On August 12, the U.S. Census released its first round of data collected during the 2020 Census. This rollout includes data on population growth, race, and the Hispanic population.
The population in the CSPDC region has grown by 6% over the past decade, from 286,781 in 2010 to 304,056 in 2020. This is slower than the 7.9% growth rate in the state. However, growth in the Harrisonburg-Rockingham area exceeded the statewide growth rate, growing 8.3% since 2010.
In regards to race and ethnicity, white residents in our region slightly declined from 90.8% to 88.3%, while the percentage of residents among all other races has increased. The City of Harrisonburg is the region’s most racially diverse locality, with a population distribution of 10.3% Black residents, 5.5% Asian residents, and 18.2% of residents that identify as “Other race.” In contrast, Highland County is the region’s most racially homogenous locality, with 98.7% of the population being white. The 2020 Census revealed that 67.8% of Virginia residents identify as white, down from 71% in 2010.
Both the CSPDC region and the state of Virginia have seen a large increase in Hispanic population over the past ten years. The Hispanic population in Virginia grew 44%, from 631,825 to 908,749, while the CSPDC region saw a larger, increase of 64%. Harrisonburg has the largest concentration of Hispanic residents in the region at 23.2% of the city’s population, followed by Waynesboro with 8.8%. Highland County and Bath County have the lowest share of Hispanic residents, at 1.6% and 1.7% of the counties’ populations.
The CSPDC will continue to monitor the Weldon Cooper Data Center for future Census 2020 data rollouts. Anticipated data includes information on age, sex, and household characteristics.