Census: West Virginia loses almost 7,000 more people over past year

West Virginia has lost almost 7,000 more residents, according to the latest U.S. Census data.

The data released this week estimated that West Virginia’s population as of July 1, 2021, was 1,782,959.

That compared to an estimated population of 1,789,758 as of July 1, 2020.

Those statistics meant that West Virginia was among the top ten areas when viewed by percentage of population loss. Those included Washington, D.C. (-2.9 percent), New York (-1.6 percent), Illinois (-.9 percent), Hawaii (-.7 percent), California (-.7 percent), Louisiana (-.6 percent), Massachusetts (-.5 percent), North Dakota (-.5 percent), West Virginia (-.4 percent) and Mississippi (-.2 percent).

The Census showed that the most significant factor with West Virginia’s population is that more people are dying than are being born. The figures showed 17,232 births during the period versus 27,102 deaths.

The migration of 2,899 people to live in West Virginia wasn’t enough to make up for that.

Slow growth has characterized the entire country. United States population growth of .1 percent represented the lowest rate since the nation’s founding, according to the Census.

The factors for that include less overall international migration to the U.S., a slower birth rate and increased deaths attributed to the covid-19 pandemic.

“Population growth has been slowing for years because of lower birth rates and decreasing net international migration, all while mortality rates are rising due to the aging of the nation’s population,” stated Kristie Wilder, a demographer in the Population Division at the Census Bureau.

“Now, with the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, this combination has resulted in a historically slow pace of growth.”

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