Earlier this week, they issued a paper with a discussion of Virginia's changes relative to other states in the country entitled A Decade of Change in Virginia's Population. Here are some bottom lines.
- Virginia is the only state in the nation where natural population growth and net in-migration contributed equal shares to population growth.
- Northern Virginia, Richmond and Hampton Road accounted for 80% of population growth in Virginia and Northern Virginia accounted for more than 1/2 of the state's population growth.
- A growing number of localities are experiencing population loss and 55 localities had more deaths than births.
- Hispanic population doubled to 7.9% of Virginia and Asian population increased 70% to 5.5% of Virginia.
Thirty-two localities have under-18 populations that are majority-minority. Virginia is poised to become more diverse.
- White population is down to 69% of Virginia's population - the same percentage it was 100 years ago when blacks constituted 31% of the state.
The article reinforces that Virginia's urban and suburban areas will continue to lead the state in job growth and population growth. Virginia will continue to become more diverse even without significant net in-state migration.
Our failure to uncork economic development problems in the rural parts of Virginia have them poised poised for even more long-term population declines. This translates to a myriad of different consequences in terms of education, transportation, poverty, crime,and health care - virtually everything we do in Richmond. So long as these trends are ignored and certain groups in Richmond continue to rally against them, we will not be properly maximizing our collective future.