These Cities are the Fastest-Shrinking Counties in West Virginia

West Virginia is an American state in the south. There are not many people living in the Mountain State; it is ranked 41st out of 50 states in terms of size. The state had 1,793,755 people living in it in 2020. Among the most current estimates, the number of people living there dropped to 1,755,156 between 2020 and 2022. Today, we’ll look at the West Virginia counties that lost the most people the fastest. This will help you understand why these places may have lost people.

The information for this piece came from the U.S. Census Bureau’s estimates of the changes from April 2020 to July 2022, which were made public in 2023. During that time, 1% of the people living in the state died. Losses were worse in some parts of the state than in others, though. This list will show you where the worst losses happened.

Kanawha County, West Virginia

The Kanawha River flows through Kanawha County, which is in the southwestern part of the state. Charleston, the state capital and most populous city in the state is in this county. In 2020, there were 180,744 people living in Kanawha County, West Virginia. In 2022, there were only 175,515 people living there. In terms of total population loss, that makes this the West Virginia county that is shrinking the fastest.

Out of the 5,229 people who moved away, this part of the state lost a lot of people. The number of people who live there has dropped by 2.89%. There were a lot of counties in the southwestern part of the state that lost the most people. It’s been years, but no clear trend has shown up to explain the population drop. There aren’t any big cities in the state that people would leave because of the current economic problems and the COVID-19 pandemic.

Cabell County

Cabell County has the fourth most people of any county in the state. This county is in the southwestern part of West Virginia. It shares an Ohio River border with Ohio.

In 2020, there were 94,346 people living in Cabell County. The most current estimates for 2022 show that there are now 92,730 people living in this county. This county is one of the smallest in West Virginia in terms of the number of people who have moved out. Between 2020 and 2022, about 1,616 people left this area. In other words, 1.72 percent of the people who lived in this county left.

Harrison County

The West Fork River cuts through the middle of Harrison County, which is in the northern part of the state. There are also a number of lakes and creeks in the county. There were 65,922 people living in Harrison County in 2020. The most recent figures for the area show that the population dropped by 1,007 people, to 64,915 people. This is the same as losing 1.53% of the people who lived in the area.

Harrison County is one of the West Virginia areas that is losing people the fastest because of this change. So far, though, this list has shown that even the areas in the state that are shrinking the fastest are not losing tens of thousands of people.

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