Only 8 West Virginia counties showed population growth between 2010 and 2020

West Virginia

Courtesy: United States Census 2020

(NEXSTAR/WOWK) – Data from the 2020 census shows metropolitan areas like Phoenix and Salt Lake City swelling, while portions of the Plains and Northeast have seen residents move elsewhere.

On a local level, only eight counties in West Virginia showed positive population growth between 2010 and 2020:

  • Berkeley (17.2% growth)
  • Monongalia (10%)
  • Jefferson (7.9%)
  • Lewis (4%)
  • Putnam (3.5%)
  • Preston (2.1%)
  • Hardy (2%)
  • Pleasants (0.6%)

The West Virginia counties whose populations declined the most over the past decade are:

  • Pendleton (-20.2%)
  • Ritchie (-19.2%)
  • Calhoun (-18.3)
  • Gilmer (-14.8%)
  • Braxton (-14.3%)
  • Clay (-14.2%)
  • Summers (-14.1%)
  • McDowell (-13.6%)
  • Wetzel (-12.9%)
  • Mingo (-12.2%)
  • Fayette (-12.1%)
  • Boone (-11.4%)
  • Logan (-11.4%)
  • Wyoming (-10.1%)

Lawrence County, Kentucky was the only Kentucky county in our region to see population growth with a 2.7% increase over the past decade.

No Ohio counties in our region saw any growth.

Mapping from the latest batch of United States Census Bureau data is giving us the clearest picture yet of where people live.

Click the population change tab and zoom in to your state to view percentage change by county over the last decade.

[Source: U.S. Census Bureau]

The interactive map also allows for searches based on race, age and housing inventory, among other factors.

More complete census figures released Thursday show continued migration to the South and West and growth in urban centers.

The share of the white population fell from 63.7% in 2010 to 57.8% in 2020, the lowest on record, though white people continue to be the most prevalent racial or ethnic group. However, that changed in California, where Hispanics became the largest racial or ethnic group, growing to 39.4% from 37.6% over the decade, while the share of white people dropped from 40.1% to 34.7%.

“The U.S. population is much more multiracial and much more racially and ethnically diverse than what we have measured in the past,” said Nicholas Jones, a Census Bureau official.

The data comes from compiling forms filled out last year by tens of millions of Americans, with the help of census takers and government statisticians to fill in the blanks when forms were not turned in or questions were left unanswered. The numbers reflect countless decisions made over the past 10 years by individuals to have children, move to another part of the country or to come to the U.S. from elsewhere.

The release offers states the first chance to redraw their political districts in a process that is expected to be particularly brutish since control over Congress and statehouses is at stake. It also provides the first opportunity to see, on a limited basis, how well the Census Bureau fulfilled its goal of counting every U.S. resident during what many consider the most difficult once-a-decade census in recent memory.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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