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Loudoun County population grows by 43 percent
U.Va.’s Weldon Cooper Center Publishes 2004 Provisional Population Estimates For Virginia Cities And Counties

January 28, 2005 --

During the first years of the 21st century, Northern Virginia continues to drive the Commonwealth’s growth, according to the 2004 population estimates produced by the University of Virginia’s Weldon Cooper Center.

Among Virginia’s 11 metropolitan areas — three of which (Winchester, Harrisonburg and Blacksburg-Christiansburg-Radford) were newly designated in 2003 — Northern Virginia leads with a growth rate of 12 percent, or  approximately 244,966 new residents, for a total 2004 estimated population of about 1.69 million, a majority of which resulted from net migration.

The Winchester metro, which also draws migrants from the Washington, D.C., area, is second, with a growth rate of 11 percent. As Northern Virginia’s growth spreads, the adjacent localities of Culpeper and Madison Counties are also growing rapidly.

Elsewhere in the state, the Charlottesville and Richmond metros both grew by 5 percent or more. The remaining metropolitan area growth rates were less than 5 percent, though the Harrisonburg area came close at 4.6 percent.

Between April 1, 2000, and July 1, 2004, the state as a whole grew by 5.4 percent. The 1.2 percent average annual growth rate during these four years is slightly slower than the 1.3 percent seen during the 1990s. Average annual rates of growth declined in major portions of Central Virginia, the Shenandoah Valley, the Northern Neck and the Roanoke Area. Localities that grew faster during 2000-2004 tended to be the outer suburbs of the major metro areas.

Among the fastest-growing localities, Loudoun County, with an astonishing growth rate of 43 percent, continues to lead the state. Stafford, Spotsylvania and Prince William Counties are respectively second, third and fourth in growth. At the same time, the cities of Petersburg and Covington, along with Highland and Buchanan Counties, lost more than 6 percent of their populations.

As a result of both metro growth and the addition of new metro areas, almost 86 percent of Virginia’s population is now classified as metropolitan, but this population lives on slightly less than half of the state’s land area. In fact, Northern Virginia now accounts for about 32 percent of the total population, while its land area is only about 8 percent of the total.

The Weldon Cooper Center population estimates are the official figures for the Commonwealth of Virginia. They are mandated by Virginia law to be used for a variety of funding purposes, including state funding of sheriffs deputies and the salaries of commonwealth attorneys. The figures, as well as accompanying maps and graphics, are available at

Contact: Julia Martin, (434) 982-5581 (w); (434) 977-6025 (h)

FOR ADDITIONAL INFORMATION: Contact the Office of University Relations at (434) 924-7116. Television reporters should contact the TV News Office at (434) 924-7550.

SOURCE: U.Va. News Services

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