One of the benefits of the Loudoun County government’s survey of residents is that it generates useful demographic information about the county’s population. The information was gathered through about 1,000 phone interviews of a random sample of county residents, conducted between May 8 and June 3, 2012.
Here are some of the results which I found to be most interesting.
Where we are from and why we came here
The vast majority of us came here from somewhere else. Only 8.4 percent of respondents have lived in Loudoun County their entire lives.
Many came here from Fairfax County or the inner suburbs of Washington D.C. About 41 percent of those who moved to Loudoun came from Fairfax County. While less than one percent came from Washington, D.C., about eight percent moved here from Arlington, Alexandria or Montgomery County, and 3.6 percent came from Prince William County. About 41 percent moved to Loudoun from outside the metropolitan Washington, D.C., area.
About 28 percent moved here because of a job, and about 24 percent said they came here because of housing affordability. While those percentages have been relatively consistent since 2002, there has been one notable shift over the past decade.
In 2002, more than 11 percent of respondents said they moved here because of the county’s rural character and beauty. That percentage declined to 5.5 percent in 2012, while the percentage of those who were attracted to Loudoun County because of its schools increased from 4.4 percent in 2002 to 9.1 percent in 2012.
A fair number of residents – 13 percent – either telework or work in home-based businesses.
Nearly 43 percent of respondents have jobs in Loudoun County, and 31.6 percent work in Fairfax County. Almost eight percent commute to jobs in Washington, D.C.
Over 14 percent of households include someone who works for the federal government.
Many respondents said that federal government is important for their job security. 42.8 percent said that federal expenditures are better for their job security, compared to 9.7 percent who said that they are worse. Nearly 49 percent of respondents said that their household’s job security is dependent on federal expenditures.
We are connected
More than 95.4 percent of respondents said they have internet access – 42.4 percent by fiber (Verizon or OpenBand), 25 percent by wireless, and 19.9 percent by cable (Comcast). About 8 percent have a DSL connection, and just two percent have a standard dial-up connection.
Looking to the future
About 70 percent of respondents expect to be living in Loudoun County in 10 years. Nearly 46 percent expect to be living in their current home, while 30 percent expect to move outside the county.
Respondents who expect to move away cited a variety of reasons. The most common responses were cost of living (18.2 percent), retirement (15.3 percent) and local taxes (8.8 percent).
Use of public transportation
Given the limited options in Loudoun County, it is not surprising that only 27 percent of respondents said they use public transportation. Of those who do, 68.8 percent take the bus and 53.7 percent use Metro. Less than seven percent take the train.
Of those who don’t use public transportation, 28.5 percent said that public transportation doesn’t go where they need to go, and 15.7 percent said they have to go too far from their home to reach it.
Age and race of respondents
The survey reached people in all age groups, with most respondents falling in the middle categories – ages 25 to 34 (19.4 percent), 35 to 44 (29.1 percent) or 45 to 54 (21.4 percent). I was somewhat surprised that 3.2 percent of respondents were over 75, and nearly ten percent were between 18 and 24.
About 75 percent of respondents were white, 14.2 percent were Asian and 7.6 percent were African American. About 10 percent said that they were Hispanic or Latino. These figures back up Census data showing that the county’s Asian population is one of the fastest-growing demographic groups in the county.
Education and income levels
Overall, more than two-thirds of respondents – 68.7 percent – said they have at least a bachelor’s college degree. Almost 33 percent have a master’s or professional degree.
Income data are consistent with rankings that place Loudoun County at the top of high-income counties. 17.7 percent of respondents reported a household income of more than $200,000 and 44.2 percent have a household income between $100,000 and $200,000. Only 15 percent reported a household income of $50,000 or less.