WASHINGTON — Some suburbs in the Metropolitan Washington area are expected to experience population explosions within the next 30 years.
Overall, the region is projected to add 1.5 million people and 1.1 million new jobs by 2045, according to forecasts developed by the Metropolitan Washington Council of Governments and local government planning departments.
Population growth projected for D.C. would make the city home to nearly a million people by 2045, reflecting a 47 percent increase over the current number of residents. The COG forecasts for population growth are detailed for individuals and for households.
Looking at households, some of the most dramatic jumps are expected to be in the outer suburbs — with projected growth of 80 percent in Charles County, Maryland and 61 percent in Loudoun County, Virginia.
The numbers suggest the area’s future quality of life might depend on planners embracing philosophies of smart growth.
“Otherwise, we get ourselves into a traffic mess even more than where we are now,” said David Levy, Rockville’s chief of long range planning. He also chairs the COG committee helping formulate the forecast.
“The closer we can make houses to employment centers or to the transit networks that support them, the better off we’ll be in terms of traffic congestion and air quality,” Levy said.
Looking at employment growth, the COG forecast projects that by 2045, the number of jobs will grow by 31 percent in the inner suburbs, by 33 percent in central jurisdictions and by 58 percent in the outer suburbs.
The forecast anticipates that when compared to 2015 numbers, there will be 43,796 fewer federal government jobs region wide by 2045.