The 10 Fastest Growing Cities In Virginia For 2021

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

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Editor’s Note: Data has been updated for 2021. This is our seventh time ranking the fastest growing cities in Virginia.

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 Big Stone Gap, 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 2021 according to the most recent census data:

What's the fastest growing city in Virginia for 2021? 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 2021

1. Purcellville

Purcellville, VA

Overall SnackAbility


Population: 9,897
Rank Last Year: 1 (No Change)
Population 2010: 7,102
Percent Growth 39.4%
Absolute Growth: 2,795
More on Purcellville: Homes For Sale | Data | Photos

2. Leesburg

Leesburg, VA

Source: Public domain
Overall SnackAbility


Population: 52,994
Rank Last Year: 2 (No Change)
Population 2010: 40,713
Percent Growth 30.2%
Absolute Growth: 12,281
More on Leesburg: Homes For Sale | Data | Photos

3. Manassas Park

Manassas Park, VA

Overall SnackAbility


Population: 16,986
Rank Last Year: 3 (No Change)
Population 2010: 13,195
Percent Growth 28.7%
Absolute Growth: 3,791
More on Manassas Park: Homes For Sale | Data | Photos

4. Falls Church

Falls Church, VA

Overall SnackAbility


Population: 14,128
Rank Last Year: 4 (No Change)
Population 2010: 11,465
Percent Growth 23.2%
Absolute Growth: 2,663
More on Falls Church: Homes For Sale | Data | Photos

5. Fredericksburg

Fredericksburg, VA

Overall SnackAbility


Population: 28,622
Rank Last Year: 5 (No Change)
Population 2010: 23,375
Percent Growth 22.4%
Absolute Growth: 5,247
More on Fredericksburg: Homes For Sale | Data | Photos

6. Alexandria

Alexandria, VA

Overall SnackAbility


Population: 157,613
Rank Last Year: 6 (No Change)
Population 2010: 133,647
Percent Growth 17.9%
Absolute Growth: 23,966
More on Alexandria: Homes For Sale | Data | Photos

7. Culpeper

Culpeper, VA

Overall SnackAbility


Population: 18,342
Rank Last Year: 7 (No Change)
Population 2010: 15,607
Percent Growth 17.5%
Absolute Growth: 2,735
More on Culpeper: Homes For Sale | Data | Photos

8. Manassas

Manassas, VA

Overall SnackAbility


Population: 41,174
Rank Last Year: 8 (No Change)
Population 2010: 36,067
Percent Growth 14.2%
Absolute Growth: 5,107
More on Manassas: Homes For Sale | Data | Photos

9. Harrisonburg

Harrisonburg, VA

Overall SnackAbility


Population: 53,273
Rank Last Year: 9 (No Change)
Population 2010: 47,406
Percent Growth 12.4%
Absolute Growth: 5,867
More on Harrisonburg: Homes For Sale | Data | Photos

10. Richmond

Richmond, VA

Overall SnackAbility


Population: 226,622
Rank Last Year: 11 (Up 1)
Population 2010: 201,828
Percent Growth 12.3%
Absolute Growth: 24,794
More on Richmond: Homes For Sale | Data | Photos

How We Measured The Fastest Growing Cities In the Old Dominion for 2021

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 2021

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. Martinsville
  3. Covington

For more Virginia reading, check out:

Detailed List Of Fastest Growing Places In Virginia For 2021

Rank City Growth Population Population 2010
1 Purcellville 39.4% 9,897 7,102
2 Leesburg 30.2% 52,994 40,713
3 Manassas Park 28.7% 16,986 13,195
4 Falls Church 23.2% 14,128 11,465
5 Fredericksburg 22.4% 28,622 23,375
6 Alexandria 17.9% 157,613 133,647
7 Culpeper 17.5% 18,342 15,607
8 Manassas 14.2% 41,174 36,067
9 Harrisonburg 12.4% 53,273 47,406
10 Richmond 12.3% 226,622 201,828

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.