.  Annual estimates are not based on a full census of the population.  Rather they are estimates based on a compilation of multiple administrative data pieces such as birth records and residential building permits.  The estimates are benchmarked to the Decennial Census.  These latest estimates are benchmarked to the 2010 Decennial Census.  The 2020 Decennial Census data was released on August 12, 2021.  Using the results of the 2020 Decennial Census, the annual estimates for 2010 to 2019 shown below will be adjusted later on by the U.S. Census Bureau sometime in 2022.  Until the data is adjusted, the following data will not correspond exactly with the results of the 2020 Census, but the estimates are relatively close.