Dave Mistich Published

Why Do You Stay in West Virginia?

Glade Creek, Why I Stay

Updated: Friday, May 23, 2014 at 8:35 a.m. 

Our interactive story map and project recap is now available. Access the map to see some of our favorites from the project.

Original Post: Thursday, May 8, 2014 at 12:23 p.m.:

Why do you stay in West Virginia? Is it friends, family, work, recreation? Use Instagram and let us know.

Recently, we aired a series on West Virginia’s predicted population decline and how some young people feel about their opportunities in the state (or lack thereof). Most of those we spoke to said they love West Virginia and want to stay–be it for family or other reasons–but feel there’s few good professional opportunities worth staying for.

In addition, a recent poll from Gallup indicates that only 28% of West Virginians want to move to another state.

With this in mind, we’re teaming up with public radio stations from across the country to find out what makes people stay where they are. But, we wanted to do it in a creative way. So, we’re taking it to Instagram. 


  How to Participate in #WhyIStay:

  • Snap a photo with your smartphone that explains why you stay and upload it to Instagram.
  • Use the hashtag #WhyIStay
  • Be sure to provide a caption. We want more than a pretty photo–your words are equally important.
  • In that caption, be sure to tell us where you live. Since we’re collaborating with other stations, we need to know where you’re from.
  • Tag us: @wvpublicnews.
  • If you don’t have Instagram, use Twitter. You can tag us the exact same way.

You can also follow along with our partner stations in this project. A station’s handle is the same for Instagram and Twitter unless otherwise noted: 

WFAE (Charlotte, N.C.) – @wfaepublicradio   (On Twitter: @wfae)

Boise State Public Radio – @boisestatepublicradio  (On Twitter: @KBSX915)

WBUR (Boston, Mass.) – @wbur

WESA (Pittsburgh, Pa.) – @905wesa

St. Louis Public Radio – @stlpublicradio

Michigan Radio – @michiganradio

KUOW (Puget Sound Region, Wash.) – @kuow 

WNYC (New York, N.Y.) – @wnycradio (On Twitter: @wnyc)

KQED (Northern California) – @kqednews

WLRN (Miami, Fl.) – @wlrn

KTOO (Juneau, Alaska) – @ktoopubmedia  (On Twitter: @360north)