Rural Virginia

Rural Virginia



2012 farm sales by county


National Road outside Washington DC, 1829


Rural Brain Drain

Two Body Problems

Web Series

Since 2010 household incomes have risen the most in rural Virginia
While the median household income in Virginia’s non-metro areas is lower than in metro areas, it has risen by 12 percent since 2010, compared to just 5 percent in Virginia’s metro areas. Similarly, poverty rates outside Virginia’s metro areas have fallen more than in Virginia’s metro areas since 2010 and are now lower than before the recession.

What is considered a rural area?
With transportation improvements, particularly highway construction since 1945, the boundaries between urban and rural areas have grown increasingly blurry.

The metropolitanization of rural America
A major reason for the growth in the geographic size of metropolitan areas today is that as the urban cores of metropolitan areas have grown larger, they have attracted a rising number of commuters from nearby rural counties, in many cases causing the rural counties to become part of their metropolitan area.

Driving alone: how Virginians get to work
While most Virginians drive alone, this post explores who is more likely to use an alternative mode of travel to work.

Could the “two-body” problem be contributing to rural brain drain?
Highly-educated couples with two specialized careers (the “two-body” problem) typically find work in the same location by moving to large metro areas.

Rural gentrification: Incomes are rising in some surprising places
Curiously, most of the localities where residents’ incomes grew between 1990 and 2013 were in rural areas far from job centers, such as Highland County in the Allegheny Mountains and Northumberland County on the Northern Neck.

Rural Virginia: Death in paradise
Rural counties in Virginia, like Dickenson, have been slowly losing their young adult population for decades as many have moved elsewhere to seek more education and work opportunities.

Farming in Virginia
Though agriculture continues to play an important part in Virginia’s economy and culture, its role has changed considerably since 1940.

How Virginians get to work
See how and when Virginia employees commute.

High cotton: When Virginia’s counties hit their peak
As the map at the beginning of the post shows, a good number of Virginia’s counties have begun to decline in population in recent years, most of them are rural.

Retiring boomers are going rural (but not too rural)
Unlike other parts of the country, baby boomers in Virginia are moving away from the cities.

Predicting sprawl
Sprawl depends on several factors. See how it could play out in Virginia.

A closer look at MSA’s and commuting
See the bedroom communities for Virgina’s major cities.

Virginia’s 2013 metro areas
Identifying a metro area is harder than you think.

Retirement patterns: Anywhere but cities
Rural and suburban regions were the only areas in Virginia to experience growth due to in-migration of retirees.