The Determinants of County Growth in Virginia
Counties and cities in Virginia exhibit distinct regional patterns of growth. While some regions are amongst the fastest growing of any in the nation, other regions have experienced slow or even negative rates of growth in recent decades. To better understand growth in Virginia in recent decades, this thesis presents and estimates an empirical model that will help determine which factors have had the greatest influence on the various components of growth. These components include migration, natural increase (births minus deaths) and employment growth. The results suggest that overall growth was most positively associated with areas of diffuse but high population, as found in many peri-urban localities. Results also indicate that high property taxes have had a strong negative influence upon growth in recent decades. For policy makers and planners in rapidly growing regions, these results indicate that development ordinances that restrict growth to more densely populated areas could effectively slow rates of rapid growth. For slow growth regions, these results indicate that maintenance of low living costs to attract migrants and a diversified employment base may be an effective means to stimulate growth.
- Masters Theses