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News | 3 min read

Richmond MSA sees highest resident influx in Virginia, #15 nation-wide

May 23, 2023

Couple sits at Richmond festival

RICHMOND, VA. (May 23, 2023) – The Richmond, Va., MSA saw the highest population growth in the state and the #15 highest population growth nation-wide according to new data from the U.S. Census Bureau.

This newly released census data shows the population changes within every metro area in the United States from April 1, 2020, to July 1, 2022. Due to COVID-19 and the rise of remote workers, most of the largest metros’ populations fell as people moved out of high-density areas to places with better costs of living and quality of life. Thanks to an affordable cost of living and a superior quality of life, Richmond, Va., gained in population while other metros lost.

Coupled with the MSA’s quality of life, location and job opportunities, the Richmond MSA’s low housing costs are believed to be a large factor in Richmond’s population growth. The overall cost of living in the Richmond MSA is 96.9, more than three points below the national average. While housing costs across the U.S. have risen, housing in the Richmond MSA is well below the national average at 87.9.

The Richmond MSA is now the 43rd largest metro in the United States with a population of 1,339,182 residents as of July 1, 2022. Between 2020 and 2022, Richmond saw an increase of 22,626 people (1.72 percent) or 28 net new people per day. Of the 56 metros with populations of 1 million residents or more, Richmond ranks #15 for percent change and #17 for count change.

Out of the MSAs in Virginia, Winchester had the highest percent change in population with an increase of 2.44 percent (3,484 residents). However, the Richmond MSA saw the highest increase in residents by count out of every MSA in Virginia by more than three times. The second highest increase by count was the Washington-Arlington-Alexandria MSA with an influx of 7,077 people.

Source: Greater Richmond Partnership, U.S. Census Bureau Vintage 2022 Dataset, Annual Resident Population Estimates for Metropolitan and Micropolitan Statistical Areas and their Geographic Components for the United States: April 1, 2020, to July 1, 2022.

Looking at the 56 U.S. metros with a population of 1 million residents or more, 34 metros (61 percent) saw population increases. The metros with the highest counts of residents gained are the Dallas MSA (277,810), Houston MSA (199,369), Phoenix MSA (146,000) and Austin MSA (121,121). The metros with the highest percentages of residents gained are Austin MSA (5.27 percent), Raleigh MSA (4.71 percent), Jacksonville MSA (3.90 percent) and Dallas MSA (3.62 percent).

On the other hand, 22 metros (39 percent) lost population from 2020 to 2022 including some of the largest cities in the U.S. The metros with the highest counts of residents lost are New York-Newark MSA (-431,017), Los Angeles MSA (-305,430), San Francisco MSA (160,953) and Chicago MSA (-158,865). The metros with the highest percentages of residents lost are San Francisco MSA (-3.40 percent), San Jose MSA (-2.86 percent), Los Angeles MSA (-2.32 percent) and New York-Newark MSA (2.15 percent).

About GRP

The Greater Richmond Partnership, Inc. (GRP) is the lead regional economic development organization for the City of Richmond and counties of Chesterfield, Hanover and Henrico in Virginia. GRP attracts new companies to the region by providing in-depth market data, marketing the region globally and generating quality economic opportunities. For more information, visit