Map of the Day: Virginia 2040


The year 2040 sounds like a long way off. But 24 years is not that far distant when it comes to planning roads, transit, utilities, schools and other essentials for life in the 21st century, and scrounging up the money to pay for it all. If these projections by the Demographics Research Group at the Weldon Cooper Center for Public Service are anywhere near the mark, Virginia will gain another 1.7 million residents by 2040, surpassing the 10.5 million mark. And most of that growth will occur where people already are, in the state’s existing metropolitan regions.


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5 responses to “Map of the Day: Virginia 2040”

  1. Cville Resident Avatar
    Cville Resident

    Further commentary coming, but 3 things really stand out:

    A.) Draw a map that goes south of 64 and west of Chesterfield….that area of Virginia will be completely inconsequential in 2040 if these projections are correct.

    B.) Look at that Virginia Beach number (a decline of 19K people) and Hampton Roads in general….very stagnant.

    C.) This is something I’ve talked about for a few years….the biggest undertold story in Virginia is the Fredericksburg region….In 2040, Stafford, Spotsy, Fredericksburg, and King George will have a combined population of 695,000. Somehow that region is always lumped in with “NoVa”, but if these numbers are correct, perhaps it’s time to view that area in a different light.

  2. LarrytheG Avatar

    well, first – I’d like to see some methodology overall –

    and second – how about new jobs – in the areas projected to “grow”.

    and I say that because the Stafford, Spotsy, Fredericksburg, and King George – are not really places where economic development is creating first tier jobs because we basically are a bedroom community that commutes to NoVa and primarily to government jobs of which the military and law enforcement are significant percentages.

    King George would be like most rural Virginia counties if it were not for the Naval Surface Warfare Center which has become a premier R&D and Systems Engineering center for Navy Weapons systems and it’s but one of about a dozen or more in the DC area, – Pax River, David Taylor, Fort Belvoir, Defense Mapping, etc.

    so when you look at that map at the counties south of DC/NoVa – it’s commuters… who earn twice or three times as much as the folks who have local jobs and who cannot afford the so-called “affordable housing” that NoVa workers commuter to the Fredericksburg Area to get.

    This, in turn has totally changed I-95 and basically turned it into a mega commuting road such that other out-of-region travelers trying to use I-95 – now avoid like the plague if they have half a brain.

    so that’s why I’d like to see the methodology being used for population growth (and decline) – but also job growth – and decline and I’d especially like to see the prediction for increased jobs in the Fredericksburg Area beyond those necessary to serve the day-to-day needs of our commuting folks.

    1. Cville Resident Avatar
      Cville Resident


      Interesting points about the Fredericksburg region. I’ve been up there a couple of times in the past 5 years and enjoyed the city a lot.

      One question I have for you: Do people in Stafford look south to Fredericksburg for shopping, eating out, recreation, etc. or do they look north? In years past, people have grouped Stafford with Fredericksburg. Perhaps that has changed? Interested in your analysis.

      1. LarrytheG Avatar

        CvilleR – it’s a good question. And I’d tell you that folks in North Stafford primarily identify with NoVa and folks from South Stafford with the Fredericksburg Area.

        but both North and South Stafford are largely commuters not local workers except for teachers, tradesmen, etc.

        we have two kinds of homeowners in our area – the folks who work in NoVa and want 300-400K homes that would be 800-1000K in NoVa and the local workers who cannot afford anywhere near that amount for a home and often live in homes that NoVa commuters would never live in…

        but the bottom line here is that Stafford/Fredericskburg/Spotsylvania even Culpeper/King George/other should be thought more of as a outer-ring bedroom community of NoVA rather than a central-core MSA like Richmond or Charlottesville.

        that could change if Govt agencies and allied companies now in NoVa decide to re-locate in our area – as some hope but until that happens we’re not a central MSA but instead a bedroom suburb.

        The FBI recently made a decision to NOT consider relocation to any area that did not have existing or planned METRO – and a couple years back – one govt agency proposed to move to the outer suburbs and found out that they would lose half their employees so they changed their mind.

        If the Fed Govt, the military, and national homeland security folks were not in the DC Area – we’d be more like Nelson County.

        Before I-95 was built – Spotsylvania was a county of 15K people, one high school and not a whole lot of anything else.

  3. LarrytheG Avatar

    And I agree with Cville’s assessment of SW and RoVa in general and let me address it in terms of Hillary Clinton’s recent snafu with regard to West Va Coal Miners – who say they only want to mine coal and do not want to move somewhere else and re-train.

    Expecting Clinton – or Trump to “fix” that problem is a real political problem because no politician is willing to tell them the truth – because even if they did – the people living in those doomed areas – just won’t accept it.

    They say they don’t want a “hand out” – just jobs… but what do they really expect government to do – just “create” jobs… in those areas?

    and that’s the fundamental problem with SW VA – and in fact RoVa and that is there is no economy there without coal ( furniture and textiles) and those places are largely walking dead zombies in the 21st century and that is the challenge for Virginia including the places like NoVa, Richmond, Cville, who are going to end up paying for the folks in SW/RoVa – medical care and education, even food and shelter.

    I have zero confidence that the Clown Show in Richmond has a clue about what to do – even when provided with the Weldon Cooper projections.

    but instead , we say we need to build more roads to make commuting “easier” for folks who want to work in DC and live in Fredericksburg – that’s a “good” use of tax money but not a good use to spend on the folks in SW Va.


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