Portrait of Rockbridge

Developing a snapshot of the place we call home

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Who are we?  How have we changed?  How are we changing?

The numbers don’t say everything, but they do say a lot.

The Census Bureau’s latest snapshot of the Rockbridge area is a study in contrasts.  There’s been a surge in people older than 65.  Working-age adults tend to leave.  Young residents – it’s hard to say.  While college students continue to inflate Lexington’s population, Southern Virginia University in Buena Vista is expanding, drawing in more students and families, even as unemployment remains high.

The Census’ once-a-decade national headcount will play a role in how state and federal voting districts are drawn as well as how much money trickles down to Rockbridge area social services.  But in the years between those high-profile efforts, Census workers and other demographers are constantly recording who we are and how we live.

Follow the form to get an idea of what goes into the Census, or move beyond the numbers to hear the voices of the people and see how the Rockbridge area is changing.

Take a look at who we are

Exploring ways to grow

Local farmers and artisans sell their goods every week at the Lexington Farmer's Market, but many family-farm owners are seeing their working-age children leave for greener pastures. (The Rockbridge Report/BRETT HOLTON)

The numbers tell us that many of Rockbridge’s young adults aren’t sticking around. Why do they leave, and how are area planners working to hang on to them to bring new economic vitality to the region?

See who we might become

By the numbers

  • Census workers are knocking on doors to capture a national headcount, but the American Community Survey might say more.

  • The Rockbridge area is no stranger to shared housing. But how do those residents count?

  • Are district lines in danger or simply due for a tuneup?

  • Area social services are looking for strength in numbers as the Census count is tallied.

Beyond the numbers

  • Growth in Rockbridge is slow-going, but mostly going gray.

  • Southern Virginia University could inject new economic life into the community. But is it working so far?

  • Many working-age people won't call Rockbridge home because jobs are scarce. Now new technology can let locals work from home
    at jobs far away.

  • What will the community look like when the next Census rolls around?

Measuring up

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© 2010 The Rockbridge Report: Bacaj, Holton, Morella, Poelhuis | About the reporters | Contact us |