In August, the U.S. Census Bureau launched state-by-state profiles highlighting the preliminary findings of the 2020 Census. In addition to data on population growth, race, and the Hispanic population, the rollout also included totals for housing units and vacancy.
The total number of reported housing units in the CSPDC region is 131,088, a 4.5% increase since the 2010 Census estimate. In comparison, Virginia has seen a 7.5% increase in housing units over the past 10 years. Some localities have experienced more rapid housing unit growth than others; for example, housing units in Harrisonburg increased by 6.8% over the past decade.
Vacancy in the CSPDC region is estimated at 10%, which is a 2.6% decrease from the 2015-2019 American Community Survey (ACS) five year estimate. The State has consistently maintained a slightly lower vacancy rate, where vacancy currently sits at 8.2%.
The Weldon Cooper Center for Public Service announced that more detailed data, including information on age, gender, family type, and homeownership, will not be released until 2022. The Weldon Cooper Center also cautions that there are significant data reliability concerns with Census 2020 data. Every data element has been injected with “noise” through a new method called “differential privacy” – which involves artificially increasing or decreasing numbers. Additionally, the pandemic negatively impacted Census participation and results. The CSPDC will monitor the Census website for any updates regarding future data releases.