Northern Virginia still tops state
as fastest growing area in population
By Bob Brickhouse
may be suffering severe financial problems, but its population
continues to grow in the new century at roughly the same steady
pace as in the 1990s, according to new estimates from U.Va.s
Center for Public Service.
County in Northern Virginia, the states highest-income locality,
continues to outstrip the rest of Virginia in terms of population
growth, too, maintaining an average growth rate of 7.5 percent
a year in 2001, said Julia H. Martin, the centers director
of demographic research. Donna Tolson helped prepare the estimates.
No other Virginia locality is growing by more than 5 percent annually.
Northern Virginia continues to gain ground as the states
dominant population center, according to 2001 estimates. Already
accounting for 31 percent of Virginians, the Northern Virginia
metro area has accelerated its annual growth rate from 2.2 percent
during the 1990s to 2.4 percent between 2000 and 2001. Most of
the states other metro areas are estimated to be growing
at a slightly slower rate than they did in the 1990s, including
the second-fastest growing region, the Charlottesville metro area.
2001, two-thirds of all Virginians lived in the Northern Virginia,
Hampton Roads and Richmond metro areas.
further evidence that Virginia is an increasingly metropolitan
and suburban state, some 13 localities have populations topping
100,000. All are in the Northern Virginia, Norfolk and Richmond
states estimated 2001 population is 7.18 million, up about
1.5 percent from the official 2000 census figure of 7.08 million.
Cooper Centers annual estimates are based on regression
analysis of population statistics. In some localities, these results
are averaged with those generated by a method based on building
permits, real estate vacancy rates and persons per household.
School enrollment, births, licensed drivers and state tax return
information are also used as indicators.
full report of 2001 population estimates and growth rates for
all Virginia localities and regions is on the Cooper Centers
Demographics Web site at http://www.ccps.virginia.edu/Demographics/default.html.