Between now and 2040 the region’s population will grow by 24% to over 6.6 million people and employment is projected to grow by 36%.
While the region will see growth as a whole, some areas will grow faster than others. The population of the outer jurisdictions is expected to grow at a faster rate than the inner jurisdictions, but the inner jurisdictions will retain the majority of the region’s population in 2040. In addition, employment is expected to grow fastest in the outer jurisdictions of Virginia, but the highest concentration of jobs will be in the District of Columbia, Fairfax County, VA, and Montgomery County, MD in 2040. This means that the population will be slightly more dispersed in 2040 than it is today, and jobs will continue to concentrate toward the western side of the region.
Comparing population and job growth inside and outside activity centers, the majority of new jobs and populations are forecast to be in Regional Activity Centers. Though the majority of the regional populations will remain outside Activity Centers in 2040, population is forecast to increase at a faster rate inside Activity Centers over the next 25 years. The majority of jobs are located in Activity Centers, and this trend will continue in the future.
These trends mean that greater demands will be placed on the transportation system in order to connect residents to jobs. As the region grows to accommodate more jobs and more people, many jobs and households will end up further apart. The result will be more cars squeezed onto area roads and more people squeezed into our buses and trains.