The Cooper Center recently released population projections through the year 2040 for all 50 states and the District of Columbia. In addition to detailing information about projected changes to the size of the national and state populations over the next couple of decades, the data release also breaks down projected populations by age group and sex and provides information about median population age. The interactive tool below was designed to help users visualize this information.

 

Read on for a few examples of how you can use the tool to visualize some of the key demographic trends reflected in the projections.

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The U.S. Constitution requires that every 10 years we take a count— or a census—of America’s population in all 50 states, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, and the Island Areas. The decennial census is the largest peacetime mobilization of the U.S. government, relying on each household to self- report the number of residents and their demographic characteristics.  In addition, the census hires hundreds of thousands of temporary staff to help enumerate those who do not respond to the census form, making sure EVERYBODY is counted.

As we approach the 2020 census, the nation has changed considerably with a much healthier economy than nine years ago. It is vitally important that this count be successful and accurate, not only to help track these changes from the last decade but also to preserve our rights of equal representation. The census results determine substantial outcomes; democracy and lots of money are at stake.

Re-apportionment of House seats in Congress

The founding fathers decided that the number of seats in the U.S. House of Representatives would be apportioned by the number of people in each state. The population totals from the census determine the number of seats each state has.

The interactive map below displays the loss or gain in seats from the previous census, along with the projected change following the upcoming 2020 count. Following the 2010 census, eighteen states saw either a gain or a loss in their representation. Eight states gained at least one representative with Florida and Texas gaining the most with two and four additional seats respectively. Ten states, primarily in the Northeast and Midwest, lost one or more representatives, with New York and Ohio each losing two seats.

Figure 1: Change in Congressional Apportionment from the Previous Census*

* 2020 Projections are based on 2010-18 Change shown in 2018 Population Estimates, Generated by Census Bureau 12/19/2018 and calculated by Election Data Services.

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Crystal Ball

Our recently released National Projections for all 50 states and the District of Columbia updated the total population, as well as population by age and sex, for 2020, 2030, and 2040, to reflect the effect of the latest demographic trends on future population. Over the projected time period, the country is expected to grow at a slower rate, with the national total in 2040 reaching 379 million.

The top-10 largest states are projected to remain same across the decades since 2010, but their relative ranks may vary with southern states like Georgia and North Carolina slowly climbing up the ladder over time (as shown in the table below). California, Texas, Florida and New York continue to dominate the population size charts, with more than a third of the future U.S. population residing in one of these four large states.

Top10

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This morning the Weldon Cooper Center at the University of Virginia released its 2018 population estimates for Virginia’s counties and cities. The estimates show that Virginia’s total population has continued to grow, passing 8.5 million in 2018. Though Virginia added over 50,000 new residents in the past year, growth is noticeably slower than ten years ago when Virginia’s population was increasing by closer to 100,000 annually. Over the past five years, Virginia’s population grew by 3.2 percent, which is slightly less than overall growth of the U.S. population at 3.5 percent. 

One of the key reasons for Virginia’s slower population growth is that there are more Virginians moving out of the Commonwealth than there are residents from other states moving in. Instead of gaining 10 to 20 thousand residents each year from other states, Virginia has been losing 10 to 20 thousand residents to other states.1991 to 2017 Net Migration for Virginia

Source:IRS return based migration data. *Census migration data was used in 2014-2015 because changes in the way the IRS published data affected comparability with other years. 2016-2017 census migration data was used because the IRS has not yet published the data. 

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I recently wrote a post about how Asians in Virginia are often stereotyped as a successful minority due to their high median household income and their significant share of employment in STEM-related occupations. Despite being collectively identified as “Asians,” the Asian population is heterogeneous, comprised of more than thirty different nationalities and ethnic groups. The following graph illustrates the diversity among the over 545,000 members of Virginia’s Asian population. Asian Indians (28%), Koreans (14%), Chinese (14%), Filipinos (13%), and Vietnamese (10%) make up the most significant portions of this population.

 

Population of Asians by Country of Origin (in thousands), Virginia, 2017

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Source: U.S. Census Bureau, 2017 American Community Survey 1-Year Estimates
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For decades, Virginia’s public school enrollment has grown steadily along with Virginia’s population, but the results from this year’s September student count show that in 2018, Virginia’s enrollment fell by a little over 2,000 students—the first decline in enrollment since 1984. While this year’s dip in student enrollment is relatively small compared to Virginia’s total public school enrollment (over one million students), the decline in enrollment is one of the first signs that Virginia’s aging population is beginning to impact the commonwealth.

1900 to 2018 Virginia K-12 Enrollment

Source: Virginia Department of Education Fall Count

Even though it has been decades since Virginia’s student enrollment last declined, this year’s lower enrollment was not entirely unexpected. The number of births in Virginia, and nationally, has continued to fall since the recession, and as children born after 2007 began enrolling in school, Virginia’s entering kindergarten class sizes also started to shrink. Still, the smaller student cohorts were not expected to cause Virginia’s total student enrollment to decrease until sometime during the 2020s. It appears that this early decline in enrollment is primarily due to the rise in the out-migration of families during the last few years in Northern Virginia.

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House image

Photo by Lawrence Jackson on Encyclopedia Britannica

Last year, I examined how national population growth and the cap on the size of the U.S. House of Representatives has contributed to the formation of extremely large House districts. The graph below shows how the gap between population growth and House size has widened over time. Until 1910, the size of the House expanded in response to population growth, but since 1910, the number of U.S. House seats has been frozen at 435 despite the fact that the U.S. population has more than tripled during that time.

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TeenageGirl_LookingintoDistance

The steady decline in Virginia’s unemployment rate, since its 2010 peak, has been accompanied by a fall in the labor force participation rate over the last decade—from 68.5% in 2008 to 65.7% in 2017. A multitude of factors contribute to these rates, but understanding the demographic profile and socioeconomic makeup of the working age population who are neither working nor looking for work may offer some insights.

Young people are expected to follow the traditional path of acquiring an education and joining the labor market, but circumstances may interrupt or prevent this smooth trajectory. Some young people drop out of school, others may finish school but not work. Some may seek but be unable to find a job, while many may just get disillusioned and stop looking for employment altogether. This increases their susceptibility to negative long-term consequences such as lower incomes and a chronic inability to find and keep steady jobs.

DisconnectedYouth

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Chess

Employment statistics, such as the rates of unemployment and labor-force participation, are good indicators of workforce engagement, but they obscure the complex and diverse challenges faced by the individuals who may be without a job. The unemployment rate of Virginians age 16 and older in 2016 was 5.0%. A much larger percentage (34.2%) did not participate in the labor force at all—that is, they did not have jobs and also were not actively seeking employment. 

Of the 8.3 million Virginians, 1.6 million are currently not working. Individuals among those not working may not be equally interested in working, in need of work, or even be able to work (retired, studying, raising children, etc.). For clarity, then, we define those who are out-of-work by combining the unemployed (who are actively seeking employment) with those who have either suspended their active search for employment or have never considered participating in the labor force (we call this group not-in-the-labor-force).

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After a lengthy and high-profile crusade, Amazon has chosen to split its second headquarters (HQ2) between the Long Island City neighborhood of Queens in New York City and Crystal City (rebranded as “National Landing”) in Arlington, Virginia. The Seattle-based Amazon could get more than $2 billion in tax breaks and other incentives as part of the deal to open up two new offices with more than 25,000 new jobs at each location. As one of the largest economic development investments in U.S. history, this is a spectacular deal for Virginia—promising $2.5 billion in capital investments and $3.2 billion in net tax revenue over 20 years, plus thousands of jobs with an average pay of $150,000. However, many are predicting an outsized effect (both positive and negative) on regional economics, housing markets, and infrastructure.  There are multiple reasons why Amazon’s impact on the Commonwealth and the Washington region may not be as extravagant as many are prognosticating.

Amazon Image 1

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