Mapped: Where Virginia is growing
Virginia's population barely changed during the pandemic, growing by just 0.55% between 2020-2022, per new U.S. Census Bureau data.
The big picture: The past few years have been especially turbulent for population trends, with the COVID-19 pandemic affecting birth and death rates, interstate and international migration and more.
Yes, but: The parts of Virginia that are growing the most are concentrated in the central part of the state.
- New Kent, Louisa, Goochland, Orange and Spotsylvania are the top five fastest-growing counties in the state.
- And every locality in the Richmond area except Henrico saw population growth.
Zoom out: Idaho, Montana and Florida saw the highest population growth among U.S. states between 2020-2022, while New York, Illinois and Louisiana suffered the most shrinkage.
Zoom in: Some cities have been hit particularly hard by population loss.
- San Francisco, for example, lost a staggering 7.1% of its residents — a trend that was likely at least partially fueled by tech workers newly unshackled from their offices in the remote work era, combined with high housing costs in the area.
- Manhattan, however, grew a bit, as Axios' Emily Peck reports, complicating the sweeping "big cities are dying" narrative of the late pandemic era.
The intrigue: Some of the fastest-growing areas — we're looking at you, Arizona, Nevada and New Mexico — are also some of the most vulnerable to the ongoing effects of climate change, like drought and a dwindling water supply.
The bottom line: It'll take a few more years for the effects of the pandemic to fully shake out, but there's never been a more fascinating time to look at data like this.
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