Although this report, done by the Northern Virgina Regional Commission, should not come as a surprise to anyone, it does codify what we all knew, Prince William County’s demographics are radically changing. Even Corey Stewart, admitting it months ago, shared that Prince William County was experiencing a “demographic change”. As stated in this Washington Post article:
Prince William County has become the most ethnically and racially diverse county in Northern Virginia as a profound demographic shift in the region is reversing half a century of white-flight suburbanization, according to a report by the Northern Virginia Regional Commission.
While places like Arlington and Alexandria are lamenting that their population is losing its diverse landscape, we are gaining their faces in our changing population. Marty Nohe has some great quotes as follows:
“Because we’re far less urbanized, it’s an easy assumption to make that we’re a predominantly white community,” said Prince William Supervisor Martin E. Nohe (R-Coles), who attended Billingsley’s presentation at a recent meeting of the Northern Virginia Regional Commission. “But my hope is that people will recognize that our community has changed, and I think the change we’re experiencing is a positive one.”
No members of minority groups serve on the heavily Republican Prince William Board of County Supervisors or on the city councils of Manassas and Manassas Park, but Nohe predicted that, too, will soon change. “As newcomers to our county get more established, you’ll see more minority participation in politics,” he said, noting that the county has a black sheriff and black School Board members.
Obviously, the elephant in the room is our recent debacle over immigration legal and illegal, as my favorite friend Mr. Duecaster likes to point out, and how that has impacted our community.
Because the report relies on Census Bureau estimates that extend only through 2007, it is not clear how the recent economic downturn, the foreclosure crisis and efforts in Prince William and Manassas to target illegal immigrants might affect the region’s demographics. The highest foreclosure rates in the region are in the jurisdictions that have experienced the largest minority growth.