The census just released their 2004 population updates, and Charlottesville’s looking quite a bit smaller than it was a few years ago. In April 2000, the city had 40,099 people — by July of 2004, that dropped 8.7% of 36,605. The World Class City™’s loss of 3,494 souls may have fled outward — Albemarle County expanded by 5.4% in the same period, increasing from 84,186 to 88,726, an addition of 4,540 people. (3,494 ex-Charlottesvillians, 1,046 New Jersey refugees?) John Yellig’s got the skinny in the Progress.
The Census Bureau hasn’t updated their website just yet, but last year’s Charlottesville data can be found there. As always, the surrounding counties are growing, too — Greene, Louisa, Orange, Nelson, Madison and Nelson all expanded, some significantly.
With the home prices in C’ville having risen 88% between ’00 and ’04 (the median has gone from $116k to $218k), presumably it’s the lower and middle classes being driven outward, but Albemarle sales prices have shot up, too. Do we abandon Charlottesville to the free market, running the risk of becoming Virginia’s Detroit? Or do we take this as a sign that all is not well in our fair city and figure out what the solution is?