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New Research: State Population Growth is Slowing, But More for Some Than Others

New research shows that Virginia’s population growth has actually been slowing down for a number of years. 


Over the span of the last decade, Virginia has seen significant drops in population growth — especially in the past three years. 

That’s according to new research from Hamilton Lombard at the University of Virginia’s Weldon Cooper Center. 

“Right now, this decade, we are growing about 1% a year; a little less than that. The last time that happened was the 1920’s so it’s a lot slower than anything we have seen recently.”

Lombard says one possible reason is federal budget cuts that affect Virginia jobs, plus an aging population in parts of the state. One challenge? A stark divide between urban centers that are still seeing decent growth and western, rural areas lagging behind.

“If you are seeing one part of the state growing really still quite rapidly and a large chunk of the state not growing I think on the state level it is really hard to figure out how do you come up with policies that you can use that apply consistently for both of them when you have two parts of the state experiencing completely different trends.”

Despite the slowdown, Virginia’s population is still growing faster than the national average.