The Washington Post

Loudoun grew rapidly in past decade, fueled by minority gains, census data show

Loudoun County grew at a blistering pace over the past decade, adding more than 142,000 residents and outpacing every other jurisdiction in fast-growing Northern Virginia, according to data released Thursday by the U.S. Census Bureau.

The minority population fueled much of the county's growth, with the Asian population quintupling to more than 46,000 in 2010, the Census data show.

The number of Hispanics tripled to more than 38,000 during the past 10 years, and non-Hispanic blacks doubled to more than 22,000. The number of residents who identified themselves as multiracial also tripled to more than 12,000, the data show.

The non-Hispanic white population also increased but at a slower pace, growing to about 195,000. Non-Hispanic whites now make up slightly more than 62 percent of the county's 312,000 residents.

Most of Loudoun's growth and demographic shifts are concentrated in its eastern suburbs, where rapid commercial and residential development and the Dulles Technology Corridor have drawn huge numbers of new residents over the past two decades.

The demographic changes are especially apparent in communities such as Sterling, where the population of white residents has dropped from 70 percent to 42 percent in 10 years, while the percentage of Hispanics has risen from 11 to 33 percent, according to the data.

South Riding and Ashburn also experienced dramatic demographic changes since 2000, with the population of white residents falling from 83 to 54 percent in South Riding and from 81 to 64 percent in Ashburn. The Asian population jumped from 5 to 15 percent in Ashburn and skyrocketed from 5 to 29 percent in South Riding.

Caitlin Gibson is a feature writer at The Washington Post.

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