2017 State of the Commonwealth Report – Available November 17, 2017


In the 2016 State of the Commonwealth Report, James V. Koch, Board of Visitors Professor of Economics and President Emeritus in the Strome College of Business at Old Dominion University, analyzes the Virginia economy and assesses its future progress. Each of the four major sectors of the Virginia economy—defense, the Port, tourism, and housing—is given special attention. Regional analyses are provided for Hampton Roads, Lynchburg, Northern Virginia, Richmond and Roanoke.

Highlights from the 2016 report include:

The Virginia Economy in Transition: The Commonwealth is experiencing relatively slow economic growth as it gradually transitions from an economy highly dependent upon federal spending to one that still involves a substantial federal presence, but also more value-added private-sector activities, entrepreneurial ventures and participation in international trade.

Northern Virginia:  Turning the Corner?  NOVA now accounts for 37 percent of all employment in Virginia, but approximately 45 percent of the value of the Commonwealth’s economic activity. Recent growth in professional and business services employment suggests that the region may have turned the corner toward a more diverse, private sector-oriented economy.

The Hotel Industry in the Commonwealth: Over the past quarter-century, the hotel industry has become a relatively less important part of the Virginia economy. Occupancy rates have yet to recover to prerecession levels and price- adjusted hotel revenue and revenue per available room in 2015 similarly were below their previous peaks.

Broadband in Virginia: Vital for Economic Development: Up to 70 percent of the world’s internet traffic flows through Northern Virginia, but some areas of the Commonwealth still do not enjoy broadband internet connections. Robust broadband access now is as important as roads, bridges and airports in terms of economic development and population growth.

Stock  Car  Racing  in  Virginia:  The  Sport  and  the  Business:  In  addition  to its nationally prominent Bristol Motor Speedway and Richmond International Speedway, the Commonwealth hosts nine other racetracks, five dirt tracks and eight drag racing strips. While still a very important economic phenomenon, attendance and revenue data suggest that stock car racing has passed its peak of popularity.

Liberty University: A Higher Education Phenomenon: Christian-centered Liberty University has a combined on-campus and online enrollment of more than 100,000 students and has accumulated an endowment of $1.4 billion. The university’s long-term aspiration is to be considered in the same breath as Notre Dame is for Roman Catholics and Brigham Young is for Mormons.

Join us at the December 2nd presentation of the 2016 State of the Commonwealth Report. Event details can be found at:

7th Annual Virginia Economic Summit

The Report is sponsored by the Virginia Chamber of Commerce and supports the Chamber’s Blueprint Virginia strategy for stimulating economic development. Neither the Chamber nor Old Dominion University, however, endorses any viewpoints expressed in the Report.


Center for Economic Analysis and Policy

The Center for Economic Analysis and Policy in the Strome College at Old Dominion University undertakes a wide range of economic, demographic, transportation and defense-oriented studies. For fifteen years, the Center and its predecessors have produced the highly regarded State of the Region Report for Hampton Roads.

The Center is supported by Old Dominion University, a set of generous private donors, and organizations including the Virginia Chamber of Commerce and the Virginia Department of Commerce and Trade. It is important to note, however, that these supporters endorse neither the studies the Center produces nor any of the specific positions that Center and its personnel may take on an issue. Instead, they are united in believing that enlightened analysis and discussion of public issues buttressed by non-partisan information holds the potential to improve the circumstances of both the Commonwealth and its individual citizens.


2015 State of the Commonwealth Report Economic Regions


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