Where Are All the New Residents of Virginia Beach Moving From?

If you love athletics on the beach, Virginia Beach might be just the home you’re looking for. We’re not just talking about beach volleyball. Every summer, Virginia Beach hosts both the East Coast Surfing Championships and the North American Sand Soccer Championships. And don’t forget beach yoga.

But as you will see, one of the biggest drivers for Virginia Beach movers is the military, specifically the US Navy. The city is home to Naval Air Station Oceana. Many new residents come from other places with a large naval presence, such as North Chicago, IL, home to the Great Lakes Training Center Navy Base, and Corpus Christi, TX, home to the Naval Air Station Corpus Christi.

The Virginia Beach metro area added more than 3,000 new residents between July 2015 and July 2016, according to the latest census data. During that time, the population went from 1,723,468 to 1,726,907, a 0.2 percent increase. The City of Virginia Beach grew slightly more slowly during that time, going from 451,854 to 452,602 people, a 0.17 percent increase. (Unlike most states, Virginia has both counties and independent cities that aren’t part of any county. The census treats these independent cities like it would a county.)

Some of that growth comes from new births and immigration, but a good chunk of it is also due to people moving into Virginia Beach from other places in the U.S. Indeed, the city attracted 36,810 domestic movers from 2011 to 2015, according to another census study that covers those years.

So, if the beach feels a little more crowded these days, you may be wondering where all those people are coming from. That same census study gives us a pretty good idea. The majority, 54 percent, is moving from other places in the U.S., while the rest, 46 percent, is moving from within Virginia.  Among those coming from within the Old Dominion, almost 73 percent are coming from other cities in the Hampton Roads area.

Below are rankings for the top five counties of origin for movers to the city of Virginia Beach.

Movers outside of Virginia:

  1. San Diego County, CA
  2. Lake County, IL (Waukegan)
  3. Nueces County, TX (Corpus Christi)
  4. Okaloosa County, FL (Crestview)
  5. Duval County, FL (Jacksonville)

Movers from Virginia:

  1. The city of Norfolk
  2. The city of Chesapeake
  3. The city of Portsmouth
  4. The city of Newport News
  5. The city of Suffolk

Above are the top places inside Virginia that people moved to the city of Virginia Beach from over the five-year period 2011-2015. Numbers represent the number of movers from that place during the period.

Sources: East Coast Surfing Championships: www.surfecsc.com, All-Pro Tactical NASSC: www.sandsoccer.com, Virginia Beach Convention and Visitors Bureau: www.visitvirginiabeach.com/fall/

U.S. Census Bureau

Elizabeth Whalen