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2017 Capitol News Service

Women more likely than men to finish college

By Ashley Luck and Jessica Nolte, Capital News Service

RICHMOND – Not only are women more likely than men to attend college in Virginia, but they’re also more likely to graduate.

At Radford University, for example, 65 percent of the female students graduate within six years with a bachelor’s degree, according to data from the U.S. Department of Education. For male students, the graduation rate is just 52 percent.

At the University of Mary Washington, another state-supported school, the disparity is slightly bigger: The graduation rate is 75 percent for women and 61 percent for men.

At two private schools in Virginia, there is a 22-percentage-point difference between male and female graduation rates. At Emory & Henry College, the rate for women is 67 percent, versus 45 percent for men; and at Shenandoah University, the female graduation rate is 65 percent, while the male rate is 43 percent.

At almost all of the public and private nonprofit institutions of higher education in Virginia, women are more likely than men to graduate.

The gap between female and male graduation rates is 12 percentage points at George Mason University, 10 points at Old Dominion University, 7 points at Virginia Tech and Virginia Commonwealth University, and 6 points at James Madison University. There’s even a disparity at the College of William and Mary (4 percentage points), the University of Richmond (3 points) and the University of Virginia (3 points).

 

There are only a handful of exceptions: At Washington and Lee University, men and women have the same graduation rate – 91 percent. At Bridgewater College, men are slightly more likely to graduate (54 percent) than women (53 percent). And at Virginia Military Institute, the male graduation rate is 75 percent while the female rate is 71 percent.

Dr. Linda E. Zyzniewski, undergraduate programs director in the Department of Psychology at Virginia Commonwealth University, said higher education is changing.

“Historically, women didn’t go to college many generations ago, so now we’re seeing a big shift in it,” said Zyzniewski, an associate professor of social psychology. “Women are able to support themselves now in ways that 40 years ago they couldn’t. You couldn’t have a credit card in your own name as a woman 40 or 45 years ago.

“Within a reasonable number of generations, we’re seeing people have opportunities that perhaps in the past you had to be married to have. Now, women can support themselves and be independent, and so then there’s a need to grow and develop differently than men might.”

The changes are reflected in the gender composition of the student body as well. Of the approximately 290,000 undergraduates at all four-year colleges and universities in Virginia, 56 percent are women. Women outnumber men 2-1 at Longwood University, Hampton University and the University of Mary Washington. Of VCU’s 24,000 undergraduates in 2015, 57 percent were female and 43 percent male.

Universities across the country are seeing women graduate at rates higher than men. For instance, VCU has 25 peer institutions – a list designated by the State Council of Higher Education for Virginia. These institutions span the country and include New York University, Temple University, Boston University and the University of Miami. At 23 of VCU’s 25 peer institutions, women are more likely than men to graduate.

Zyzniewski said the opioid addiction crisis in the United States also could be affecting graduation rates and success in school.

“The addiction crisis we have right now in our society, of all substances but particularly opiates, there are gender differences in that kind of drug use,” Zyzniewski said. “So if you’re in an area where there’s a lot of that, you might not be able to be successful in school.”

The data used in this story may be found here

Virginia sees slower population growth

 

By Haley Winn, Capital News Service

RICHMOND – Virginia’s population is increasing only half as fast as it was at the start of the decade, according to the U.S. Census Bureau.

From 2010 to 2011, the commonwealth’s population grew by more than 1 percent. But data released Thursday showed that the state’s population increased only about 0.5 percent between mid-2015 and mid-2016.

Nationwide, the U.S. population rose by 0.7 percent last year. Among the 50 states, Virginia ranked in the middle in its one-year growth rate, sandwiched between Alaska and Oklahoma.

Utah had the biggest increase in population last year – 2 percent. Nevada, Idaho, Florida and Washington were fractions of a percentage point behind.

Eight states lost population, with West Virginia losing the most (0.5 percent).

Since the start of the decade, Virginia’s statewide population has grown about 5 percent, similar to states such as California and Hawaii. Washington, D.C., with a 13 percent increase, grew faster than any state during those six years. Then came North Dakota (just under 13 percent) and Texas (almost 11 percent).

Virginia is home to some of the fastest-growing localities, as well as some with the steepest declines in population.

New Kent and Loudoun counties were among the fastest growing localities in the United States from 2015 to 2016. Jumping more than 700 people, New Kent’s population rose 3.5 percent; that ranked 36th among the nation’s 3,142 counties.

From 2015 to 2016, Loudoun County’s population grew by 3 percent. Although that is slower than in the past, Loudoun has grown almost 24 percent since 2010. Of the 211 counties with at least 300,000 residents, Loudoun County is the third fast-growing locality this decade (behind Fort Bend and Williamson counties in Texas).

Among U.S. counties with more 300,000 residents, Prince William County was No. 17 in population growth since 2010. Its population has increased more than a 13 percent growth since the beginning of the decade.

In 2016, for the first time, Prince William County (population 455,210) surpassed Virginia Beach (population 452,602) as Virginia’s second most populous locality. Fairfax County remains No. 1 with more than 1.1 million residents. Fairfax County has grown 5.3 percent since 2010 but registered just a tiny increase last year.

While many Virginia localities are growing, 63 have seen their population decline this decade. Emporia, for example, has lost 10.5 percent of its population since 2010, including 3.5 percent in the past year.

About 1,700 counties across the U.S. have seen a decline in population since the start of the decade. Only 27 of them have had a bigger decrease than Emporia.

Buchanan County has also experienced a significant decline since 2010, losing 8 percent of its population. It was among the 100 counties where, percentage-wise, population has dropped the most this decade.

Tazewell County, also in the western part of the state, lost more than 2,900 residents – about 6.5 percent of its population – since 2010.

Richmond – both the city and the metro area – continued to show steady growth. (The Census Bureau treats Virginia’s “independent cities” as if they were counties and included them in the data release.)

The city of Richmond grew 1.6 percent in the past year and 9.3 percent since 2010. Its population stands at 223,170 – the 10th most populous locality in Virginia.

The Richmond metro area – which consists of the city of Richmond, the counties of Henrico and Chesterfield, and 14 other localities, including New Kent County – now has a population of 1,281,708. It remains the 45th largest metropolitan area in the U.S.

The Richmond area’s population grew 0.9 percent last year and 6.1 percent since 2010.

An interactive map is available at https://tinyurl.com/va-pop-map-2016

Local Population Data
Emporia City
2016 Population: 5,305
Change Since 2010: -620
Percent Change: -10.5%
Births Since 2010: 334
Deaths Since 2010: 545
Natural Change: -211
International Migration: 18
Domestic Migration: -438
Net Migration: -420
Greensville County
2016 Population: 11,706
Change Since 2010: -539
Percent Change: -4.4%
Births Since 2010: 724
Deaths Since 2010: 743
Natural Change: -19
International Migration: 34
Domestic Migration: -604
Net Migration: -570
Brunswick County
2016 Population: 16,243
Change Since 2010: -1,182
Percent Change: -6.8%
Births Since 2010: 914
Deaths Since 2010: 1,245
Natural Change: -331
International Migration: 21
Domestic Migration: -855
Net Migration: -834
Southampton County
2016 Population: 18,057
Change Since 2010: -513
Percent Change: -2.8%
Births Since 2010: 1,043
Deaths Since 2010: 1,209
Natural Change: -166
International Migration: 16
Domestic Migration: -399
Net Migration: -383
Franklin City
2016 Population: 8,306
Change Since 2010: -274
Percent Change: -3.2%
Births Since 2010: 656
Deaths Since 2010: 743
Natural Change: -87
International Migration: 75
Domestic Migration: -273
Net Migration: -198
Sussex County
2016 Population: 11,504
Change Since 2010: -566
Percent Change: -4.7%
Births Since 2010: 646
Deaths Since 2010: 823
Natural Change: -177
International Migration: 27
Domestic Migration: -426
Net Migration: -399
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