Between now and 2040, the population of the United States will continue to grow and become older and more diverse. But these trends will not be experienced evenly across the nation, according to population projections released by demographers at the University of Virginia.
The population projections developed by researchers at U.Va.'s Weldon Cooper Center for Public Service are the first set prepared for the nation and all 50 states (and the District of Columbia) based on the 2010 Census. The projections suggest changes to be expected in overall population and in subgroups by age, sex, race and Hispanic origin between 2020 and 2040.
"While many states, like Virginia, develop state-specific population projections for use in planning and capital outlay decisions, our work provides a fresh analysis of how the demographics of the nation, and each of the 50 states and the District of Columbia, may look in the future," said Qian Cai, director of the Cooper Center's Demographics & Workforce Group. "Applying a consistent methodology to all states illuminates how population trends such as aging and diversity may vary across the states and foretell challenges at the state level that might be missed in national-level projections."
The U.S. Census Bureau last issued state projections in 2004 based on 2000 census data, making Cooper Center projections the first publicly available, state-level projections using the more recent 2010 Census data.
Some key findings include:
"In many respects, the projections are unsurprising and reflect a continuation of well-established trends," said Rebecca Tippett, a research associate who prepared the projections. "We have long anticipated aging of the Baby Boomers, and we expect immigration and births to continue to contribute to population growth, albeit at a slower pace than at their height in the mid-2000s. The variation in these trends among the states tells an interesting story about the future of the nation collectively, and the states individually."
"Age, gender, race and ethnicity are basic building blocks of demography," Cai said, "but they are more than just categories. Other work by our group has illuminated the impact of these demographic changes on state and national elections and this is just one example of how changing demographics may change the future for the commonwealth and nation."
Cite This Page: