From Fewer Births to Fewer School Kids

Source: Virginia Department of Health, via StatChat.

The number of births in Virginia has been declining for years, not just in rural counties with shrinking populations, but across the state. Indeed, since 2016 the fall-off in births has been sharpest in Northern Virginia, according to data published StatChat, the University of Virginia’s demographic research group blog. Birth rates are declining in all developed countries. In Northern Virginia, suggests analyst Hamilton Lombard, the drop is aggravated by young adults and families leaving the region.

Falling birth rates have been reflected, after a few years’ delay, in falling Kindergarten enrollments in public schools. In the reverse image of the pig-in-the-python — a mouse in the python? — the birth dearth will lead to smaller enrollments at every grade level as the smaller age cohorts pass through the system. Assuming the COVID-induced exodus of families to homeschooling is not reversed, enrollment projections look like this:


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5 responses to “From Fewer Births to Fewer School Kids”

  1. Stephen Haner Avatar
    Stephen Haner

    And after that, the labor shortages….

    1. Nancy Naive Avatar
      Nancy Naive

      Excess jobs.

    2. We are already seeing that. As the babyboomers enter nursing homes and assisted living, there will be fewer people to care for them. Right now, members of the health care community are being treated poorly, which will make it even more difficult to find young people to care for the aging and elderly population.

  2. Abortions have had some impact on both the number of potential K-12 students and females of childbearing age.

    Setting aside numbers of individuals coming into and leaving Virginia, Virginia abortions from 2005-2017 reduced the number of potential K-12 students by 304,369 per CDC MMWR.

    If half of aborted fetuses were female, and using March of Dimes childbearing age as 15-44, from 1978-2007, the number of potential childbearing females was reduced by 439,922 further reducing the potential birthrate.

  3. And yet most colleges continue to build out their campuses, raise tuition, and try to grow enrollment. VT’s new 5-year plan [adopted from the late, great USSR] proposes growing enrollment as well as increasing its admission standards. That will be an interesting math problem as the numbers of college-aged people begin to decrease….

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