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.
The Tysons area is projected to have more than 50,000 new residents in 25 years.
Released in December, Fairfax County’s demographics report highlights current and past estimates, along with projections for future population growth.
Fairfax County is projected to have roughly 1.4 million residents by 2045 — about 240,000 more residents than in 2019.
Broken down by district, the data in the report that is mentioned below came from the U.S. Bureau of the Census and the Fairfax County Department of Management and Budget, according to the report.
The Providence District encompasses Tysons, Merrifield, Oakton and the area between the eastern border of the Town of Vienna and the western border of the City of Falls Church.
Providence District’s population is expected to spike the most of the county’s nine districts in 25 years, with roughly 57,000 more residents expected in 2045 than in 2019.
Meanwhile, the Hunter Mill District, which includes the Town of Vienna and Reston, is projected to welcome 56,000 new residents. (Stats for the Town of Vienna expect the population to increase by 191 residents.)
Other districts, like Sully, Mount Vernon and Mason, are projected to have an increase of roughly 20,000 residents, while the Braddock and Springfield districts are expected to see less than 10,000 new residents.
While the Tysons area is expected to have the biggest population increase, a Fairfax County press release noted that the data in the report shows that population growth overall is slowing down.
“While our population continues to increase, it’s at a slower rate than before, mirroring national trends as there are fewer births and more deaths nationwide,” the press release said. “Since the 2010 Census, Fairfax County’s population grew at 6.4% compared to Virginia’s 8% growth rate.”
Image (1) via Fairfax County, chart data via Fairfax County
The Comprehensive Plan’s chapters for both areas haven’t been updated since 2005, according to city staff.
The new demographics chapter would focus on three areas: trends, projections and how changes relate to community needs, especially for housing, economic development and public facilities.
“Demographics are a critical base of information for city planning; the city’s housing, transportation, economy, parks and recreation, and social framework rely on current and future population trends and need,” according to city documents.
Meanwhile, the revamped housing chapter would outline a vision for how the city can address diverse housing needs through nine focus points.
The city’s Planning Commission voted in favor of both updates at its meeting last Monday, Aug. 5.
The city council meeting is set to start at 7:30 p.m. at 300 Park Avenue.
Downed Trees Block Roads — A High Wind Warning is in effect for Fairfax County for most of the day. A number of trees are reported to have fallen in parts of the area, blocking roads, including in McLean on Old Dominion Drive at Franklin Park Road and on Georgetown Pike near the Beltway. [Twitter, Twitter]
Police Department Mourns Fallen K-9 — “Fairfax County Police Chief Edwin C. Roessler, Jr. announced the unexpected death today, Feb. 22, of K-9 Doby, one of our K-9 officers.” [FCPD]
FCPS Gets More Than Half of Budget — “For the second year in a row, Fairfax County plans to grant all of the transfer funds requested by the county school board… FCPS accounts for 52.9 percent of the county’s general fund budget. Hill’s proposed county transfer to the public school system exceeds the $2.1 billion requested by the school board.” [Fairfax Times]
The Case for Suburb-to-Suburb Transit — “The Purple Line, which is expected to begin service in late 2022, will provide an important suburb-to-suburb link, and local officials should seriously consider constructing extensions to Tysons Corner and Largo.” [Greater Greater Washington]
More Childless Households in Falls Church — “While the 2.4 million population in the Northern Virginia region, overall, is characterized by a continuing growth in numbers of children, and households with children, this is not true for Falls Church… the number of households with children in the City has actually decreased by 5.3 percent in that same period.” [Falls Church News-Press]
Local Doc Goes on Medical Mission Trip — “On Jan. 26, 2019, a team from… Virginia Oral, Facial & Implant Surgery of McLean flew from Dulles Airport to Punta Cana, Dominican Republic” on a medical mission trip to treat “both children and adults of Dominican and Haitian background.” [McLean Connection]
New Look for Tysons Reporter — Tysons Reporter is debuting a new, cleaner look for our site today. What do you think? Let us know in the comments.