Fastest Growing Cities In Virginia For 2020

We used data and science to determine the places in Virginia everyone wants to move to today.

Editor’s Note: Data has been updated for 2020. This is our sixth time ranking the fastest growing cities in Virginia.

Swipe left for slideshow. Article continues below.

Is being in an area that's growing quickly a good thing or a bad thing?

Depends on who you ask. Some want bigger, more exciting cities like Virginia Beach and Norfolk, while others want peace and quiet like in Woodstock and Dumfries, thank you very much.

But today we're going to put opinions aside and just look at the cold hard facts -- over the past five years, which cities in Virginia have the grown the fastest.

After getting knee deep in the Census's American Community Survey, we emerged with this set of cities in the Old Dominion that have people climbing over each other to get in.

These are the 10 fastest growing cities in Virginia for 2020 according to the most recent census data:

What's the fastest growing city in Virginia for 2020? Based on the most recent ACS data, Purcellville ranks as the fastest growing city in Virginia. If you happen to be a resident of Purcellville, you're probably not too surprised to find it on our list.

If you're surprised--and you're wondering why these places are kind of a big deal--keep reading. We'll tell you what makes each of these 10 places in Virginia are growing like weeds.

And if you already knew these places were happening, check out the best places to live in Virginia or the Fastest Growing States In America.

For more Virginia state reading:

The 10 Fastest Growing Cities In Virginia For 2020

Purcellville, VA

Overall SnackAbility


Population: 9,709
Rank Last Year: 1 (No Change)
Population 2010: 7,102
Percent Growth 36.7%
Absolute Growth: 2,607
More on Purcellville: Homes For Sale | Data | Photos

Purcellville is a town in Loudoun County, Virginia, United States. The population was 9,232 according to the United States Census 2015 Population Estimate. Purcellville is the major population center for western Loudoun and the Loudoun Valley. Today, many of the older structures remaining in Purcellville reflect the Victorian architecture popular during the early 20th century. Patrick Henry College is located in the town.

Leesburg, VA

Source: Public domain
Overall SnackAbility


Population: 52,125
Rank Last Year: 2 (No Change)
Population 2010: 40,713
Percent Growth 28.0%
Absolute Growth: 11,412
More on Leesburg: Homes For Sale | Data | Photos

Leesburg is a historic town within and the county seat of Loudoun County, Virginia. Leesburg is 33 miles west-northwest of Washington, D.C. along the base of Catoctin Mountain and adjacent to the Potomac River. Its population according to the 2010 Census is 42,616. The town is also the northwestern terminus of the Dulles Greenway, a private toll road that connects to the Dulles Toll Road at Washington Dulles International Airport.

Manassas Park, VA

Overall SnackAbility


Population: 16,423
Rank Last Year: 3 (No Change)
Population 2010: 13,195
Percent Growth 24.5%
Absolute Growth: 3,228
More on Manassas Park: Homes For Sale | Data | Photos

Manassas Park is an independent city in the U.S. state of Virginia. As of the 2010 census, the population was 14,273. Manassas Park is bordered by the city of Manassas and Prince William County. Manassas Park is a part of the Washington-Arlington-Alexandria, DC-VA-MD-WV Metropolitan Statistical Area. "A" Fort and Battery Hill Redoubt-Camp Early resides in Manassas Park.

Falls Church, VA

Overall SnackAbility


Population: 14,067
Rank Last Year: 4 (No Change)
Population 2010: 11,465
Percent Growth 22.7%
Absolute Growth: 2,602
More on Falls Church: Homes For Sale | Data | Photos

Falls Church is an independent city in the U.S. state of Virginia. As of the 2010 census, the population was 12,332. The estimated population in 2015 was 13,892. Falls Church is included in the Washington metropolitan area. Falls Church has the lowest level of poverty of any independent city or county in the United States.

Fredericksburg, VA

Overall SnackAbility


Population: 28,469
Rank Last Year: 5 (No Change)
Population 2010: 23,375
Percent Growth 21.8%
Absolute Growth: 5,094
More on Fredericksburg: Homes For Sale | Data | Photos

Fredericksburg is an independent city located in the Commonwealth of Virginia in the Eastern United States. As of the 2010 census, the population was 24,286, up from 19,279 at the 2000 census. The city population was estimated at 28,118 in 2015. The Bureau of Economic Analysis of the United States Department of Commerce combines the city of Fredericksburg with neighboring Spotsylvania County for statistical purposes.

Alexandria, VA

Overall SnackAbility


Population: 156,505
Rank Last Year: 6 (No Change)
Population 2010: 133,647
Percent Growth 17.1%
Absolute Growth: 22,858
More on Alexandria: Homes For Sale | Data | Photos

Alexandria is an independent city in the Commonwealth of Virginia in the United States. As of the 2010 census, the population was 139,966, and in 2016, the population was estimated to be 155,810. Located along the western bank of the Potomac River, Alexandria is approximately 7 miles south of downtown Washington, D.C.

Culpeper, VA

Overall SnackAbility


Population: 18,113
Rank Last Year: 8 (Up 1)
Population 2010: 15,607
Percent Growth 16.1%
Absolute Growth: 2,506
More on Culpeper: Homes For Sale | Data | Photos

Culpeper is the only incorporated town in Culpeper County, Virginia, United States. The population was 16,379 at the 2010 census, up from 9,664 at the 2000 census. It is the county seat of Culpeper County.

Manassas, VA

Overall SnackAbility


Population: 41,457
Rank Last Year: 7 (Down 1)
Population 2010: 36,067
Percent Growth 14.9%
Absolute Growth: 5,390
More on Manassas: Homes For Sale | Data | Photos

Manassas is an independent city in the Commonwealth of Virginia. As of the 2010 Census, the population was 37,821. The city borders Prince William County, the independent city of Manassas Park, and Fairfax County. The Bureau of Economic Analysis includes both Manassas and Manassas Park with Prince William County for statistical purposes.

Harrisonburg, VA

Overall SnackAbility


Population: 53,391
Rank Last Year: 9 (No Change)
Population 2010: 47,406
Percent Growth 12.6%
Absolute Growth: 5,985
More on Harrisonburg: Homes For Sale | Data | Photos

Harrisonburg is an independent city in the Shenandoah Valley region of the U.S. state of Virginia. As of the 2010 census, the population was 48,914, with a census-estimated 2016 population of 53,078. Harrisonburg is the county seat of the surrounding Rockingham County, although the two are separate jurisdictions. The Bureau of Economic Analysis combines the city of Harrisonburg with Rockingham County for statistical purposes into the Harrisonburg, Virginia Metropolitan Statistical Area, which has a 2011 estimated population of 126,562.

Charlottesville, VA

Overall SnackAbility


Population: 47,042
Rank Last Year: 11 (Up 1)
Population 2010: 42,267
Percent Growth 11.3%
Absolute Growth: 4,775
More on Charlottesville: Homes For Sale | Data | Photos

Charlottesville, colloquially known as Cville by locals, is an independent city in the Commonwealth of Virginia. In 2016, an estimated 46,912 people lived within the city limits. It is the county seat of Albemarle County, which surrounds the city, though the two are separate legal entities. This means a Charlottesville resident will list the City of Charlottesville as both their county and city on official paperwork. It is named after the British Queen Charlotte of Mecklenburg-Strelitz. The Bureau of Economic Analysis combines the City of Charlottesville with the County of Albemarle for statistical purposes, bringing its steadily growing population to approximately 150,000. Charlottesville is the heart of the Charlottesville metropolitan area, which includes Albemarle, Fluvanna, Greene and Nelson counties.

How We Measured The Fastest Growing Cities In the Old Dominion for 2020

To figure out which cities are growing the most, we simply had to look at the growth rates for cities sine the beginning of the decade, according to the American Community Survey put out by the census every year. Specifically:

  • Current Population
  • Population in 2010
  • Growth rate from 2010 to Current (The latest available data which came out in Dec 2018)

We ranked all 61 Virginia cities with a population over 5,000 people from highest growth rate to lowest.

The city with the highest growth rate during this time was crowned the fastest growing city in the Old Dominion.

And for those of you who are a little rusty with their statistics, you can calculate the growth rate by the following formula:

[Current Population - Population 2010] / [Population 2010]

Here's a graph of the cities in Virginia with the largest percent increase in population:
Fastest Growing Cities in Virginia Graph For 2020

Click to enlarge

These Places Grew Up So Fast In Virginia, You Know?

So there you have it, the fastest growing cities in Virginia are led by Purcellville which has been growing at a blistering pace this decade relative to other cities and towns around the state.

It'll be interesting to see if these places can keep growing at the same rate over the next couple of years. We'll be here to let you know!

These places have been growing (or shrinking) the slowest (fastest):

  1. Richlands
  2. Emporia
  3. Covington

For more Virginia reading, check out:

Detailed List Of Fastest Growing Places In Virginia For 2020

Rank City Growth Population Population 2010
1 Purcellville 36.7% 9,709 7,102
2 Leesburg 28.0% 52,125 40,713
3 Manassas Park 24.5% 16,423 13,195
4 Falls Church 22.7% 14,067 11,465
5 Fredericksburg 21.8% 28,469 23,375
6 Alexandria 17.1% 156,505 133,647
7 Culpeper 16.1% 18,113 15,607
8 Manassas 14.9% 41,457 36,067
9 Harrisonburg 12.6% 53,391 47,406
10 Charlottesville 11.3% 47,042 42,267

How Is The Area In ?

About Chris Kolmar

Chris Kolmar has been in the real estate business for almost ten years now. He originally worked for Movoto Real Estate as the director of marketing before founding HomeSnacks.

He believes the key to finding the right place to live comes down to looking at the data, reading about things to do, and, most importantly, checking it out yourself before you move.

If you've been looking for a place to live in the past several years, you've probably stumbled upon his writing already.

You can find out more about him on LinkedIn or his website.