The U.S. Census Bureau released 2020 Census data on August 12; a key takeaway from the data is that metro areas across the U.S. are growing, but many counties are seeing their population decrease.

“Many counties within metro areas saw growth, especially those in the south and west. However, as we’ve been seeing in our annual population estimates, our nation is growing slower than it used to,” Census Bureau Senior Demographer Marc Perry said in a press release. “This decline is evident at the local level where around 52 percent of the counties in the United States saw their 2020 Census populations decrease from their 2010 Census populations.”

A Census Bureau graphic highlights that: states across the U.S. are filled with orange-colored counties, indicating population decline. West Coast states, Florida, and urban centers are green colored, indicating growth.

Virginia experienced 7.9 percent population growth, from just over eight million people in 2010 to 8.6 million in 2020. Elections prognosticator Chaz Nuttycombe published a spreadsheet of individual county-level growth data in Virginia.

Loudoun County tops the list with 33 percent growth from 315,479 people in 2010 to 420,959 in 2020. Second is New Kent County with an approximate 24 percent population growth from 18,543 people to 22,945 people. Rounding out the top five are Stafford, Prince George, and Manassas Park, which all had about 21 percent growth.

Many of Virginia’s least populous jurisdictions saw little to no negative growth. The Census Bureau graphic shows western and Southside Virginia counties almost all had population loss, while northern and central Virginia counties grew.

The release of the data launches a 45-day deadline for the Virginia Redistricting Commission to submit House of Delegates and Senate redistricting maps. There’s also a 60-day deadline for new Congressional maps. The Commission is scheduled to meet next week on August 16 and 17. Finalizing the work plan is on the agenda for the 16th.

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Eric Burk is a reporter at The Virginia Star and The Star News Network. Email tips to eburk@vastarnews.com.