Falls Church City Sees Population Boom — The City of Falls Church’s population rose 19.4% from 12,332 people to 14,658 people over the past decade, according to U.S. Census Bureau data released last Thursday (Aug. 12). That growth rate is higher than both Fairfax and Arlington counties, though Loudoun saw the most growth (32.4%) in Northern Virginia. [Falls Church News-Press]
Falls Church Festivals Will Be Vaccine Sites — “The City of Falls Church Community Center (223 Little Falls St.) will host two free COVID-19 vaccination clinics during the Tinner Hill Music Festival (Saturday, August 21 from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m.) and Falls Church Festival (Saturday, September 11 from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.). The clinics, managed by the Fairfax Health Department, are open to every age 12 years and older.” [City of Falls Church]
Vienna Gets New Police Officers — Officers Emily Lichtenberg, David Reed, and Patrick Crandall will be the newest additions to the Town of Vienna Police Department after they graduated from the Fairfax County Criminal Justice Academy on Aug. 12. They will spend the next 12 weeks with a field training instructor who will “observe and guide” their performance during investigations, traffic enforcement, citizen interactions, report writing, and other duties. [Vienna Police Department]
Last Chance to Join Food Truck Fridays — “This Friday, August 20th, will be the final Food Truck Friday of the season at the Providence Community Center from 11am to 2pm. In addition to community favorites Hangry Panda and Empanadas de Mendoza, we have invited Tobago Bay Calypso Band to offer a performance from 11:30am to 1:30pm. We have also planned several family-friendly activities, lawn games, and free ice pops, lemonade, and cookies.” [Palchik Post]
Fairfax County is now the second most racially diverse county in Virginia, according to 2020 Census data released yesterday afternoon (Aug. 12).
The data confirms recent demographic reports conducted by Fairfax County that showed the share of white residents shrinking and communities of color, particularly Asians and Hispanics, growing since 2010, when the county was the fifth-most diverse county.
Now, only Prince William County is more diverse.
Compared to the rest of the United States, Fairfax County ranked 42nd out of 3,143 counties in the country on the Census’ racial and ethnic diversity index.
While white residents remain the largest racial or ethnic group in the county, they are no longer the majority, making up 47.1% of the overall population with 542,001 residents — a drop of nearly 50,000 people from 2010, when the county’s 590,622 white residents constituted 54.6% of its population.
In other words, Fairfax is now a majority-minority county, due in part to the growth of the county’s Asian and Hispanic/Latino populations, which are the second and third largest racial and ethnic groups, respectively.
According to the 2020 Census data, 20.3% of the county’s population is Asian, an increase of about 55,000 residents from 17.4% in 2010. Hispanic or Latino individuals now constitute 17.3% of the populace, up from 15.6% a decade ago.
The diffusion score — the percentage of the population that isn’t in the top three racial and ethnic groups — is also higher than it was in 2010. At 15.2%, that number is also higher than Virginia and the country as a whole.
The county’s increasing diversity reflects national trends revealed in the new data, which shows the first-ever decline in the country’s white, non-Hispanic population with Latino residents fueling 51% of the population growth.
In total, about 1.15 million people now live in Fairfax County. The population grew by about 68,500 people or 6.3% since 2010, a lower rate of growth than both Virginia as a whole (7.9%) and the U.S. (7.4%).
Fairfax County’s population increase is also significantly lower in terms of percentage than its neighboring localities in Northern Virginia: Arlington County’s population rose by nearly 15%, Alexandria City by nearly 14%, Prince William County by about 20%, and Loudoun County by a staggering 35%.
However, Fairfax remains the largest county in Virginia, as it was in 2010, with more than double the population of Prince William County, which is the second most populous county. Fairfax County residents make up about 13% of the Commonwealth’s total population.
In general, Northern Virginia continues to grow at a much higher rate than the rest of the state.
The new Census data will be used to redraw voting districts locally and nationwide, a process that carries major political implications. Electoral districts are redrawn every 10 years to ensure each one has about the same number of people. The data could also change how many electoral votes are allocated to each state.
This is the 24th official Census count in U.S. history.
Fairfax County has one of the highest response rates to the U.S. Census in Virginia.
As of today (Aug. 3), the national response rate is 62.8%, while Virginia is 67.5%, according to the U.S. Census.
Fairfax County currently has a 76.6% response rate, surpassing its 2010 response rate of 75.3%. By the time the count ends this year, the county might jump above its 80% total in 2000.
At the end of March, Virginia’s response rate was 37% response rate.
While the pandemic at first extended the submission deadline, the Census Bureau plans to cut short its door-knocking efforts, moving the deadline from Halloween until Sept. 30, The Hill reported last week.
Last week, the City of Falls Church took to Twitter to encourage residents to fill out the census, saying that one in four people haven’t been counted yet. As of today, the Little City’s response rate is 79.6%.
We're so so close to that 80% #Census2020 response rate, but that means around 1 in 4 City of Falls Church residents still haven't been counted…yet. Don't be that 1 in 4. Complete the Census online today at https://t.co/hPf185pQMS. pic.twitter.com/neuFHtJ3hL
— City of Falls Church (@FallsChurchGov) July 28, 2020
Falls Church said that Census workers have been going door to door in the city since July 23 and might stay until the fall.
It’s unclear yet how much the door knocking will boost the response rate. A recent Pew Research Center survey found that four-in-ten residents who have not yet responded do not want to answer their door.
People who haven’t responded to the Census can complete it by filling it out online, returning the form mailed in March or calling 844-330-2020.
Map via U.S. Census
Police Make Arrest in Assault Along W&OD Trail — Falls Church police arrested a 23-year-old man from Stafford for allegedly pursuing a woman along the W&OD Trail on Saturday, May 9. [City of Falls Church]
Metro May Limit Operations Until 2021 — “As states start to reopen their economies, Metro has crafted its plan to slowly ramp service back up — but don’t expect pre-pandemic levels of service until sometime in early 2021.” [DCist]
FCEDA Head Tapped for COVID-19 Group — “Victor Hoskins, President and CEO of the Fairfax County Economic Development Authority (FCEDA), is one of 45 experts tapped to serve on the Washington, D.C.-area’s COVID-19 Strategic Renewal Task Force. Hoskins is the only member on the task force representing one of the region’s economic development organizations.” [Fairfax County Economic Development Authority]
Stuff the Bus is Back — “On Saturday, May 16 and Tuesday, May 19, from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Fastran buses will be parked at locations throughout Fairfax County and the City of Fairfax to collect food donations. However, unlike past years, the buses will not be parked in grocery store parking lots.” [Fairfax County]
U.S. Census Response in Fairfax County — “As of Friday (May 9), Fairfax County’s self-response rate is 72.7% — well above Virginia’s overall rate of 63.5%, according to census data.” [Reston Now]
Along with urging people to stay at home as much as possible, Fairfax County officials also want residents to take the opportunity to respond to the 2020 census.
As of Saturday (March 28), the national response rate is 33%, while Virginia is at a 37% response rate, according to the U.S. Census.
Meanwhile, Fairfax County is one of the top 10 highest reporting counties in the state with a 42.6% response rate.
Previously, Fairfax County boasted a high response rate of 80% in the 2000 count — up from 76% in 1990, according to census data.
County officials want to see as many people as possible complete the questionnaire. “For each resident who does not respond to the census, Fairfax County could lose $12,000 in potential funding over the course of a decade,” according to the county’s website.
Due to the coronavirus pandemic, the deadline for submitting the census has been extended to Aug. 14 for households.
Households should have received mailers with information on how to complete the census, which can be done online, by phone or by mail.
Social distancing and at home today? Take a moment to complete your #2020Census online, by phone or by paper.
— Fairfax County Government (@fairfaxcounty) March 28, 2020
Map via U.S. Census