Region to Number Nearly Seven Million in 2040

Feb 13, 2013

Washington, D.C. – New figures from the Metropolitan Washington Council of Governments show the region’s population nearing seven million by 2040. The addition of more than 1.6 million people between 2010 and 2040 would represent an increase of 32 percent for metropolitan Washington as a whole, with some jurisdictions experiencing an even larger increase. Employment in the region is projected to grow at an even greater rate than population, with nearly 1.4 million jobs being added between 2010 and 2040, an increase of 43 percent. 

Metropolitan Washington’s outer suburban jurisdictions are projected to see the greatest rates of growth for both population and employment, at 51 percent and 68 percent respectively. The region’s central jurisdictions such as D.C., Arlington, and Alexandria are expected to grow by 32 percent in terms of population and by 31 percent in terms of employment. While not matching the outer suburbs rate of growth, the region’s inner suburbs like Fairfax, Montgomery and Prince George’s Counties will continue to have the majority of employment and population in 2040.

The figures were released today during the monthly meeting of the Council of Governments’ Board of Directors. “These projection figures from the Council of Governments are incredibly important to us as local leaders,” said Karen Young, COG Chairwoman of the City of Frederick. “I use them and quote from them all the time.”

The figures showing the greatest rates of population and employment growth occurring in the region’s outer suburbs prompted a discussion among several Board members as to how these projections align with the organization’s Region Forward vision which advocates for growth and development to occur in transit-oriented mixed-use Activity Centers. The Council of Governments approved an updated set of these Activity Centers last month.

A report released in 2012 showing how metropolitan Washington is performing on its Region Forward targets indicates that the region is not currently capturing enough of its growth in these Activity Centers. Board members noted the projected growth underscores the need for well coordinated land use and transportation decisions.

The following charts show the jurisdictions projected to have the greatest overall population and employment in 2040 and the jurisdictions experiencing the greatest rate of growth from 2010-2040.

 

Highest Overall Population

2040

2010

Fairfax County, VA

1,369,000

1,081,000

Montgomery County, MD

1,217,400

975,400

Prince George’s County, MD

995,300

863,400

District of Columbia

771,200

601,700

Prince William County, VA

609,500

402,000

 

 

Highest Overall Employment

2040

2010

District of Columbia

982,600

783,500

Fairfax County, VA

886,100

622,900

Montgomery County, MD

715,100

510,300

Prince George’s County, MD

497,700

342,600

Arlington County, VA

308,800

223,300

 

 

Largest Rate of Growth (Population)

2010-2040

Stafford County, VA

95.3%

Loudoun County, VA

54.6%

Prince William County, VA

51.6%

Charles County, MD

50.7%

 

 

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