A large group of students parading down Main Street.


With a population of 55,990, Harrisonburg is the largest city in the Shenandoah Valley and the second largest on the I-81 corridor in Virginia.  The Harrisonburg Metropolitan Statistical Area (Harrisonburg and Rockingham County) population is 141,498.  Two universities are within the city limits – James Madison University, with an enrollment of 22,760 students, and Eastern Mennonite University, with an enrollment of 1,870.  Just outside the city, Bridgewater College has 1,500 students, and Blue Ridge Community College adds 7,300 students to the area.

Harrisonburg’s growth rate and total population have outpaced the region.

While student growth at the local colleges and universities has propelled population growth, the number of student residents in the city can skew income data.  The University of Virginia’s Weldon Cooper Center for Public Service analysis of demographic data in college towns reveals how students can alter the poverty rate and median income levels of a jurisdiction.  A report on the study can be found here.

The links below provide a comprehensive demographic picture of Harrisonburg from a variety of sources.  For customized data or any other questions, give Harrisonburg Economic Development a call today.

The U.S. Census Dashboard provides a quick facts overview of The Friendly City.

The Census Reporter provides population facts and compares them to Virginia. 

The Harrisonburg Community Profile is provided by the Virginia Employment Commission (VEC). The VEC updates the data quarterly.

The Regional Data Center provides a comprehensive collection of data compiled by the Central Shenandoah Planning District Commission.  The website allows users to view individual municipality data or compare municipalities in the Shenandoah Valley.

A market overview, demographics and housing study prepared by  Mullin & Lonergan Associates, Inc., for the City of Harrisonburg. The more than 200-page report, the first ever conducted by the City, views housing needs through the lens of social determinants of health, introduced by the World Health Organization, to quantify existing housing supply, assess demand for different housing types, identify barriers to meeting demands, and list potential policy tools to address housing gaps. The study was released in January 2021.