By Callie Hietala
Patrick County, Henry County, and the City of Martinsville all saw a population loss over the last decade, according to detailed population and demographic data from the 2020 census released last week by the U.S. Census Bureau.
The Virginia Public Access Project (VPAP), a nonprofit, nonpartisan public access group, released an online Census Lookup tool which allows viewers to “see how population and demographic data have changed over time in your area,” according to an email announcing the database.
Patrick County’s population declined 4.8 percent or 882 people since 2010. Of the people counted in the 2020 census, 89.3 percent were white, 4.8 percent were Black, and just over 5 percent identified as multi-racial, Asian, or other. 3.2 percent of the population counted were Hispanic or Latino, an increase from 2.4 percent in 2010.
According to VPAP’s website, “The US Census Bureau tracks Hispanic/Latino ethnicity separately from race. People who identify as Hispanic/Latino can be of any race.”
Henry County also saw a population loss, with a 5.9 percent (3,203 people) decrease since 2010. Of the people counted in the 2020 census, 68.8 percent were white, 21.9 percent were Black, and just over 9 percent identified as Asian, multiracial, or other. 6.5 percent of the population identified as Hispanic or Latino, up from 4.7 percent in the 2010 census.
Martinsville’s population saw a 2.4 percent decrease since 2010, or 336 individuals. 43.9 percent of the population is listed as white, 45.2 percent as Black, 5.7 percent as Multiracial, and 4.4 percent fell under “Other.” 7.6 percent of people counted identified as Hispanic or Latino, an increase from the 2010 census’ 4 percent.
All three localities have faced a population decline over the last two decades. Patrick County’s population at the 2000 census was 19,407 and by 2020 had fallen to 17,608. In Henry County the population in 2000 was 57,930 and now sits at 50,948. Martinsville’s population has been in steady decline since 1980, when the population was 18,149. By 2000, it had fallen to 15,416 and, according to 2020 data, is 13,485.
Overall, Virginia saw a 7.9% population increase since the 2010 census, which translates to 630,369 more people. According to VPAP’s website, “While the state grew as a whole, 62 of Virginia’s 133 localities lost residents in the past 10 years, primarily in the Southwest and Southside regions.”
VPAP’s Census Lookup tool can be accessed at vpap.org. More information on the U.S. census can be found at census.gov.