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Major population growth predicted for Town of Herndon

Herndon government offices (staff photo by Jay Westcott)

After sleepy population growth over the last decade, Herndon planners expect the town will see significant population growth in the coming 10 to 15 years.

In a June memo to the Town of Herndon’s planning commission, head of long-range planning Ahmad Zaki said the changes must inform the town’s planning decisions.

Although the town’s decennial census showed a growth of 1,263 people between 2010 and 2020, that trend is expected to “change significantly in the coming 10-15 years,” Zaki wrote.

“By 2030 about 9,000 people will be added to the town’s population,” the memo states.

Housing stock in the Town of Herndon has increased by 206 units overall, according to the memo.

However, the town’s population estimates diverge from the ones calculated by Fairfax County, which said in its 2022 demographic report that the town shrank by 926 individuals and added 247 housing units between 2010 and 2020.

“The discrepancies could be due to household size and vacancy rate factors used in these estimates,” Zaki suggested in his memo.

The American Community Survey — an annual survey conducted by the Census Bureau — estimates suggest that the town’s population will grow from 25,935 individuals in 2025 to 39,430 individuals in 2040.

“The 2025 and onward population and housing projections are estimated using the new development projects with residential components that are within the review pipeline, and future land use growth data gleaned from the Town’s 2030 Comprehensive Plan and the various small area plans recently approved,” the memo states.

Town planners note that there are an “unprecedented” number of new housing developments expected in the town over the next 25 years, particularly between 2025 and 2030. That means there would be roughly two new housing units per day, according to the town.

“This magnitude of development, if realized and not prepared for, can put significant pressure on the town’s road network, utility infrastructure, and community services in a relatively short time,” the memo states.

The racial composition of the town has remained relatively consistent over the last 10 years, according to to the town. The 2020 census indicated that the median age for individuals in Herndon is age 35 — roughly three years younger than the median age in Virginia.

Between 2010 and 2015, the number of Spanish-speaking individuals increased by 10%, while the number of people speaking only English has declined by 9% over the same time period.

The town is expected to discuss population trends at a meeting before the commission tonight (Monday).

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