With all of the growth in West Virginia, especially in Monongalia County, a new survey done by WVU is almost hard to believe. It said that the population in West Virginia is going to decline substantially over the next several years.
Traffic jams and pedestrians hurrying to get to work and school, those are sites most people living in Monongalia County see. But in a new survey, it's one of only 11 counties in the state that are projected to grow in population over the next few years.
The population for the rest of the state is set to decline.
"It's pretty certain that we're going to have natural population decline. That is we're going to have more deaths than births," said John Deskins, Director of the Bureau of Business and Economic Research at WVU. "The report also considers net migration."
The survey shows that more than 19,000 residents are expected to leave the state by 2030. But the population decline isn't happen across the nation. This could mean a big change in West Virginia's future.
"There's a possibility that we could lose one of our three seats that we currently have in the US House of Representatives,"said Deskins. "It's not for certain but it seems like there is a pretty strong chance that we could lose a seat when congressional seats, when house seats are reapportioned."
This wouldn't be the first time population decline forced the state to lose a seat in the House. There was one less seat provided for the state after the 1990 Census.
The survey shows what is to come for West Virginia if nothing is done to help the situation.
"If we can get good business opportunities, if we can make people aware of the urgency to provide an economic climate that encourages migration, then we can turn things around," said Deskins.
Deskins hopes that the population decline can be avoided with continued business growth in the state.