According to population estimates published last month by the Weldon Cooper Center, Harrisonburg’s estimated population on July 1, 2014 was 52,612. That’s 485 more than the 2013 estimate, and works out to a growth rate of just 0.93 percent. That’s the lowest rate of growth for the city in at least the past 30 years, and is the first time over that period that annual growth as ever dipped below 1 percent.
The chart below shows annual growth rates for Harrisonburg, Rockingham County and Virginia, using data from the US Census Bureau and the Weldon Cooper Center:
The state’s population growth as a whole has been falling significantly over the past few years (check out this post from the Weldon Cooper Center blog for more detail), and Virginia’s growth rate last year was also the lowest over the past 30 years.
In absolute terms over that period, the city’s population has doubled from an estimated 26,300 in 1984 to an estimated 52,612 in 2014. That’s made Harrisonburg one of the fastest-growing localities in the state, and it was still holding true, particularly in the Valley region, through last year.
Harrisonburg’s growth rate of 0.93 percent from 2013 to 2014, though, put it down in 45th place among the state’s 133 cities and counties – for better or worse or whatever.