How demographic shifts are (& aren’t) affecting Southwest Virginia’s political power (Roanoke Business)

It’s no secret that growth in northern and eastern Virginia has outpaced that in the rest of the state, particular the western mountains.

The 2010 population of Southwest Virginia, north to Alleghany County and east to Franklin and Henry counties, was 1.07 million. Fairfax County alone is 1.08 million.

Those numbers don’t bode well for the rural parts of the state when it comes to numbers of representatives in Congress and the General Assembly. However, that doesn’t always mean an immediate loss of political power, either: Seniority, partisanship, legislative coalitions and other factors play into it too.

In January’s issue of Roanoke Business magazine, I return to Virginia politics — a beat I covered for seven years at the Roanoke Times. Read my cover leader in the January issue on newstands or online.