Tip Sheet: U.Va. Demographers Can Provide Context for 2010 Virginia Census Counts

February 4, 2011 — Today, the United States Census Bureau released Virginia's 2010 Census population counts at the local level, as well as data on race, and on those of Hispanic origin. The highlights include:

Overall population trends in Virginia from 2000 to 2010

Virginia's population now totals 8 million, and grew by more than 900,000 between 2000 and 2010; 82 percent of this growth occurred in the commonwealth’s three major metropolitan statistical areas: Northern Virginia (55 percent), metropolitan Richmond (17 percent) and Hampton Roads (10 percent).

70 percent of Virginia's population lives in these three areas: one-third in Northern Virginia, 16 percent in the Richmond metropolitan area and 21 percent in Hampton Roads.

Northern Virginia continues to lead in population size and growth. Fairfax County remains the largest locality in the state, growing by more than 85,000. Growth in Fairfax, Loudoun and Prince William counties accounts for 40 percent of Virginia's total growth.

In addition, Loudoun County topped the list of fastest-growing Virginia counties, adding 84 percent in 10 years. Other fast-growing counties include Prince William, King George, James City and Stafford.

•  While most localities saw their population increase during the decade, 30 localities experienced population loss. Most of these are rural communities in Southside, Southwest, the Shenandoah Valley, the Northern Neck and the Eastern Shore. Accomack and Buchanan counties and Danville and Martinsville cities each lost more than 10 percent. In Hampton Roads, both Portsmouth and Hampton lost population.

Race and ethnicity in Virginia in 2010

The largest racial groups in Virginia are: white (69 percent) and African-American (19 percent). Other groups include Asian (5.5 percent) and "some other race, or two or more races" (6 percent) – with less than 1 percent being American Indian, Alaskan, Hawaiian or other Pacific island natives.

Hispanics, who can be of any race, account for nearly 8 percent of the total population, up from less than 5 percent in 2000. 

Racial/ethnic minorities account for one-third of Virginia's population.

Among all minority groups, Hispanics had the largest growth (more than 300,000) and growth rate (92 percent) in the last decade.

Sixty-two percent of Virginia's Hispanic population lives in Northern Virginia. Manassas Park City ranks the highest in the percentage of population that is Hispanic (33 percent) followed by Manassas City and Prince William County. Harrisonburg City and Galax City are the only two localities not in Northern Virginia that make the list of the 10 localities with the largest percentage of Hispanic residents.

While the African-American population is concentrated in the southern part of the state, the Asian population predominantly resides in D.C. suburbs, as well as in Virginia Beach; college towns Charlottesville, Williamsburg and Harrisonburg; and Henrico, Montgomery, York and Albemarle counties.

This release marks the first time that decennial census data does not include details on a number of topics, such as education, income, poverty, citizenship and commuting. That information is now provided annually through the American Community Survey, also administered by the Census Bureau.

For information about the census and the American Community Survey, visit the Cooper Center website or call 434-982-5581.


The website also includes a map of population change from 2000 to 2010, with locality-specific data shown in tables: 

 

Table 1: Top Ten Fastest Growing Localities in Virginia

 

Percent Growth, 2000 to 2010

Loudoun County

84%

Prince William County

43%

King George County

40%

Stafford County

39%

James City County

39%

Manassas Park city

39%

New Kent County

37%

Culpeper County

36%

Spotsylvania County

35%

Suffolk city

33%

Table 2: Top Ten Largest Localities in Virginia

 

Population on April 1, 2010

Fairfax County

              1,081,726

Virginia Beach city

                 437,994

Prince William County

                 402,002

Chesterfield County

                 316,236

Loudoun County

                 312,311

Henrico County

                 306,935

Norfolk city

                 242,803

Chesapeake city

                 222,209

Arlington County

                 207,627

Richmond city

                 204,214

Table 3: Top Ten Virginia Localities In Percent of Population Decline

 

Percent Loss, 2000 to 2010

Accomack County

-13%

Danville city

-11%

Buchanan County

-11%

Martinsville city

-10%

Highland County

-8%

Grayson County

-8%

Henry County

-7%

Bath County

-6%

Hampton city

-6%

Alleghany County

-6%

REPORTERS: For questions or comments, contact Cooper Center demographer Qian Cai (pronounced "Chien Tsai") at 434-982-5581 or e-mail qian.cai@virginia.edu.

Media Contact

Rebecca P. Arrington

Assistant Director of Media Relations Office of University Communications