Richmond grows beyond its 1980 population

With the release of the last Census numbers, Richmond is finally back where it was 36 years ago. 

Photo by: marfis75

It’s time to break out the pencils and rulers and find some blank space on the door jamb! According to U.S. Census Bureau estimates, Richmond’s population has grown to 220,289–a number last seen sometime around 1980. The Census Bureau recently released its annual estimates of population and housing units for cities and counties.1 The city’s 1.56% growth from 2014 to 2015 is the eighth largest in Virginia and second largest in the region. New Kent County retains the regional fastest-growing title.

The Census Bureau uses complicated statistical methods to come up with these numbers, but for the sake of simplicity, it looks something like this:

2014 Population + Births – Deaths + Net Migration = 2015 Population

The increase of 3,379 residents from 2014 to 2015 is the net change in population after factoring in our failure to conquer immortality. The total number of new residents is larger and less existentially fraught.

Richmond became a new home to 5,580 people between 2014 and 2015. Most of them are babies. Those 2,902 little beings can call themselves Richmond natives when they gain the use of language. The rest of us will continue to say we’re from “the area.” The remaining 48% of new residents are from elsewhere in the state, country, or world. The net number of people who migrated to Richmond–2,678–is the second largest total in Virginia.

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In the same year, the number of housing units in Richmond increased by a more modest 0.32%–325 units. Housing supply has shown slow progress, with a 2.06% increase in the number of units from 2010 to 2015. Richmond’s population has increased by 7.9% over the same period.

  1. Annual estimates are calculated for a year beginning July 1st. 
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Mike MacKenzie

Mike is an urban planning grad, housing policy specialist, and radio veteran.

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