Two or three decades in the future, how will the counties’ populations match up to what they are now?
Larger; older; a bit more ethnically diverse, according to the latest forecast.
Basing its outlook on population growth patterns in the past, a state agency projects that Gloucester County will have 45,222 inhabitants by 2040, and Mathews County will have 10,067.
Leading up to those figures, the projections are for 39,681 people in Gloucester in 2020 and 42,520 in 2030. In Mathews, the projection is for 9,284 in 2020 and 9,680 in 2030.
Census counts in 2010 for these localities were 36,858 in Gloucester, and 8,978 in Mathews.
Population projections for 2020, 2030 and 2040 were released recently by the Weldon Cooper Center for Public Service at the University of Virginia.
The center forecasts rapid statewide population change, increasing from the 2010 census count of 8,001,024 to 10,530,228 in 2040.
Cooper Center demographers also worked up a future look at local populations by age and racial makeup.
In 2010, Gloucester County had 5,410, or 14.6 percent of its population, age 65 or older. That figure is expected to rise to 26 percent of the projected 2040 population.
Mathews County has had an older population than Gloucester for generations.