Report says Virginia’s smaller metros are being left behind

NORFOLK, Va. (AP) — Economists at Old Dominion University say some of Virginia’s smaller metropolitan areas are being left behind as population growth and economic activity shift to major metropolitan areas.

The university in Norfolk released its annual State of the Commonwealth Report this week. It’s coming out just weeks before Virginia’s new governor takes office, and the state’s General Assembly convenes.

The good news is that more tourists are expected to return in 2022 as coronavirus vaccination rates rise. But the report also said that agriculture and mining are waning in importance. And some smaller metro areas are growing slower in terms of population and income.

The report recommends more investments in education and infrastructure as well as more broadband access.

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