Burke is booming, but not Lake Barcroft. Franconia is up; Fort Hunt is down.

The newest numbers from the 1990 Census, released this week, show that even in Northern Virginia, which gained more people over the last decade than during any other period in its history, there were no-growth or slow-growth pockets.

There also were neighborhoods that went up like rockets, doubling or tripling their populations during the 1980s while Northern Virginia's as a whole grew by about one-third.

Most of the winners were outside the Capital Beltway, where subdivisions are popping up on vacant land. The population losers were usually well-established neighborhoods where little housing is going up.

The boom areas, demographers say, tend to have young families with children, who move farther out to take advantage of lower housing prices. The bust zones are often neighborhoods in which the children have grown up and moved out, and the parents are not ready to sell the family house and retire.

Among the big gainers in Fairfax County were Franconia (up 134 percent), site of the giant Kingstowne development; Lorton (up 164 percent); and Newington (up 115 percent). All are south of the Beltway.

To the west, Burke (up 71 percent), Chantilly (up 139 percent) and Centreville (up 255 percent) expanded dramatically over the last decade, changing from semi-rural areas to semi-crowded communities. Great Falls, a fashionable address, grew by 187 percent during the decade.

Population jumped in Leesburg by 93.8 percent and Dale City by 42.4 percent, as new residents sought more space and quiet in Loudoun and Prince William counties. Leesburg estimated that it gained 1,500 people through a boundary change, but that had only a small effect on the increase.

But people who live in the high-growth areas should not gloat, local demographers said. Even the well-off have their woes.

"Some of the fastest-growing areas have the biggest problems," said Robert E. Griffiths, chief census-watcher for the Metropolitan Washington Council of Governments.

Often such areas lack the roads, schools, playgrounds and other facilities their new residents demand, and it takes a while for those services to catch up with growth, he said.

While the rest of the region was booming in the 1980s, some neighborhoods were at rest.

In Belle Haven, for example, the population count dropped by 1.4 percent over the decade, while in nearby Fort Hunt, just off the Mount Vernon Parkway, it went down by 9 percent.

Several other established neighborhoods had stable populations, including Hybla Valley, Clifton and Lake Barcroft.

Population in some places barely increased. They included North Springfield, up by 5 percent, and Vienna, up 3.9 percent. In Annandale, even a surge of migration among Hispanics, whose population was up 87 percent, and Asians, whose number increased nearly 180 percent, was not enough to offset a 7 percent loss of whites. The community's population increased by 2.9 percent overall.

Demographers offer some comfort, in case residents of those areas feel gloomy. Population changes are usually part of a normal 20-year cycle of change in every neighborhood: Young families move in, have children, the children grow up and move out, the parents stay a while, and then they sell. A new set of young families moves in and the cycle begins again.

"It doesn't mean desertion, people abandoning the household and moving out," said George Grier of the Greater Washington Research Center.

"It's perfectly normal -- in fact, inevitable, in the life cycle."

Grier and Griffiths were enthusiastic yesterday about the virtues of older slow-growth neighborhoods. "They've got what they need," Grier said.

"They have the facilities in place," Griffiths said. "The schools aren't bursting at the seams."

Growth.............1990 Population..........Change from 1980

Chantilly...........29,337..........................+139

%

Centreville.........26,585..........................+255

Dale City...........47,170..........................+42.4

Leesburg............16,202..........................+93.8

Lorton..............15,385..........................+164

Stable.............1990 Population..........Change from 1980

Annandale...........50,975..........................+2.9%

Belle Haven.........6,427........................... 1.4

Fort Hunt...........12,989.......................... 9

Vienna..............14,852..........................+3.9

SOURCE: U.S. Census