VTrans is Virginia's Transportation Plan. It is prepared for the Commonwealth Transportation Board by the Office of Intermodal Planning and Investment.

VTrans Megatrend 4: Socio-Demographic Changes

In the first step for the Draft Policy for the Development and Monitoring of VTrans Risk & Opportunity Register VTrans identifies four Megatrends (ClimateTechnological AdvancementsConsumption Patterns, and Socio-Demographic Changes). This webpage focuses on Megatrend # 4: Socio-demographic Changes which the following four Macrotrends:

  • Growth of Professional Services Industry
  • Increase in Workplace Flexibility
  • Growth of the 65+ Cohort
  • Population and Employment Shift

Given the uncertainty, three estimates (High, Medium, and Low) are developed for each of the Macrotrends. Cumulative impacts of these three and other macrotrends are estimated in Step 3 of the policy.

Macrotrend # 7: Growth of Professional Services Industry

The drivers of this macrotrend include:

  • Digitization of economy
  • Transformation into a service economy

Professional and Technical Services Jobs of the Regional Total Jobs, Medium Impact Scenario, 2045


What It Means for Transportation System (In Isolation)

Professional and technical services jobs generally allow for more workplace flexibility and have higher incomes that are the drivers of the economic and resulting transportation activity. 

All Planning District Commissions (PDCs) in Virginia are projected to see an increase in the share of professional and technical services jobs. VDOT’s Northern Virginia construction district is projected to have over 60% of the state’s total professional and technical services jobs.

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Macrotrend # 8: Increase in Workplace Flexibility

The drivers of this macrotrend include:

  • Advancement of communication technology
  • Availability, reliability, and speed of broadband services
  • Growth in knowledge worker jobs

Jobs with Workplace Flexibility as the Share of Regional Total Jobs, Medium Impact Scenario, 2045


What It Means for Transportation System (In Isolation)

Jobs with workplace flexibility allow for potential reduction in commute related vehicle miles traveled (VMT). It is estimated that in 2019, pre-COVID-19, approximately 41% of Virginia’s jobs had some workplace flexibility and approximately 9.5% workers utilized it.

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Macrotrend #9: Growth of the 65+ Cohort

The drivers of this macrotrend include:

  • Migration patterns
  • Locational preferences
  • Medical advancements
  • Overall population growth

Projected Change in the Share of 65+ Population Cohort, 2017-2045


What It Means for Transportation System (In Isolation)

Share of the Age 65 or over population cohort is expected to increase across the state. Nearly one in every five Virginians is projected to be over age 65 in the year 2045. Rappahannock-Rapidan Planning District Commision is projected to witness a 163% increase.

Please refer to:

Macrotrend # 10: Population and Employment Shift

The drivers of this macrotrend include:

  • Natural hazards
  • Locational preferences of business and households

Projected Change in Population and Employment, 2017-2045


What It Means for Transportation System (In Isolation)

Population and employment drive transportation demand and projected change in population and employment growth impacts demand for transportation services and infrastructure. Nearly two in three Virginians will reside in VDOT’s three out of nine construction districts (Northern Virginia, Hampton Roads, Richmond).

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Cumulative Impacts of these Macrotrends on Virginia’s Transportation Goals

Cumulative impacts of these macrotrends are identified in Step 3 of the Policy for Development and Monitoring of VTrans Risk & Opportunity Register.

Refer to the Long-term Risk & Opportunity Register page for more information.

Noteworthy Items

  • The intent is to prepare, not predict. This risk-based approach allows for identification and analysis of a range of potential impacts to help determine temporal proximity and relative priority.
  • Policy drivers can modify trends to achieve more desirable outcomes.
  • The Policy for Development and Monitoring of VTrans Risk & Opportunity Register allows for monitoring and annual reporting of these trends.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Looking for more specific information about the Draft Policy for Development and Monitoring of VTrans Long-term Risk & Opportunity Register? Find more information on our Frequently Asked Questions page