Population Research Shows Substantial Growth in VA
Virginia's population is growing at a faster rate than the country is as a whole. The University of Virginia released population estimates Friday that also show that more people are migrating to Charlottesville and Albemarle.
UVA's Weldon Cooper Center found that Virginia has the 13th highest growth rate in the nation and 6th largest population gain.
Researchers and area business leaders say the growing numbers are a good sign. Researchers at the Weldon Cooper Center say people are packing into Virginia at a fast pace.
The state's population grew by 2.3 percent while the country's rate sat at 1.7 percent.
"We definitely see in cities those numbers are higher than two years ago, that means more people move to the area, that's how you see the migration. It's an indication of migration," said Qian Cai of the Weldon Cooper Center.
The Weldon Cooper Center released their annual population estimates, based on numbers from last July.
The research is rooted in five factors - annual birth and death numbers, public school enrollment, housing stock data, and a state driver's license count.
"We want to be able to capture the population change over time so that's why population estimates are essential to fill that purpose and capture the change," said Cai.
The data also shows Charlottesville's growth rate of 3.7 percent is catching up to Albemarle County's.
The Regional Chamber of Commerce says hard census numbers from the past 30 years tell a different story. "Hard counts have shown that Albemarle, Fluvanna, Greene continues to grow while Charlottesville has a fairly stable population," said Tim Hulbert of the Charlottesville Chamber of Commerce.
Both groups agree that the growth is a good thing. "Our chamber, we obviously embrace growth, we think it is a very good thing and for the most part that has been proven to be correct," said Hubert.
The Cooper Center does say that a majority of the growth is based in northern Virginia.