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What Will Virginia's Population Look Like in 2040?

Virginia is running up against two demographic trends that might be unwelcome news.

Virginia is not growing nearly as fast as other states in the Southeast, although the Commonwealth is growing older than most other states. These are some of the takeaways from the University of Virginia’s Weldon Cooper Center for Public Service recent population projections through 2040.

Kathryn Crespin is a research and policy analyst at the center.

“In 2010, for example, the median age of Virginia’s population was 37.5 compared to 37.2 for the United States," says Crespin. "By 2040, Virginia’s median age is projected to increase to 38.7 compared to 38.6 for the nation as a whole.”

Most states are growing older because people are living longer, although Virginia is growing older than most states. But that doesn’t mean the population is expanding at the same rate as other states.

“The District of Columbia, Florida, South Carolina, North Carolina, Georgia and Delaware are all projected to have a higher percentage of growth than Virginia through 2040,” says Crespin.

Another noteworthy trend, she says, is the feminization of the population. 

Virginia is expected to experience an increase in the proportion of females by 2040. Because females have a longer life expectancy than males, women outnumber men in the older age groups.

This report, provided by Virginia Public Radio, was made possible with support from the Virginia Education Association.

Michael Pope is an author and journalist who lives in Old Town Alexandria.