Harrisonburg Continues to See Population Growth

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HARRISONBURG, Va. (WHSV) -- In a recent report released by the Harrisonburg-Rockingham Chamber of Commerce, Harrisonburg has been ranked as one of the top 20 emerging metropolitan areas in the United States.

A large part of that is due to the area's growing population. Downtown Harrisonburg is a dramatically different place than it was 10 years ago. In fact, according to studies done by the University of Virginia, there has been a 21 percent increase of people living in Harrisonburg.

Leaders with the local chamber of commerce said that will have an impact on businesses not just in Harrisonburg, but throughout the Valley and that there are several reasons for the growth.

First, the stable and diverse economy brings companies to the area looking to invest. Second, local universities are expanding, which brings in more employment and income growth. Lastly, more people are retiring to our area.

"It is popular for me and my friends to go to different places throughout the Blue Ridge Mountains and within Staunton and Harrisonburg and stuff within the Valley because we just get drawn to it because of different reasons. Whether that is fraternity or school stuff," said Matt Bowen, who lives in Harrisonburg.

Not only have many businesses in downtown seen a trend in customers walking through their door, but they've also seen a more consistent trend throughout the entire week.

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