Feb 13, 2023 - News

Richmond is the fastest growing region in Virginia

Virginia population change, April 2020 to July 2022
Data: U.S. Census via StatChat; Map: Erin Davis/Axios Visuals

The Richmond region is the fastest growing in Virginia and has been for the past two years in a row, according to new data from UVA's Weldon Cooper Center.

Why it matters: A surge in residents usually means the need for new infrastructure, schools and housing to accommodate the newcomers.

What's happening: The Richmond region added 27,640 people between 2020 and July 2022, per Census data.

Overall, the region's population grew by 2.1% — three times that of Northern Virginia, which saw only 0.7% population growth and has historically been the fastest growing region in Virginia.

Yes, but: Nearly all of the growth is happening in the counties or exurbs around Richmond, not the city itself.

  • The city only grew by 0.2% since 2020, or 357 people, nearly all from births, not new residents.
  • In fact, the city actually saw 1,372 residents move away.

By the numbers: The top five fastest-growing Virginia counties since 2020 are:

  • New Kent County — 7.5% population growth.
  • Goochland County — 5.6% population growth.
  • Louisa County — 5.4% population growth.
  • Suffolk City — 4.9% population growth.
  • Chesterfield County — 4.5% population growth.

Of note: Chesterfield added 17,310 residents since 2020, more than any other county by number of people. Nearly all of the growth came from people moving into the county from other places.

  • Henrico grew by 1,685 people, or 0.5%.

The intrigue: Statewide, growth was basically flat. Virginia added just 52,000 people since 2020, a fraction of the growth from a decade earlier when it added more than 180,000 between 2010 and 2012, per the Times-Dispatch.

Much of Richmond's growth is being driven by people moving here from other parts of the state, especially Northern Virginia.

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