3 West Virginia Towns People Are Fleeing As Soon As Possible

Photo of author
Written By Ryan Johnson






West Virginia is experiencing a serious population decline. Over the past decade, the state has lost more than 3% of its residents, making it the only state to have a population drop in every census since 1950. Although the entire state is affected, some towns are struggling more than others. Here are three West Virginia towns where people are leaving rapidly.


Beckley is the fourth fastest shrinking city in America, according to a report by The Hill. Once a bustling coal mining hub, Beckley has seen its population decrease by 7.9% since 2010. The fall of the coal industry, combined with a lack of new economic opportunities, has forced many residents to move elsewhere in search of better prospects. Additionally, high rates of poverty, crime, and drug addiction make Beckley an unattractive place to live.


Charleston, the state capital and largest city, is also one of the top 10 fastest shrinking cities in the nation. According to the 2020 Census, the city’s population has declined by 6.9% over the last decade. Charleston faces similar issues as Beckley, including the decline of coal and other industries, sluggish economic growth, and social problems like poverty, crime, and drug abuse. The city also contends with aging infrastructure, environmental concerns, and a shrinking tax base.


Bluefield, located on the border with Virginia, has experienced a significant population drop. Since 2010, the town has lost 8% of its residents, and since 1960, more than 50%. Bluefield was once a thriving railroad and coal town, but it has struggled to adapt to changing times and markets. The lack of amenities, services, and entertainment options also makes it a dull and isolated place to live.


These three towns highlight the population crisis in West Virginia. To reverse this trend, the state needs to invest in education, health care, infrastructure, and technology. Diversifying the economy and creating more jobs and opportunities are also crucial. Without these changes, West Virginia will continue to lose residents and relevance in the nation.

Leave a Comment