Jack Walker Published

Only 8 Counties See Growth In State, Most In Eastern Panhandle

To women walk past each other.
West Virginia has experienced population decline for years. From 2022 to 2023, similar declines occurred in 47 counties across the state.
Jeff Haynes /AFP via Getty Images

From July 2022 to July 2023, the vast majority of West Virginia counties experienced population decline.

Forty-seven of the state’s 55 counties decreased in population in the one-year span, according to data released by the United States Census Bureau last week.

But among the eight counties that saw growth, five are located in the Eastern Panhandle and Potomac Highlands region.

Berkeley County grew at a rate of 2.37 percent. Jefferson, Morgan, Hampshire, and Hardy counties also saw growth, clustering the greatest population increase in the easternmost region of the state.

In north central West Virginia, Monongalia and Marion counties also saw slight growth, with rates of 0.69 percent and 0.04 percent respectively.

The sole representative of southern West Virginia, Monroe County, grew its population by 0.5 percent in the one-year span.

Despite some regional growth, population decline across most counties echoes a years-long trend of population loss in West Virginia.

To view the full list of county-level population trends in West Virginia from 2022 to 2023, visit the Census Bureau website.