Population

Sandy Hamilton, Executive Director of the Berkeley County Development Authority.
Liz McCormick / West Virginia Legislative Photography

Berkeley County is one of the fastest growing counties in West Virginia. According to the U.S. Census Bureau, between 2013 and 2016, the population grew by 4,300 people. It’s also the second most-populated county in the state.

Courtesy Maria Marotto

“If you want to stay in West Virginia, then I believe you’re doing something right," Colt Brogan told West Virginia Public Broadcasting for The Struggle to Stay series. "I mean, cause it’s hard to want to stay here in my opinion. Cause it is so rough.”


David Benbennick / wikimedia Commons

U.S. Census figures show population declines in West Virginia's southern coal-producing counties led to an overall drop in the state's population last year.

The figures released Thursday show 47 of the state's 55 counties lost population from 2015 to 2016, including 20 counties that lost more than 200 residents.

People walking, exercise, health
Fæ / wikimedia commons

Census estimates show that West Virginia lost population over the past year.

The estimates released Tuesday by the U.S. Census Bureau put the state's population at 1,831,102 on July 1. That's down nearly 10,000 from the July 2015 estimate and down about 23,000 from 2010. Between 2000 and 2010, the state's population grew by nearly 45,000 residents.

quickfacts.census.gov

The latest estimates from the U.S. Census Bureau show West Virginia was one of seven states to lose population.

According to figures released Tuesday, West Virginia lost 4,623 residents between July 2014 and July 2015. The 0.25 percent dip was the highest in the nation.

West Virginia Public Broadcasting

Overall, West Virginia continues to see a decline in population since 2012. Data from the U.S. Census Bureau shows that, while the state's population grew from 2010 (1,854,176)  to 2012 (1,856,313) the state has seen a drop-off in consecutive years since--with the last estimate from July 1, 2014 putting West Virginia's population at 1,850,326.

Infographic: A Snapshot of Childhood Poverty

Jan 30, 2015
An infographic looking at a snapshot of childhood poverty
West Virginia Public Broadcasting
Tim Kiser / wikimedia Commons

Beckley officials are looking to boost the city's population by annexing several residential areas.

Beckley director of information technology Bill Kelly is chairman of the city's annexation committee. He tells The Register-Herald that annexing these areas bordering the city could increase Beckley's population from about 17,000 to nearly 35,000.
 

Tracy Toler

Editor's Note: Today we continue our series about keeping the state’s youngest citizens in West Virginia. We’ve previously looked at the reasons why some people feel compelled to leave, but today, we’re taking a more positive approach. There are many young West Virginians with ideas about what can be done to help people stay.

From 1990 to 2000, and then again from 2000 to 2010, West Virginia saw slight increases in population, according to U.S. Census figures. But there’s also some bad news when it comes to population stats.

Jocelyn and Matt Crawford

Editor's Note: Today we continue our series on how to keep young people in West Virginia. Yesterday, we looked at the struggle many people go through to find work in the state in their chosen fields. Today we examine the stereotypes young West Virginians who choose to stay in the state face from those on the outside.

How Can West Virginia Keep Its Young People Here?

Apr 29, 2014
Ben Adducchio / West Virginia Public Broadcasting

Editor's Note: We begin a series of stories looking into the issue of how to keep young people in West Virginia. This came about as part of a special digital project undertaken at West Virginia Public Broadcasting over the past few months, WVNextIn6.

We asked you to tell us what’s next for West Virginia in six words or less. Several posts had the theme “Keep our Best and Brightest here.”

According to a recent report from the West Virginia University Bureau of Business and Economic Research, West Virginia is facing a difficult road ahead in keeping people in the state. The state’s expected to lose about 20 thousand people through the year 2030, and could lose a congressional seat because of it. It all leads to a question West Virginians have been asking for years: How do we keep young people here? We asked our younger listeners on Twitter and Facebook to talk to us about their thoughts.

General Services Administration / Inventory of Owned and Leased Properties

The complicated redistricting process prompted by population shifts resulted in one simple change in West Virginia's congressional districts.
 
After two legislative committees adjusted political district boundaries to ensure equal representation, and an ensuing lawsuit challenging the plan was dismissed, Mason County was moved from the 2nd to the 3rd congressional district.

U.S. Census Bureau / wikimedia Commons

Population declines in southern West Virginia counties have led to an overall drop in the state's population last year.
 
Estimates released Thursday by the U.S. Census Bureau showed Monongalia County, home to West Virginia University, had the largest gain of 1,747 people. Most of those gains involved people coming from out of state.

eandi.org

A national moving company says West Virginia ranks high when it comes to people moving out of state.

The ranking is contained in the annual "Migration Study" compiled by United Van Lines. The study is based on the St. Louis moving company's business in the U.S.

The Daily Mail reports that the state ranked the fourth highest in the "high outbound" category. That involves residents who moved out of state.

New Jersey had the highest percentage off outbound moves last year. It was followed by Illinois and New York.

Is this the 1980s all over again for West Virginia – or is it just a temporary blip? That’s the question I have after learning the state lost population last fiscal year.

In fact, West Virginia lost more people that any other state – 2,376 – according to a new census estimate. The only other state to see a population decrease, Maine, lost 199 people.

The truth is, West Virginia’s population has been pretty static since the 1930s, when it reached 1.8 million for the first time. Since then, it’s gone up and down a bit, but always returned to that same number.

Cecelia Mason / West Virginia Public Broadcasting

A West Virginia University economist will brief state legislators on the economic forecast for the coming year.

The annual presentation to members of the state Senate and the House of Delegates is set for Jan. 8 in the House chambers.

The report is compiled by the university's Bureau of Business and Economic Research. The bureau's director, John Deskins, will make the presentation.