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New Census data: exurban Virginia is growing

The latest round of data from the Census Bureau shows that exurban Richmond continues to grow while other parts of Virginia are losing population.

Places like New Kent County and Goochland County are the fastest growing parts of Virginia – exurban areas in central Virginia where population is booming. Hamilton Lombard at the Weldon Cooper Center for Public Service at UVA says it's a function of the real estate market.

"It's one of the few places where new home buyers can get housing because so few people are willing to sell their homes right now when they have two or three percent mortgages," Lombard says. "So, you have to get newer housing. So, places like Goochland are, as a result, seeing some of the fastest growth."

As spots in central Virginia are seeing dramatic growth, southwest Virginia is losing population.

"They're declining more these days because their population’s aged a lot. People leaving now – they just have far more deaths than births," says Lombard. "So, they’re in a cycle of decline that's harder to pull out of."

Just a few years ago, Loudoun County was the fastest growing part of Virginia. Now, northern Virginia is losing population along with other urban areas. And the fastest growing metro area in Virginia is Bristol.

This report, provided by Virginia Public Radio, was made possible with support from the Virginia Education Association.

Michael Pope is an author and journalist who lives in Old Town Alexandria.