This morning the Weldon Cooper Center at the University of Virginia released its 2019 population estimates for Virginia’s counties and cities. The estimates show Virginia’s population inched up to 8,535,519 in 2019, after passing 8.5 million in 2018. Though Virginia has added over half a million new residents since the last census in 2010, population growth has slowed significantly across Virginia in recent years, falling below U.S. growth levels to reach the lowest population growth rate since the 1920s.
Similar to the 1920s, Virginia’s population is growing more slowly because for the past six years, the number of Virginians moving out of the commonwealth has been greater than the number of people moving to Virginia from other states. During the 1920s, the increasing mechanization of agriculture caused thousands of Virginians to move out of the countryside, often to Northeastern cities to find work. Today, migration patterns have reversed, with Virginia attracting thousands of new residents every year from the Northeast but losing an even larger number of Virginians who have moved south to fast growing metro areas and popular retirement communities. In 2018, the most recent year IRS migration data is available, nearly 15,000 more Virginians moved to either Florida, the Carolinas or Texas than residents of those states moved to Virginia. Read Full Article →