Virginia's Population Slows to Decades' Low
Virginia’s population has increased by less than 1 percent each year since 2010 – the commonwealth’s lowest growth rate in decades. With more than 8.3 million residents as of July 1, 2014, Virginia remains the nation’s 12th-largest state and ranks 10th in numerical gain between 2013 and 2014.
The rate of growth between counties and cities in Virginia reached relative parity since 2010. In contrast to the last decade, in which growth was most prominent in counties, now the cities make up more than half of Virginia’s 25 fastest-growing localities in this decade.
Despite the economic effects of the federal budget sequestration, Northern Virginia continues to account for nearly three-fifths of the commonwealth’s population gain, with eight of the 10 fastest-growing localities located here. The city of Charlottesville and New Kent County are the only exceptions.
The slowing pace of population growth is most evident among counties adjacent to, or beyond the state’s metropolitan areas. Due to lower birth rates
and older populations, localities outside metro areas had at least 8,200 more deaths than births since 2010. While migration into the state helped to mitigate population loss, Virginia’s non-metro population is stagnant, adding only 2,230 people between 2010 and 2014.
These population estimates, prepared annually, are the official figures for the commonwealth of Virginia. The estimates are based on changes since 2010 in housing stock, school enrollment, births, deaths and driver’s license issuances. They are used by state and local government agencies in revenue sharing, funding allocations, planning and budgeting.
County/City 2010 Population 2014 Population % of Change
Fairfax 1,081,726 1,118,884 3.4%
Arlington 207,627 229,302 10.4%
Loudoun 312,311 361,708 15.8%
Alex. City 139,966 155,230 10.9%
Fairfax City 22,565 24,730 9.6%
Information from studies conducted at UVA.