Charleston population drops below 50,000; mayor says numbers are ‘not official’

CHARLESTON, W.Va. — Estimates released by the U.S. Census Bureau Thursday show Charleston no longer has a population over 50,000, but Charleston Mayor Danny Jones says the numbers are not “official.”

“They are basically guesses,” Jones told MetroNews.

Numbers show the Capital City had 49,736 residents, which is down 590 residents since last year.

“The official report came in 2010. We were over 50,000,” Jones said. “We’re going to settle on that report as a bonafide number of our Census until the next population Census in the year 2020.”

The current estimates would mark the first time Charleston’s population was below 50,000 since 1920 when there were 39,608 residents.

Jones said even if the decreased number was official, it would not impact the amount of grant money the city receives from the federal government.

“That’s measured by the amount of poor people you have,” he said. “It’s based on income and it won’t affect any grants we get.”

Charleston’s population has dropped over the years, Jones said, but they’re always striving to make the city a great place to live.

“We’re doing the best we can. We think Charleston is well served and well managed and that’s basically our department and what we’re doing,” Jones said.

Estimates showed Huntington population stands at 48,638 as West Virginia’s second largest city. Parkersburg, the third largest, had 30,991. Morgantown came in fourth with 30,708.

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