The Demographics Research Group conducts practical and policy-oriented analysis of census and demographic data; and communicates rigorous research and its policy implications to decision makers and the general public through meaningful publications and presentations.
Access the official Virginia population projections and estimates and our national population projections.
Explore trends in population, regional distribution, politics, school enrollment, and migration.
Understand the changing human landscape in Virginia and nationally through powerful data visualizations.
Director, Demographics Research Group
Phone: (434) 982-5581
Qian Cai (pronounced “chien tsai”) is director of the Demographics Research Group at the University of Virginia’s Weldon Cooper Center for Public Service. Drawing on her extensive knowledge of population statistics, and national reputation in applied demography, Qian oversees the group’s data production and research, ensures top quality publications and client service, and maintains an ambitious agenda for improving population data for Virginia and the nation. A native of China, Qian received a bachelor’s degree in economics and a master’s degree in demography, both from Peking University. She received a Ph.D. in sociology from Brown University.
Director of Outreach
Phone: (434) 982-5585
Meredith’s current role as Director of Strategy and Public Engagement builds on her prior work as Interim Director of the Cooper Center and as outreach director for the Center’s Demographics Research Group. Prior experience includes policy and special initiative development in state government, with a particular interest in international relations, and senior leadership in several institutions of higher education. Meredith’s research, teaching, and educational achievements focus on human intellectual and ethical development, gerontology, and racial/gender equity. Meredith is a devoted locavore and dog lover.
Research & Policy Analyst
Phone: (434) 982-5698
Hamilton Lombard is a research specialist for the Demographics Research Group at the University of Virginia Weldon Cooper Center for Public Service. His expertise is in demographic change, particularly the different components of population growth and decline, population estimates, school enrollment projections, and the effect of government policy on population patterns. Hamilton has worked in local and regional planning in Virginia and the United Kingdom. He earned his B.A. in History and B.S. in Planning from the University of Virginia.
Research & Policy Analyst
Phone: (434) 982-5861
Shonel Sen is a Research and Policy Analyst for the Demographics Research Group. She has a strong background in Regional Economics, Population Studies and Public Policy with training in theoretical modeling and quantitative analysis. Her interdisciplinary research interests bring together elements from the fields of Economic Development, Components of Population Change, Behavioral Incentives and Environmental Sustainability. Shonel received her B.A and M.A. in Economics from India and the Dual-Ph.D. in Applied Economics and Demography at Pennsylvania State University.
Phone: (434) 982-0812
Amy Muldoon is the coordinator for the Demographics Research Group at the Weldon Cooper Center for Public Service. In 2010, Amy moved from Ann Arbor, Michigan where she worked at the University of Michigan as an academic advisor in the liberal arts college. She has experience designing websites, building and maintaining databases, and managing various college programs and projects. She earned her B.A. in Professional Writing from Miami University (OH) and her M.A. in English from the University of Toledo.
Kathryn Piper Crespin
Research & Policy Analyst
Phone: (434) 982-5582
Kathryn Piper Crespin is a Research and Policy Analyst for the Demographics Research Group. She enjoys writing about demography, and her training and interests include population forecasting as well as analysis, mapping, and visualization of population data. Prior to joining the Demographics Research Group, she worked as an epidemiologist for the Maternal and Child Health Bureau of the Utah Department of Health. Kathryn earned her B.A. in English from Georgetown University and her M.S. in Demography from Florida State University.
"Eight states will have just under half of the total population of the country, 49.5 percent, according to the Weldon Cooper Center’s estimate."
"Census data show that from 2010 to 2017, net migration to retirement-destination counties in Appalachian regions of Georgia, North Carolina and Tennessee increased 169%, the same percentage of growth for retirement destinations in Florida, according to Hamilton Lombard, a University of Virginia demographer who has tracked the halfback phenomenon."
"'A lot of suburbs are urbanizing' as millennials move there and demand city-like benefits, says Hamilton Lombard, an analyst at the University of Virginia's Demographics Research Group."
The collection of seven visualizations depicts Virginia’s population size, growth, and age, as well as education, income, poverty, and employment. These “snapshots” capture and display the rich, diverse characteristics of the Commonwealth’s 133 localities, how those localities aggregate into regions, and how the regions assemble into the Commonwealth as a whole.
"Demographer Hamilton Lombard — who grew up in Bath County... — writes on the center’s demography website: 'Most residents moving out of Virginia have been from Northern Virginia where there is a large number of federal employees and contractors and, to a lesser extent, from Hampton Roads where there is a significant defense department presence.'"