Jan 30, 2024 - News

Richmond's population keeps growing as more NoVa transplants arrive

The migration of folks out of NoVa and into Richmond through 2021. Image: Courtesy of UVA's Weldon Cooper Center

The Richmond region has seen the greatest influx of new residents in its history over the last three years.

Driving the news: Just over 40,000 people moved here between 2020 and 2023, according to the just-released latest county and city population estimates from UVA's Weldon Cooper Center.

Why it matters: The latest estimates point to a continuation of population trends we reported about last year and show the pandemic-era, remote-work shakeup that changed where people live has persisted.

  • And there's little sign that it's slowing down, Hamilton Lombard, demographer with UVA's Weldon Cooper Center, tells Axios.

What's happening: The region continues to attract remote-working transplants from larger cities, where their comparatively higher housing costs have pushed them out — especially from Northern Virginia and the broader D.C. area, Lombard tells Axios.

  • More than a quarter of D.C. workers worked remotely in 2022, the sixth-highest remote rate of any city in the nation, Axios D.C. reported last year.
  • "If they only need to occasionally go into the office, Richmond is a very attractive alternative to Northern Virginia," Lombard says.

Zoom in: By percentage population change, New Kent (+11.9%), Goochland (+7.7%) and Louisa (+7.5%) were the fastest growing counties in the state between 2020 and 2023.

But by the raw number of people (including births), in three years, metro Richmond has added:

  • Chesterfield — 23,155 residents.
  • Henrico — ​​5,529 residents.
  • Hanover — 3,047 residents.
  • Richmond — 2,425 residents.

What they're saying: "Richmond region is easily attracting the most new residents since 2020 than it has at any point in its history," Lombard says.

The bottom line: Like it or not, the Richmond region is growing — so let's try to remember our manners and be welcoming.


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