Demographers: Census data shows Virginia’s urban-rural divide is widening

Virginia continues to grow, but not as fast as it has over the past decade. And that urban-rural divide that everyone is always talking about is widening.

Shonel Sen of the Weldon Cooper Center for Public Service at the University of Virginia said that the summer 2019 projections for these trends now appear with great relief in the new data from the 2020 census. “So about that. that we predicted is that given this model of regional population shares, we will see that approximately 70% of the state’s population will reside in the three largest metropolitan areas. The 2020 census is also valid, ”he added. said. “So the projections we had are actually validated by the census counts.”

John Provo of Virginia Tech says the continuing decline in rural Virginia is a worrying trend. “It’s a very bad spiral,” admits Provo. “There is definitely a relationship between people and jobs, and we cannot create opportunities in places where there are no people to fill jobs.”

However, southwest Virginia may see signs of hope on the horizon. Two manufacturers of medical gloves recently announced a new manufacturing facility in County Wythe with 2,500 jobs.

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

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