Washington area Census Growth map 2010-2020

The southeastern portion of Loudoun County experienced the highest rate of population growth over the past decade, according to an analysis of 2020 U.S. Census data.  

The Washington region became more diverse and grew by more than half a million people from 2010 to 2020, with Northern Virginia experiencing the largest growth in the region, according to an analysis of the 2020 U.S. Census data.

The Metropolitan Washington Council of Governments published a report last week highlighting which areas of the region had the most growth in terms of population, race and ethnicity over the previous 10 years. The region’s total population grew 13%, a little over 660,000 people, with Northern Virginia and suburban Maryland seeing the most growth, as well as increased racial and ethnic diversity. 

According to the report, the region totaled 5,707,518 people as of April 1, 2020. Fairfax County (1,150,309) was the most populous jurisdiction, followed by Montgomery County, Md. (1,062,061), and Prince George’s County, Md. (967,201). No cities or counties in the metro region saw a decline in their population. 

Northern Virginia accounted for nearly half (44.7%) of the region’s population growth. The Maryland suburbs accounted for 38% and the District of Columbia for 13%. 

Loudon County experienced the most dramatic population spike of any jurisdiction, increasing by 35% (+108,648) between 2010 and 2020. Prince George’s (+103,781) and Montgomery (+90,284) counties had the second- and third-highest growth in raw numbers. Prince William County had the second-highest growth rate among counties, at 20%. 

Overall, the region became more diverse between 2010 and 2020. White people still made up the plurality at 41.6% of the population, followed by 25.8% Black or African American, 12% Asian, 0.6% American Indian and Alaska Native, 0.1% Native Hawaiian and Other Pacific Islander, 9.8% some other race, and 10.1% who identified as two or more races. 

The Hispanic or Latino population experienced the largest growth of any racial group in the region – increasing from 736,000 people in 2010 to nearly 1 million in 2020, according to the report. Every jurisdiction saw an increase in its Hispanic or Latino population, but the report noted that the Hispanic or Latino population growth was less between 2010 and 2020 than it was between 2000 and 2010. 

The representation of different racial and ethnic groups proportional to the region’s population is much higher (73.2%) than in the country as a whole (61.1%), according to the report. 

Nearly half of Northern Virginia’s population is white (49.8%). The next largest population is Asians (16.6%) and then Black or African Americans (11.8%).

The Maryland suburbs are almost equally split between the number of white and Black or African American populations. White people comprise 33.7%, Black people 35.9%, and Asians 9.1%.  In the District of Columbia, white people make up 39.6% of the population, Black or African Americans, 41.4%, and Asians 4.9%.

The three jurisdictions with the highest concentration of Hispanic or Latinos are Montgomery (217,409 or 21.2% of the population), Prince George’s (205,463 or 20.1%), and Fairfax (199,234 or 19.5%).

Between 2010 and 2020, the multiracial population increased by 343,359 (182%). Montgomery County’s multiracial population (+80,617) grew more than any other jurisdiction over the past 10 years, while the city of Manassas experienced the greatest increase in its multiracial population (approximately 635%) in proportion to its total population. 

The region’s growth has been steady over the past 70 years, with the most growth in terms of raw numbers experienced between 1960 and 1970 and 2000 and 2010, and the least amount of growth between 1970 and 1980. The past decade, between 2010 and 2020, ranks third in terms of population growth.

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