CHARLESTON, W.Va. (AP) – A political consulting firm says continued decline in West Virginia’s population is threatening one of its three congressional seats.
The Charleston Gazette-Mail reports Election Data Services says the drop in the state’s population supports longtime speculation that West Virginia will lose a congressional seat by 2022, after the 2020 census.
U.S. Census Bureau data released last week shows the state’s population is continuing to drop. Census data showed the state’s population as of July 1 is 1,815,857, down 12,780 from a revised estimate of 1,828,637 the same time a year ago. It’s the fifth straight drop in West Virginia’s population.
For West Virginia to keep its seat, it would need to attract about 19,500 new residents before the 2020 census, assuming the population in all other states remains steady.