2010 Census in Northern Virginia

Population Growth

  • Northern Virginia is on the frontlines of a demographic transformation shaping the United States
  • The first round of 2010 census data provides a glimpse of the extraordinary population growth in Northern Virginia over the last decade
  • Key findings include:
    • Population increase of 415,230
    • Average gain of almost 42,000 per year
    • Growth rate of 23 percent, surpassing a previous decennial record of 360,000 added during the 1980’s
    • The population growth this decade is equivalent to adding a number that exceeds the 2010 population count for Prince William County
    • Nationally, the population growth figure exceeds the population increase 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 population growth of Northern Virginia is located along the outer-ring suburbs of Prince William and 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

 Minority Majority Transition

  • The second big story of the 2010 Census is an accelerated transition to a day when there will be no racial and ethnic majority in the region
  • Results from the 2010 Census reveal:
    • 52 percent of the region’s 17 and under population meet the census designation of a minority population; the figure for the population as a whole is 45 percent
    • An estimated 90 percent of the net population increase in Northern Virginia this decade came from increases in minorities; they account for 86 percent of the increase from 1990-2010
    • It is immigration, combined with higher fertility rates among minorities, that has been driving many of the major demographic trends in the region, including:
      • Population and labor force growth
      • Rising numbers of births
      • School enrollment increases
      • Explosive increases in the number of Hispanics and Asians
      • Transition to a day when there will no longer be a racial or ethnic majority in Northern Virginia

 Demographic Inversion

  • Demographic Inversion, the dramatic reconfiguration of metropolitan housing settlement patterns, is a major story from the 2010 census
  • In 1990, it would have been inconceivable that in a short span of twenty years, outer suburbs would surpass those of the inner-core in their population’s racial and ethnic diversity
  • It has now happened, as Prince William County and the Cities of Manassas and Manassas Park have become the first Northern Virginia localities to become majority-minority
  • Read more about demographic inversion