Bureau of Economic Analysis Statistics

Acording to the Bureau of Economic Analysis (BEA) in the Department of Commerce, three Virginia communities Alexandria, Arlington, and Fairfax (including Fairfax and Falls Church cities) - were in the Top 20 of the communities with the highest per capita incomes in 1997.

Oh, lots of counties that separated from Virginia in 1863 - Ritchie, Upshur, Monroe, West Virginia are ranked at the bottom, having the lowest per-capita income for 3110 Counties in the United States.

And did you know that, of the 2,629,000 households in Virginia, 92% have a telephone, while 46% have a computer and 28% were using the Internet in 1998?

In addition, statistics are provided for the 7 MSA's and one Consolidated Metropolitan Statistical Area (CMSA)/Primary Metropolitan Statistical Area (PMSA) region that include some portion of Virginia:

The BEA Regional Facts ("Bearfacts") for 1996-1997 are organized by: The Bureau of Economic Analysis (BEA) has classified the 3,141 counties (and county- equivalents, including those independent cities in Virginia with greater than 100,000 people) in the United States and identified 172 economic areas (as of 1995):
"Each economic area consists of one or more economic node - metropolitan areas or similar areas that serve as centers of economic activity - and the surrounding counties that are economically related to the nodes. The main factor used in determining the economic relationships among counties is commuting patterns, so each economic area includes, as far as possible, the place of work and the place of residence of its labor force... By definition, the labor force of an economic area should work and reside in that area, so commuting across boundaries should be limited." (from Redefinition of the BEA Economic Areas, in February 1995 SURVEY OF CURRENT BUSINESS)

As described in an article, Manufacturing Earnings in BEA Component Economic Areas, 1996, you can evaluate differences between geographic regions by examining the economic statistics. Virginia's Piedmont Industrial Belt and it's high-tech Northern Virginia region are both high-earning CEA's, while the two agricultural counties on the Eastern Shore are in a low-earning CEA.

A "component economic area" is a smaller subset of an economic area. Variations in CEA's help to explain why some regions are able to attract industries and maintain high economic growth, while others are less-successful.

The author, G. Andrew Bernat, Jr., defines several key factors associated with the geographic variation in manufacturing earnings per job:

A table contrasting high-earning and low-earning CEA's shows clear differences between the regions in worker education, topographic elevation, population density, and the percentage of manufacturing jobs in clusters. The last item suggests that communities seeking to create new jobs should focus on industries already in the neighborhood, to encourage "knowledge spillover."

Northern Virginia has telecommunications companies, with more moving to the area each week. Richmond has jumpstarted a bio-tech industry, based on research capabilities at Virginia Commonwealth University, and Prince William County has done the same by attracting the American Type Culture Collection with state-provided subsidies. Both regions are assuming an investment in creating a base of expertise now will result in long-term benefits through later growth.

However, the spill-over effect can't counter a decline in an entire industry. The concentrations of textile manufacturing plants in Danville area, or cigarette manufacturing plants in Richmond, are unlikely to spur long-term growth in those industries no matter how much state financing is provided to attract similar plants. Workers trained to be productive in those industries will need to be retrained... just as workers in the Olin chemical plant at Saltville after the facility closed in 1972.

Local efforts to attract businesses to a community often focus on attracting manufacturing facilities (as opposed to other employers) because:

  1. manufacturing plants employ workers at high wages
  2. manufacturing industries export products outside the region, creating an "economic base" of other companies that either supply the maufacturing plants or support the workers employed at the manufacturing plants
  3. manufacturing facilities are inclined to spur other industries to greater growth

NOTE: The statistics below are from from the 1997 Economic Census, via a query of the American Fact Finder (see the Geography Quick Reports).

As described by the Bureau of Census, "An establishment is a business or industrial unit at a single location that produces or distributes goods or performs services. The Economic Census classifies establishments according to the new North American Industry Classification System (NAICS)."

Table 1. Statistics by Economic Sector
[Excludes data for auxiliaries. Data in this table are subject to employment-and/or sales-size minimums that vary by geographic level; for more information, see help.
* NAICS INDUSTRIES is defined as the taxable portion of the Services sectors, the Type of Operation Totals for the Wholesale sector, and all other sectors in the Economic Census]

Charlottesville, VA MSA
1997 Population: 146,442

NAICS Industry Code Industry Description Number of Establishments Number of Employees Annual Payroll ($1,000) Shpmnts/Sales/Recpts ($1,000)
NAICS INDUSTRIES
61 Educational services 37 210 3,615 12,056
62 Health care & social assistance 307 3,728 93,840 225,427
71 Arts, entertainment, & recreation 46 444 12,151 35,987
NON-TAXABLE INDUSTRIES
61 Educational services 8 71 1,271 4,946
62 Health care & social assistance 59 i D D
71 Arts, entertainment, & recreation 22 475 8,997 28,574

Danville, VA MSA
1997 Population: 108,866

NAICS Industry Code Industry Description Number of Establishments Number of Employees Annual Payroll ($1,000) Shpmnts/Sales/Recpts ($1,000)
NAICS INDUSTRIES
61 Educational services 8 30 305 741
62 Health care & social assistance 172 1,931 55,822 120,421
71 Arts, entertainment, & recreation 21 87 1,173 3,733
NON-TAXABLE INDUSTRIES
61 Educational services 3 a D D
62 Health care & social assistance 30 2,364 56,606 142,681
71 Arts, entertainment, & recreation 8 89 1,348 3,933

Johnson City--Kingsport--Bristol, TN--VA MSA
1997 Population: 459,981

NAICS Industry Code Industry Description Number of Establishments Number of Employees Annual Payroll ($1,000) Shpmnts/Sales/Recpts ($1,000)
NAICS INDUSTRIES
61 Educational services 35 145 1,616 5,355
62 Health care & social assistance 859 12,513 388,765 847,057
71 Arts, entertainment, & recreation 94 778 13,465 74,360
NON-TAXABLE INDUSTRIES
61 Educational services 6 16 194 393
62 Health care & social assistance 177 11,102 311,117 750,976
71 Arts, entertainment, & recreation 27 442 5,562 13,637

Lynchburg, VA MSA
1997 Population: 207,245

NAICS Industry Code Industry Description Number of Establishments Number of Employees Annual Payroll ($1,000) Shpmnts/Sales/Recpts ($1,000)
NAICS INDUSTRIES
61 Educational services 19 93 1,632 3,592
62 Health care & social assistance 308 4,115 107,928 223,768
71 Arts, entertainment, & recreation 49 374 2,758 10,551
NON-TAXABLE INDUSTRIES
61 Educational services 4 b D D
62 Health care & social assistance 92 5,135 113,151 331,022
71 Arts, entertainment, & recreation 26 389 4,563 10,801

Norfolk--Virginia Beach--Newport News, VA--NC MSA
1997 Population: 1,544,781

NAICS Industry Code Industry Description Number of Establishments Number of Employees Annual Payroll ($1,000) Shpmnts/Sales/Recpts ($1,000)
NAICS INDUSTRIES
61 Educational services 196 1,213 17,652 48,789
62 Health care & social assistance 2,601 30,528 878,072 1,788,895
71 Arts, entertainment, & recreation 356 8,327 69,905 302,849
NON-TAXABLE INDUSTRIES
61 Educational services 26 104 1,719 8,787
62 Health care & social assistance 378 k D D
71 Arts, entertainment, & recreation 101 3,277 67,003 200,691

Richmond--Petersburg, VA MSA
1997 Population: 946,575

NAICS Industry Code Industry Description Number of Establishments Number of Employees Annual Payroll ($1,000) Shpmnts/Sales/Recpts ($1,000)
NAICS INDUSTRIES
61 Educational services 156 622 9,418 27,721
62 Health care & social assistance 1,878 32,981 956,505 2,214,319
71 Arts, entertainment, & recreation 211 5,390 61,882 242,153
NON-TAXABLE INDUSTRIES
61 Educational services 25 142 2,042 5,489
62 Health care & social assistance 322 20,913 619,069 1,353,653
71 Arts, entertainment, & recreation 102 2,061 35,787 122,517

Roanoke, VA MSA
1997 Population: 228,281

NAICS Industry Code Industry Description Number of Establishments Number of Employees Annual Payroll ($1,000) Shpmnts/Sales/Recpts ($1,000)
NAICS INDUSTRIES
61 Educational services 39 313 3,043 15,595
62 Health care & social assistance 468 7,588 234,250 567,784
71 Arts, entertainment, & recreation 70 1,062 9,625 29,779
NON-TAXABLE INDUSTRIES
61 Educational services 7 23 835 2,806
62 Health care & social assistance 109 9,055 249,969 779,069
71 Arts, entertainment, & recreation 23 392 7,198 17,624

Washington, DC--MD--VA--WV PMSA
(portion of Washington--Baltimore, DC--MD--VA--WV CMSA)
1997 Population: 4,609,414

NAICS Industry Code Industry Description Number of Establishments Number of Employees Annual Payroll ($1,000) Shpmnts/Sales/Recpts ($1,000)
NAICS INDUSTRIES
44-45 Retail trade 17,135 243,933 4,592,622 43,754,300
54 Professional, scientific, & technical services 19,461 285,204 14,987,416 37,756,987
56 Administrative & support & waste management & remediation serv 6,423 172,688 3,584,536 7,751,867
61 Educational services 965 7,756 206,431 587,883
62 Health care & social assistance 10,003 95,753 3,164,637 7,270,677
71 Arts, entertainment, & recreation 1,214 18,530 456,838 1,415,186
NON-TAXABLE INDUSTRIES
54 Professional, scientific, & technical services 470 16,297 831,848 2,172,287
61 Educational services 319 3,968 118,425 534,215
62 Health care & social assistance 1,949 112,798 3,501,152 8,511,260
71 Arts, entertainment, & recreation 323 6,807 142,260 453,248

Source: U.S. Bureau of the Census, 1997 Economic Census
D: Withheld to avoid disclosing data of individual companies; data are included in higher level totals
N: Not available or not comparable
S: Withheld because estimate did not meet publication standards
Z: Less than half the unit shown
a: 0 - 19 employees
b: 20 - 99 employees
c: 100 - 249 employees
e: 250 - 499 employees
f: 500 - 999 employees
g: 1,000 - 2,499 employees
h: 2,500 - 4,999 employees
i: 5,000 - 9,999 employees
j: 10,000 - 24,999 employees
k: 25,000 - 49,999 employees
l: 50,000 - 99,999 employees
m: 100,000 or more employees
p: 10 to 19 percent estimated
q: 20 to 29 percent estimated
r: Revised
s: Sampling error exceeds 40 percent

You can also look at Virginia's economy by sector, such as coal mining.

Links


Economics of Virginia
Population of Virginia
Virginia Places