CHARLESTON, W.Va. — Census estimates show West Virginia’s population shrank for the fifth straight year in 2017.

According to estimates released Wednesday, West Virginia was among eight states to lose population. As of July 1, the state’s population was estimated at 1,815,857, down 12,780 from a revised estimate of 1,828,637 the same time a year ago.

Illinois was the only state to lose more residents over the one-year period than West Virginia, which has been hit hard by the downturn in the coal industry. The state’s seasonally adjusted unemployment rate in November was 5.3 percent, compared with the national rate of 4.1 percent.

West Virginia’s population has dipped every year since reaching 1,855,360 in 2012.

The estimates show the nation’s population grew less than 1 percent.

Author photo
The AP is one of the largest and most trusted sources of independent newsgathering. AP is neither privately owned nor government-funded; instead, as a not-for-profit news cooperative owned by its American newspaper and broadcast members, it can maintain its single-minded focus on newsgathering and its commitment to the highest standards of objective, accurate journalism.