We cover a range of topics in our reports including population numbers and trends, education and school enrollment, migration, urban and rural areas, and race and ethnicity. To read our most recent reports, visit our StatChat web series. Our older reports can be found in here.
Findings from the latest round of Virginia population projections suggest that the Commonwealth is expected to add almost 500,000 residents since the 2020 Census, reaching 9.1 million by 2030. While Virginia continues to grow steadily in terms of absolute population size, the rate of population growth is expected to drop from 7.9% in the last decade, to 5.8% over 2020-2030.
After a decade of slow growth in population following the 2000s housing crash, the 2022 Virginia Population Estimates that our center released this morning show Louisa and many other counties located on the borders of Virginia’s metro areas are booming again. Migration from Northern Virginia into the Richmond Metro area has risen by nearly 40 percent since the mid-2010s.
For Virginia, the pandemic and the large-scale shift to remote work has the potential to be the most significant turning point in demographic trends since World War II. In this new world of remote work, will Virginia be able to once again attract more new residents than it loses, as it had done for decades before 2013, or will an even larger number of Virginians leave to work remotely in states that are more affordable?
The pandemic has significantly altered school enrollment trends: The gains in public school enrollment seen in the 2010s have been erased, while enrollment in homeschooling and private schools has grown substantially. While these recent trends have been widely reported, what is less known is that well before the pandemic, enrollment in Virginia public schools was on track to begin declining in the early 2020s.
Overall, the 2020 Virginia projection results were highly accurate: statewide the projected population total was only 0.27% higher than the actual Census count, and over 90% of the localities were projected within 5% range of the decennial headcount. Using the 2020 Census and data from previous decades, we plan to develop and release the 2030, 2040, and 2050 projections in July 2022.
Despite the vast amount of time and money spent on the census, much of the 2020 Census data released earlier this month will be difficult or impossible to use. To help data users process the 2020 census results, we will be analyzing 2020 Census data and sharing our findings, including important demographic trends that are clear in the data and some of the key problems we’ve identified in the data.
A demographer and religious studies grad student explore the religious makeup of Virginia and its localities—specifically, the importance of geography in determining a region’s religious characterization. Were individuals more likely to live in a certain location if they practiced a particular religion? Does the assumption that major metro areas are more likely to harbor diverse religious communities’ hold true within Virginia?
The answer: the accuracy of our projections is very good!
Nationally, we projected the 2020 U.S. population to be 332,527,548, which is slightly over the Census count of 331,449,281, representing a difference of 0.33%. Our projection is also slightly closer to the actual count than the U.S. Census Bureau’s latest1 projection of 332,639,000.