Reflecting its lagging economic growth in the 2010s, Virginia experienced an unfamiliar sensation — more native-born Americans moving out than moving in. Or, as demographers put it, negative net domestic migration. Thanks to natural population increase and strong international immigration, Virginia’ s population continued growing through the decade. But the domestic out-migration was a sign of economic fragility.
Old Dominion University’s “2019 State of the Commonwealth Report” takes a close-up look at the migratory patterns, breaking down the numbers by metropolitan area. The state’s two largest metro accounted for almost the entire outflow of native-born residents. Hampton Roads hemorrhaged domestic residents, losing 61,000 between 2010 and 2018., while Northern Virginia drained 44,000. Blacksburg leaked a small number, less than a thousand. Fortunately, Virginia’s other metros continued to enjoy a net gain in domestic citizens. Richmond gained 34,000.
Northern Virginia more than made up the lost for domestic-born residents through an influx of foreign-born residents: 167,000 between 2010 and 2018. Immigrants replaced the number of domestic out-migrants four times over, and accounted for three out of five of all new immigrants in the state. Hampton Roads was the second-largest recipient of foreigners, although the number was not sufficient to offset the flight of domestic residents.
Virginia’s small metros — Roanoke, Charlottesville, Winchester, Lynchburg, Harrisonburg, and Staunton — all experienced populations gains from both domestic and international in-migration.
Unfortunately for armchair demographers, the 2019 State of the Commonwealth Report did not break out rural (non-metropolitan Virginia). However, according to my trusty calculator, non-metropolitan Virginia experienced the following:
Natural population growth: 26,155
Net domestic migration: -13,597
Net international migration: 4,061
The fastest-growing metros between 2010 and 2018 were:
Northern Virginia — 12.0%
Winchester — 8.7%
Richmond — 8.0%
Harrisonburg — 7.9%
Charlottesville — 7.4%
Virginia — 6.2%
United States — 5.8%
Lynchburg — 4.1%
Staunton — 4.0%
Blacksburg — 3.1%
Hampton Roads — 2.6%
Roanoke — 1.8%
— JABThere are currently no comments highlighted.