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Foreign Born and Immigrants of Towns

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Foreign Born and Immigrants of Towns

Key Facts Foreign Born Population Overall

​The Washington, D.C. metropolitan area is one of the most diverse in the country when taking into consideration the minority and foreign born (immigrant) population make-up.  Northern Virginia contains a sizable amount of the metropolitan area's diverse population.  The foreign born or immigrant population is transforming the region and many of it's towns.  Note, the terms foreign born and immigrant are used interchangeably throughout the NOVA Region Dashboard.

It is immigration that has been driving many of the major demographic trends in the region, including:

  • School enrollment changes

  • Sizable increases in the number of Hispanics and Asians

  • Population and labor force growth

About the Data and Proper Data Interpretation

Foreign born population data is sourced from the U.S. Census Bureau 2000 Census and the American Community Survey.  All of the incorporated towns in Northern Virginia have a population of less than 65,000 persons.  One-year ACS estimates do not exist for incorporated places with a population of less than 65,000. All incorporated towns and places in the United States are included in the five-year ACS estimates.

​It is important to note that any data sourced from the ACS is based on a small sample of the population of a place. The ACS estimates for places with smaller populations such as Clifton, Dumfries, Hamilton, Haymarket, Hillsboro, Lovettsville, Middleburg, and Quantico can be unreliable if the margin of error is large. The margin of error is shown in the popup that is displayed when hovering over a bar in the bar charts.  If there is a large increase or decrease in the estimate from one time period to the next, and the margin of error is large and overlaps other periods, then the large change between time periods is likely due to statistical sampling error and is not considered statistically significant. In addition to the margin of error, the accuracy of the American Community Survey data for an area can be gaged by evaluating the trend.   If the data has a clear trend then the data from one period to the next can be deemed reliable.

Foreign Born Population - Current

Foreign Born Population Share - Current

The region's highest ranked county/city is Manassas Park City, ranking 7th in the nation at 36.5%. The town of Herndon has a foreign born population share of 41.8% which is estimated to be higher, however the town is not statistically different from the City of Manassas Park based on the margins of error.

Towns that are estimated to have lower foreign born population shares than the Commonwealth of Virginia are all located within rural Loudoun County (Lovettsville, Purcellville, Hamilton, Middleburg, Round Hill), except for Clifton which is located in rural Fairfax County and Quantico which is surrounded by the Quantico Marine Corps Base in Prince William County. 

Note, the town of Hillsboro's 2017-2021 estimate is considered to be highly unreliable based on the large margin of error, its large increase from prior five-year periods, and its rural setting in Loudoun County.

Foreign Born Population - Historic Compared to Current

Foreign Born Population Share - Historic Compared to Current

Immigration has been driving many of the major demographic trends in the region. The foreign born population is transforming the region. Northern Virginia's population was 21.4% foreign born in 2000 and has risen to 27.7% currently.

​Large transformations since 2000 have occurred in the towns of Dumfries, Haymarket, Leesburg, Lovettsville, Occoquan, Purcellville, and Quantico.  All of these incorporated towns are located in the outer-core, which is where the majority of the region's growth has occurred. 

Note, the American Community Survey is a survey with a small sample size.  Due to the small size of many Northern Virginia towns and small sample size of the survey, the median household income of towns should be used with caution and the margin of error of the median household income should be taken into consideration. If there is a large increase or decrease in the estimate from one time period to the next, and the margin of error is large and overlaps other periods, then the large change between time periods is likely due to statistical sampling error and the data should be used with caution.  The margin of error is shown in the popup that is displayed when hovering over a bar in the bar charts.  In addition to the margin of error, the accuracy of the American Community Survey data for an area can be gaged by evaluating the trend.  If the data does not have a clear trend, and the margin of error is large and overlaps other periods, then the large change between time periods is likely due to statistical sampling error and the data should be used with caution.  

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