More People Still Leaving Virginia than Moving In

Source: StatChat blog

Virginia has experienced its fourth consecutive year of domestic out-migration, reports Hamilton Lombard with the University of Virginia’s demographic research group in its StatChat blog. Prior to 2013, Virginia had never experienced a year of out-migration since the Internal Revenue Service began collecting data in 1978. (The data is based on address changes for households filing income taxes.) Virginia’s population is still growing thanks to a surplus of births over deaths, but the growth rate has slowed from 80,000 a year in the 2000s to 50,000 for the past four years.

Lombard attributes the out-migration largely to the impact of sequestration-related cutbacks to defense spending on the economy in Northern Virginia and Hampton Roads. He also suggests that the high cost of Northern Virginia housing may play a factor in the exodus.

While Virginia still experiences net in-migration from traditional feeder states in the Northeast, it is exporting population to fast-growth Sunbelt cities. The largest cohort of immigrants is in the 26- to 35-year-old age range, although Lombard expects to see a growing number of retirees leaving the state for lower-tax climes.

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7 responses to “More People Still Leaving Virginia than Moving In

  1. Last week on WTOP Ask the Governor, Gov. McAuliffe made a quote about Va. growth expectations (and I forget the exact numbers) but over a million more Virginians by 20xx date not too far in the future. let’s say within a decade. The Gov said we would soon surpass NJ and MI to become a top-10 population state.

  2. I see economics greatly affected by changing demographics. Of course, changes in demographics are not good or bad per se. They are facts.

    Many of the people leaving have high levels of skills and education and produce economic growth and tax revenue. Many of the newcomers, while often extremely hard working, don’t have the same education and skills needed to drive strong economic growth and growth in tax revenue. State and local officials still report job growth at the high end is extremely negative, with most NoVA job growth at lower-paying service jobs.

    Many newcomers and their families, with lower incomes, will need more costly government services. But at the same time, as retirees leave, their needs for more services will fall on other states and not Virginia.

    Unless NoVA can diversify its economy and tame transportation problems, I see NoVA’s ability to be the Commonwealth’s cash cow will slowly, but consistently, decline over time. I had lunch with a high-level staff member of the Fairfax County Economic Development Authority. I was advised that NoVA is getting lots of small startups, but the general lack of support from governments, the draw of government sales and the following dependence on Uncle Sam, the non-Metro locations of Virginia’s most elite universities and their large share of state funding, and the seemingly inability of state and local government to come up with plans that will truly diversify the economy is helping the start-ups die.

  3. Whatever job growth and KINDS of job growth Virginia might get – you can count on it NOT being in the rural parts.. it will come to the urban areas.

    The urban areas do have needs for “service” jobs.. those jobs are not just artifacts… they do represent an economic demand and in NoVa if you take away the govt jobs… you probably take away a commensurate amount of service jobs. I strongly suspect service jobs – no matter where – are some set percentage of the economy… and the fact that the economy is shifting more and more to service jobs – is not at all unique to NoVa.

    That’s just an economic reality… not something you can change , much less just for NoVa…

    curious about start-ups… what is govt not doing that it should do for startups? Aren’t the vast majority of startups – service anyhow?

    “taming the traffic”… yepper… gonna do that with increased density after govt clears away the bad rules, eh?

    Maybe the new tax changes will help those “pass through” start-ups, eh?

    NoVa ought to have much better odds at incubating new tech and 21st century type businesses because of the Feds core presence that most other urban areas simply do not have. It’s not a “bug”… it’s a “feature”!!!

    NoVa traffic monster is not unique either… some years it’s ranked the worst… other years switches places with others in the top 10 ranking but the problems are very much similar… just way too many folks driving solo to/from work… both inside the beltway and outside to exurban places like Fredericksburg which adds significantly to NoVa congestion.

    What to do with lower income folks in terms of housing? Again – not a problem unique to NoVa … but Fairfax has choices .. they can incentivize affordable housing rather than have ever inch of land go to the highest dollar development… and as TMT points out – taxpayers do end up paying for those who need housing… sorta like health care.. you can pay up front for lower costs or you can let nature take it course and pick up the higher costs on the back end.

    • Fairfax County officials are not talking about expanding their limited low-income housing assistance programs. The County struggles to fund existing operations for all functions and services. Expanding taxpayer support for low-income housing isn’t on the table. Rather, they are looking at what types of changes to the zoning ordinance would allow nonprofits to purchase older office and retail buildings and repurpose them to be affordable housing units.

  4. Sadly the Virginia electorate wasn’t smart enough to not send terrible Republicans to the House who ended up holding the debt ceiling hostage and then voting for a bill that gutted the main driver of the state economy, but luckily most of the pols who voted for that are either out or on their way out.

    It’s still sort of mind boggling to me that these people were bad enough at their jobs they were willing to vote for something that would negatively impact their constituents in a material fashion, and that Eric Cantor’s constituents were so out of their minds they ousted him for not hurting the state more.

    The Commonwealth thanks you, conservatives.

  5. Let’s see what Stephen Moret thinks and does.

  6. Pingback: Virginia’s Income Drain: $1.5 Billion Last Year - Randle Report

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