Local Counties Make Top 100 List of Fastest Growing

By: Lindsay Puccio
By: Lindsay Puccio

March 16, 2006

Some of America's fastest growing counties are right here in our area. The Census Bureau said people are buying in the counties rather than cities because they're looking for bigger yards, even if they have to commute.

Both Culpeper and Orange Counties are growing at 4 times the national growth rate. While it helps the counties, it doesn't help the people who are looking for a cheap and rural place to live.

It may be 64% rural, but according to the Census Bureau's new data Culpeper County is one of the top 100 fastest growing counties in the U.S.

"I think people come here from a tourist’s standpoint and then decide they'd like to come here and live as well," said Norma Dunwody of the Culpeper Chamber of Commerce.

More residents want to live in the rural counties even if it means they have to commute into the cities. Studies show Culpeper has grown by almost 5% in the past year alone.

Norma Dunwody of the Chamber of Commerce says it's been great for businesses, especially the real estate business. But there is always a down side.

"The growth is certainly pushing that cost of living up, and I think it's becoming more of a problem here as well," said Dunwody.

But Culpeper isn't the only county where new developments are constantly popping up. Orange County also made the list and the Chamber of Commerce director said the growth rate is only going to get higher.

"Those folks that are looking at these top 100 lists and think they have discovered a little rural county, and it will be very inexpensive to move there, will find that that's not exactly true," said Barbara Bannar.

That certainly hasn't stopped thousands of people from moving to the countryside thus far. The Census Bureau says these estimates were taken before Hurricane Katrina struck the gulf coast and forced thousands of people to relocate. Other counties on the Top 100 list include Fluvanna and Louisa counties.

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