The National Stats

The statistics for West Virginia, particularly Southern West Virginia are dismal. The following map shows the population change for each state since 2010. West Virginia is the only state with -2% growth rate, Illinois and Vermont had essentially zero percent growth rate. However, it is clear the West Virginia is in a category of its own when it comes to growth. As it is often said, West Virginia's largest export is people.

The following graphic shows the population growth of each state in the US over the past 100+ years. Notice West Virginia is the only state with negative growth.

The following animation showing the population trends for all fifty states over the past 50+ years. Notice around the 2:25 mark, West Virginia is the only state in the county to have negative growth over the past 70 years, since 1950. In addition, using the average growth rate (1.12 percent per year) of the US, West Virginia is short 2.5 million people of where "it should be."

The following graphic show the population trend of West Virginia compared against a state with a "healthy" growth rate (Tennessee). The red line shows the actual population of WV and the blue line shows the predicted population based on the national average growth rate. According to these numbers, the population of WV should be nearly double what it currently is.

The following spreadsheet shows how West Virginia ranks in terms of doing business relative to the rest of the county. As can be seen, WV is at the bottom of the list.

Rank of States Best for Business