Quantcast

UVA: State Population Will Continue to Grow in Size & Diversity

Posted: Updated:

New projections for Virginia's population suggest the commonwealth will continue to grow at a fast pace over the next 30 years.  The University of Virginia is running the future numbers for the very first time.

The Weldon Cooper Center for Public Service developed the projections for the state.  Virginia's population is expected to top 10.5 million by 2040, adding 800,000 new people every decade.

The Weldon Cooper Center's Rebecca Tippett is part statistician, part prognosticator.  "Virginia has been growing and we project Virginia will continue to grow," she said.

Tippett's research produced population projections for every decade through 2040 based on past trends.  She said, "Growth will continue to be unevenly distributed - certain regions such as Northern Virginia are going to continue to be the fastest growing regions in the state."

In central Virginia and the Shenandoah Valley, the center projects Augusta County adds more than 14,000 people between 2020 and 2040.  Albemarle County's population could increase by 39,000.

City populations are expected to stay pretty stagnant since they can't expand their borders.  The center projects Charlottesville adds 2,900 people.

And their faces will reflect statewide trends.  The center projects 20 percent of Virginia's population will be 65 or older by 2030.

Tippett said, "We're going to see a big bump for a little while, and we're going to see tremendous growth in the population 85 and older."

By 2040, minorities will make up the majority of Virginians younger than the age of 50.

"We have continued immigration from Hispanic and Asian populations," said Tippett.  "We have increases in intermarriage, so increases in interracial births."

Tippett says these projections can help communities prepare resources to meet the needs of a changing population and regulate growth to reverse unwanted trends.

"Projections are not prophesies," said Tippet.  "It's important to recognize, those become more uncertain because a lot can change in the next 30 years."

The Weldon Cooper Center says the state wanted this independent population projection for the first time to help fairly allocate resources.  Until now, cities and counties often created their own skewed projections.

Click here for the report. 


University of Virginia
Press Release

Virginia is projected to add more than 800,000 new residents each decade, reaching a population of 10.5 million by 2040, according to population projections released today by the Demographics & Workforce Group at the University of Virginia's Weldon Cooper Center for Public Service. 

In many localities in the future, the norm for Virginians under the age of 20 will be to grow up among a population more representative of racial and ethnic minorities than whites. 

The Virginia Employment Commission produces and releases state- and locality-level projections regularly to aid localities in planning and resource allocation. This year, for the first time, the commission hired the Cooper Center research team to produce population projections for 2020, 2030 and 2040 for Virginia, its 134 localities, 22 Planning District Commissions and large towns (those with populations of 5,000 or more in the 2010 census). The projections are available here.

To be most useful, the projections should be revised every two to three years to incorporate forces that impact population, according to Qian Cai, director of the Demographics & Workforce group.

Rebecca Tippett, lead researcher for the projections project, said, "While our eyes are always drawn first to the year farthest in the future – in this case 2040 ­– interpreting and applying the projections should be done carefully, recognizing that our methodology assumes that past trends will continue into the future."

She added, "Future natural, social, economic and political events can have significant impacts on population ­– and are largely unknown. The ongoing and protracted recession, for example, affected both childbearing and migration, but would have been difficult to predict in 2000."

The Cooper Center demographers project that:

  • Growth will continue to be uneven across regions and localities. The Northern Virginia and Richmond regions are projected to continue to grow faster than the state. Regions with older populations and more people moving out than in – such as Southwest, Southside and Eastern – are expected to experience stagnant, low growth. The Hampton Roads region is projected to maintain moderate growth through this decade.
  • By 2030, almost 20 percent of Virginians will be over 65, compared to 12 percent in 2010. "By 2030, the youngest of the Baby Boomer generation will have turned 65, and the oldest Boomers will be turning 85," Tippett said. "Many localities will be challenged to address the growing needs of their senior population in the coming decades."
  • Younger Virginians in many localities will live in an increasingly diverse society. Racial and ethnic diversity will increase due to interracial marriage and births among the growing minority population, especially Asian and Hispanic Virginians, and continued immigration.

According to Cai, "Increases in diversity will be most prominent among the young population. By 2040, the population under 50 is projected to be majority minority."

She added, "The best use of projections is as a broad frame for understanding how Virginia and its regions will look in the future. Our methodology provides an independent and uniform approach statewide to suggesting future population size and composition. For program development and resource allocation, localities may also wish to use locally developed projections based on locally derived data, such as housing and zoning changes, school enrollments and other sources."

  • Most Popular Stories

    • UVA Graduates Demand University Pay Reparations from Torch-Lit Rally

      Following final commencement exercises on Saturday, May 19, a group of University of Virginia graduates gathered for a press conference about the torch rally that occurred last August.

    • 7,000+ UVA Graduates Gather for Final Exercises

      Despite the rain, thousands of graduates and guests gathered today on UVA’s lawn for final exercises.  As a longstanding tradition of outgoing university presidents, Teresa Sullivan delivered the keynote address to graduates. 

    • Longtime Dave Matthews Band Violinist Boyd Tinsley Facing Sexual Misconduct Allegations

      Long-time violinist for the Dave Matthews Band Boyd Tinsley sued for sexual harassment by former Crystal Garden musician James Frost-Winn.  

    • The page you requested is currently unavailable. Pages on this site are constantly being revised, updated, and occasionally removed. You may have followed an outdated link or have outdated pages in your

    • JMU Women's Lax Advances to NCAA Final Four with 11-8 Win Over Florida

      The James Madison women's lacrosse team is headed to the NCAA Final Four for the second time in program history, and the first time since 2000, as the Dukes defeated Florida 11-8 in the tournament quarterfinals on Saturday in Harrisonburg.

    • Albemarle County Man Prepares to Bike Cross-Country to Raise Money for MS

      A 64-year old Albemarle County man is on his way to Maine in preparation for a 4,000-mile bike ride across the country to raise money for multiple sclerosis patients.

    • High School Scholars Breakfast on Saturday, May 19

      Organization Awards Scholarships to African-American Male Students

      The 100 Black Men of Central Virginia chapter held its ninth annual High School Scholars Breakfast on Saturday, May 19, in Albemarle County. 

    • 'Parkerfest' Fundraiser Held for Augusta County Boy with Lymphoma

      Dozens of people gathered at the Pine Bluff Pool in Augusta County Sunday to support 9-year-old Parker Staples, who has lymphoma. The inaugural Parkerfest fundraiser was held to benefit Parker and raise awareness about lymphoma. 

    • The Covenant girls soccer team lost 1-0

      Saturday's High School Sports Playoff Scores & Highlights

      The Covenant boys tennis team lost 5-3 against Steward in the VISAA Division II state championship match, while the Eagles' girls soccer team fell 1-0 against Highland in the state semifinals.

    • UVa head coach Brian O'Connor

      ACC Baseball Tournament Schedule & Pairings Released

      The UVa baseball team will open the ACC Tournament against Florida State on Tuesday in Durham, and the Cavaliers will face NC State on Thursday.

    More