Fastest-growing counties in West Virginia

Written by:
December 6, 2021
Acroterion // Wikimedia Commons

Fastest-growing counties in West Virginia

From 2019 to 2020, the U.S. population grew by .35%, its slowest rate since 1900. Declining births, increasing deaths largely due to the graying Baby Boomer population, and a crackdown on immigration have contributed to many states seeing net population losses in recent years.

But in other pockets of the country, populations are growing. These shifts can be due to job opportunities, high quality of life, easy commutability to job centers, low rents, or any combination of these or other factors. Stacker compiled a list of the fastest-growing counties in West Virginia using data from the U.S. Census Bureau. Counties are ranked by the highest population growth from 2010 to 2020.

A county typically sees population growth as a “bedroom community” (a municipality with an atypically large commuting population) to a large city. These communities are typically quieter than their feeder cities, offer lower rents and a higher quality of living, and are remote enough to be immune to the feeder city’s crime, traffic, and crowds. Keep reading to see if your home county made the list.

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Coal town guy // Wikimedia Commons

#50. McDowell County

- 2010 to 2020 population change: -3,444
--- #3,016 among all counties nationwide
- 2010 to 2020 percent population change: -15.3%
--- #51 among counties in West Virginia, #3,044 among all counties nationwide
- 2020 population: 19,111
--- #24 largest county in West Virginia, #1,866 largest county nationwide
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#49. Mingo County

- 2010 to 2020 population change: -3,388
--- #3,010 among all counties nationwide
- 2010 to 2020 percent population change: -12.6%
--- #47 among counties in West Virginia, #2,966 among all counties nationwide
- 2020 population: 23,568
--- #30 largest county in West Virginia, #1,651 largest county nationwide
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w:User:Malepheasant // Wikimedia Commons

#48. Boone County

- 2010 to 2020 population change: -3,063
--- #2,981 among all counties nationwide
- 2010 to 2020 percent population change: -12.3%
--- #46 among counties in West Virginia, #2,958 among all counties nationwide
- 2020 population: 21,809
--- #27 largest county in West Virginia, #1,723 largest county nationwide
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w:User:Malepheasant // Wikimedia Commons

#47. Marshall County

- 2010 to 2020 population change: -2,778
--- #2,950 among all counties nationwide
- 2010 to 2020 percent population change: -8.3%
--- #36 among counties in West Virginia, #2,723 among all counties nationwide
- 2020 population: 30,591
--- #38 largest county in West Virginia, #1,419 largest county nationwide
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w:User:Malepheasant // Wikimedia Commons

#46. Wyoming County

- 2010 to 2020 population change: -2,611
--- #2,937 among all counties nationwide
- 2010 to 2020 percent population change: -10.9%
--- #41 among counties in West Virginia, #2,896 among all counties nationwide
- 2020 population: 21,382
--- #26 largest county in West Virginia, #1,746 largest county nationwide
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Upstateherd // Wikimedia Commons

#45. Harrison County

- 2010 to 2020 population change: -2,569
--- #2,932 among all counties nationwide
- 2010 to 2020 percent population change: -3.8%
--- #19 among counties in West Virginia, #2,127 among all counties nationwide
- 2020 population: 65,921
--- #49 largest county in West Virginia, #813 largest county nationwide
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#44. Wood County

- 2010 to 2020 population change: -2,435
--- #2,913 among all counties nationwide
- 2010 to 2020 percent population change: -2.8%
--- #15 among counties in West Virginia, #1,990 among all counties nationwide
- 2020 population: 84,296
--- #51 largest county in West Virginia, #682 largest county nationwide
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Taber Andrew Bain // Wikimedia Commons

#43. Greenbrier County

- 2010 to 2020 population change: -2,396
--- #2,908 among all counties nationwide
- 2010 to 2020 percent population change: -6.8%
--- #32 among counties in West Virginia, #2,573 among all counties nationwide
- 2020 population: 32,977
--- #40 largest county in West Virginia, #1,363 largest county nationwide
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OZinOH // Flickr

#42. Wetzel County

- 2010 to 2020 population change: -2,255
--- #2,887 among all counties nationwide
- 2010 to 2020 percent population change: -13.5%
--- #48 among counties in West Virginia, #2,994 among all counties nationwide
- 2020 population: 14,442
--- #19 largest county in West Virginia, #2,122 largest county nationwide
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w:User:Malepheasant // Wikimedia Commons

#41. Mercer County

- 2010 to 2020 population change: -2,180
--- #2,874 among all counties nationwide
- 2010 to 2020 percent population change: -3.5%
--- #18 among counties in West Virginia, #2,095 among all counties nationwide
- 2020 population: 59,664
--- #48 largest county in West Virginia, #877 largest county nationwide
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Brandon W. Holmes // Wikicommons

#40. Ohio County

- 2010 to 2020 population change: -2,157
--- #2,863 among all counties nationwide
- 2010 to 2020 percent population change: -4.8%
--- #22 among counties in West Virginia, #2,277 among all counties nationwide
- 2020 population: 42,425
--- #44 largest county in West Virginia, #1,136 largest county nationwide
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w:User:Malepheasant // Wikimedia Commons

#39. Braxton County

- 2010 to 2020 population change: -2,111
--- #2,854 among all counties nationwide
- 2010 to 2020 percent population change: -14.5%
--- #50 among counties in West Virginia, #3,022 among all counties nationwide
- 2020 population: 12,447
--- #16 largest county in West Virginia, #2,247 largest county nationwide
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w:User:Malepheasant // Wikimedia Commons

#38. Ritchie County

- 2010 to 2020 population change: -2,070
--- #2,848 among all counties nationwide
- 2010 to 2020 percent population change: -19.7%
--- #54 among counties in West Virginia, #3,104 among all counties nationwide
- 2020 population: 8,444
--- #12 largest county in West Virginia, #2,539 largest county nationwide
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w:User:Malepheasant // Wikimedia Commons

#37. Summers County

- 2010 to 2020 population change: -1,888
--- #2,819 among all counties nationwide
- 2010 to 2020 percent population change: -13.6%
--- #49 among counties in West Virginia, #2,997 among all counties nationwide
- 2020 population: 11,959
--- #14 largest county in West Virginia, #2,285 largest county nationwide
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Generic1139 // Wikimedia Commons

#36. Hancock County

- 2010 to 2020 population change: -1,771
--- #2,789 among all counties nationwide
- 2010 to 2020 percent population change: -5.7%
--- #26 among counties in West Virginia, #2,415 among all counties nationwide
- 2020 population: 29,095
--- #37 largest county in West Virginia, #1,452 largest county nationwide
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Jimmy Emerson, DVM // Flickr

#35. Brooke County

- 2010 to 2020 population change: -1,635
--- #2,756 among all counties nationwide
- 2010 to 2020 percent population change: -6.8%
--- #31 among counties in West Virginia, #2,570 among all counties nationwide
- 2020 population: 22,559
--- #28 largest county in West Virginia, #1,693 largest county nationwide
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Famartin // Wikimedia Commons

#34. Pendleton County

- 2010 to 2020 population change: -1,630
--- #2,753 among all counties nationwide
- 2010 to 2020 percent population change: -21.0%
--- #55 among counties in West Virginia, #3,119 among all counties nationwide
- 2020 population: 6,143
--- #2 largest county in West Virginia, #2,727 largest county nationwide
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w:User:Malepheasant // Wikimedia Commons

#33. Nicholas County

- 2010 to 2020 population change: -1,585
--- #2,742 among all counties nationwide
- 2010 to 2020 percent population change: -6.1%
--- #28 among counties in West Virginia, #2,468 among all counties nationwide
- 2020 population: 24,604
--- #32 largest county in West Virginia, #1,623 largest county nationwide
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Bitmapped // Wikimedia Commons

#32. Mason County

- 2010 to 2020 population change: -1,563
--- #2,729 among all counties nationwide
- 2010 to 2020 percent population change: -5.8%
--- #27 among counties in West Virginia, #2,426 among all counties nationwide
- 2020 population: 25,453
--- #33 largest county in West Virginia, #1,581 largest county nationwide
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w:User:Malepheasant // Wikimedia Commons

#31. Clay County

- 2010 to 2020 population change: -1,521
--- #2,720 among all counties nationwide
- 2010 to 2020 percent population change: -15.9%
--- #52 among counties in West Virginia, #3,055 among all counties nationwide
- 2020 population: 8,051
--- #9 largest county in West Virginia, #2,573 largest county nationwide
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w:User:Malepheasant // Wikimedia Commons

#30. Lincoln County

- 2010 to 2020 population change: -1,416
--- #2,687 among all counties nationwide
- 2010 to 2020 percent population change: -6.5%
--- #30 among counties in West Virginia, #2,534 among all counties nationwide
- 2020 population: 20,463
--- #25 largest county in West Virginia, #1,793 largest county nationwide
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w:User:Malepheasant // Wikimedia Commons

#29. Calhoun County

- 2010 to 2020 population change: -1,359
--- #2,665 among all counties nationwide
- 2010 to 2020 percent population change: -17.9%
--- #53 among counties in West Virginia, #3,087 among all counties nationwide
- 2020 population: 6,229
--- #3 largest county in West Virginia, #2,720 largest county nationwide
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Famartin // Wikimedia Commons

#28. Randolph County

- 2010 to 2020 population change: -1,301
--- #2,644 among all counties nationwide
- 2010 to 2020 percent population change: -4.5%
--- #21 among counties in West Virginia, #2,220 among all counties nationwide
- 2020 population: 27,932
--- #36 largest county in West Virginia, #1,503 largest county nationwide
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w:User:Malepheasant // Wikimedia Commons

#27. Jackson County

- 2010 to 2020 population change: -1,293
--- #2,639 among all counties nationwide
- 2010 to 2020 percent population change: -4.4%
--- #20 among counties in West Virginia, #2,219 among all counties nationwide
- 2020 population: 27,791
--- #35 largest county in West Virginia, #1,505 largest county nationwide
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Carol M. Highsmith/Library of Congress // Wikimedia Commons

#26. Cabell County

- 2010 to 2020 population change: -1,176
--- #2,595 among all counties nationwide
- 2010 to 2020 percent population change: -1.2%
--- #12 among counties in West Virginia, #1,749 among all counties nationwide
- 2020 population: 94,350
--- #52 largest county in West Virginia, #637 largest county nationwide
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Bitmapped // Wikimedia Commons

#25. Monroe County

- 2010 to 2020 population change: -1,119
--- #2,563 among all counties nationwide
- 2010 to 2020 percent population change: -8.3%
--- #35 among counties in West Virginia, #2,718 among all counties nationwide
- 2020 population: 12,376
--- #15 largest county in West Virginia, #2,250 largest county nationwide
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Richie Diesterheft from Chicago, IL, USA // Wikimedia Commons

#24. Roane County

- 2010 to 2020 population change: -1,088
--- #2,549 among all counties nationwide
- 2010 to 2020 percent population change: -7.2%
--- #33 among counties in West Virginia, #2,625 among all counties nationwide
- 2020 population: 14,028
--- #17 largest county in West Virginia, #2,154 largest county nationwide
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Jimmy Emerson, DVM // Flickr

#23. Tyler County

- 2010 to 2020 population change: -1,026
--- #2,517 among all counties nationwide
- 2010 to 2020 percent population change: -11.0%
--- #43 among counties in West Virginia, #2,902 among all counties nationwide
- 2020 population: 8,313
--- #10 largest county in West Virginia, #2,555 largest county nationwide
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w:User:Malepheasant // Wikimedia Commons

#22. Gilmer County

- 2010 to 2020 population change: -986
--- #2,491 among all counties nationwide
- 2010 to 2020 percent population change: -11.7%
--- #44 among counties in West Virginia, #2,934 among all counties nationwide
- 2020 population: 7,408
--- #5 largest county in West Virginia, #2,628 largest county nationwide
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Famartin // Wikimedia Commons

#21. Grant County

- 2010 to 2020 population change: -966
--- #2,484 among all counties nationwide
- 2010 to 2020 percent population change: -8.1%
--- #34 among counties in West Virginia, #2,706 among all counties nationwide
- 2020 population: 10,976
--- #13 largest county in West Virginia, #2,343 largest county nationwide
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jpmueller99 from Shenandoah Valley of VA, USA // Wikimedia Commons

#20. Pocahontas County

- 2010 to 2020 population change: -939
--- #2,470 among all counties nationwide
- 2010 to 2020 percent population change: -10.7%
--- #40 among counties in West Virginia, #2,886 among all counties nationwide
- 2020 population: 7,869
--- #8 largest county in West Virginia, #2,586 largest county nationwide
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w:User:Malepheasant // Wikimedia Commons

#19. Webster County

- 2010 to 2020 population change: -869
--- #2,436 among all counties nationwide
- 2010 to 2020 percent population change: -9.4%
--- #38 among counties in West Virginia, #2,806 among all counties nationwide
- 2020 population: 8,378
--- #11 largest county in West Virginia, #2,546 largest county nationwide
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Generic1139 // Wikimedia Commons

#18. Mineral County

- 2010 to 2020 population change: -858
--- #2,433 among all counties nationwide
- 2010 to 2020 percent population change: -3.1%
--- #17 among counties in West Virginia, #2,028 among all counties nationwide
- 2020 population: 26,938
--- #34 largest county in West Virginia, #1,527 largest county nationwide
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Valerius Tygart // Wikimedia Commons

#17. Barbour County

- 2010 to 2020 population change: -791
--- #2,398 among all counties nationwide
- 2010 to 2020 percent population change: -4.9%
--- #23 among counties in West Virginia, #2,282 among all counties nationwide
- 2020 population: 15,465
--- #20 largest county in West Virginia, #2,063 largest county nationwide
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w:User:Malepheasant // Wikimedia Commons

#16. Wirt County

- 2010 to 2020 population change: -559
--- #2,220 among all counties nationwide
- 2010 to 2020 percent population change: -9.7%
--- #39 among counties in West Virginia, #2,833 among all counties nationwide
- 2020 population: 5,194
--- #1 largest county in West Virginia, #2,811 largest county nationwide
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Famartin // Wikimedia Commons

#15. Hampshire County

- 2010 to 2020 population change: -501
--- #2,172 among all counties nationwide
- 2010 to 2020 percent population change: -2.1%
--- #14 among counties in West Virginia, #1,893 among all counties nationwide
- 2020 population: 23,093
--- #29 largest county in West Virginia, #1,672 largest county nationwide
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#14. Tucker County

- 2010 to 2020 population change: -375
--- #2,025 among all counties nationwide
- 2010 to 2020 percent population change: -5.3%
--- #25 among counties in West Virginia, #2,344 among all counties nationwide
- 2020 population: 6,762
--- #4 largest county in West Virginia, #2,678 largest county nationwide
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Pubdog // Wikimedia Commons

#13. Morgan County

- 2010 to 2020 population change: -346
--- #1,989 among all counties nationwide
- 2010 to 2020 percent population change: -2.0%
--- #13 among counties in West Virginia, #1,872 among all counties nationwide
- 2020 population: 17,063
--- #23 largest county in West Virginia, #1,967 largest county nationwide
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w:User:Malepheasant // Wikimedia Commons

#12. Doddridge County

- 2010 to 2020 population change: -227
--- #1,850 among all counties nationwide
- 2010 to 2020 percent population change: -2.8%
--- #16 among counties in West Virginia, #1,992 among all counties nationwide
- 2020 population: 7,808
--- #7 largest county in West Virginia, #2,590 largest county nationwide
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w:User:Malepheasant // Wikimedia Commons

#11. Upshur County

- 2010 to 2020 population change: -168
--- #1,772 among all counties nationwide
- 2010 to 2020 percent population change: -0.7%
--- #11 among counties in West Virginia, #1,672 among all counties nationwide
- 2020 population: 23,816
--- #31 largest county in West Virginia, #1,646 largest county nationwide
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w:User:Malepheasant // Wikimedia Commons

#10. Marion County

- 2010 to 2020 population change: -151
--- #1,753 among all counties nationwide
- 2010 to 2020 percent population change: -0.3%
--- #10 among counties in West Virginia, #1,608 among all counties nationwide
- 2020 population: 56,205
--- #45 largest county in West Virginia, #918 largest county nationwide
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Nyttend // Wikimedia Commons

#9. Taylor County

- 2010 to 2020 population change: -27
--- #1,598 among all counties nationwide
- 2010 to 2020 percent population change: -0.2%
--- #9 among counties in West Virginia, #1,592 among all counties nationwide
- 2020 population: 16,705
--- #21 largest county in West Virginia, #1,991 largest county nationwide
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#8. Pleasants County

- 2010 to 2020 population change: -11
--- #1,576 among all counties nationwide
- 2010 to 2020 percent population change: -0.1%
--- #8 among counties in West Virginia, #1,586 among all counties nationwide
- 2020 population: 7,653
--- #6 largest county in West Virginia, #2,604 largest county nationwide
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Antony-22 // Wikimedia Commons

#7. Hardy County

- 2010 to 2020 population change: 467
--- #1,251 among all counties nationwide
- 2010 to 2020 percent population change: +3.4%
--- #7 among counties in West Virginia, #1,102 among all counties nationwide
- 2020 population: 14,299
--- #18 largest county in West Virginia, #2,127 largest county nationwide
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w:User:Malepheasant // Wikimedia Commons

#6. Lewis County

- 2010 to 2020 population change: 627
--- #1,180 among all counties nationwide
- 2010 to 2020 percent population change: +3.8%
--- #5 among counties in West Virginia, #1,052 among all counties nationwide
- 2020 population: 17,033
--- #22 largest county in West Virginia, #1,969 largest county nationwide
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Famartin // Wikimedia Commons

#5. Preston County

- 2010 to 2020 population change: 1,240
--- #1,024 among all counties nationwide
- 2010 to 2020 percent population change: +3.8%
--- #6 among counties in West Virginia, #1,061 among all counties nationwide
- 2020 population: 34,216
--- #41 largest county in West Virginia, #1,321 largest county nationwide
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Roger B Wise // Wikimedia Commons

#4. Putnam County

- 2010 to 2020 population change: 2,500
--- #825 among all counties nationwide
- 2010 to 2020 percent population change: +4.6%
--- #4 among counties in West Virginia, #980 among all counties nationwide
- 2020 population: 57,440
--- #46 largest county in West Virginia, #907 largest county nationwide
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Famartin // Wikimedia Commons

#3. Jefferson County

- 2010 to 2020 population change: 5,668
--- #596 among all counties nationwide
- 2010 to 2020 percent population change: +10.9%
--- #3 among counties in West Virginia, #503 among all counties nationwide
- 2020 population: 57,701
--- #47 largest county in West Virginia, #903 largest county nationwide
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Zverzver // Wikimedia Commons

#2. Monongalia County

- 2010 to 2020 population change: 13,107
--- #420 among all counties nationwide
- 2010 to 2020 percent population change: +14.1%
--- #2 among counties in West Virginia, #343 among all counties nationwide
- 2020 population: 105,822
--- #53 largest county in West Virginia, #579 largest county nationwide
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Acroterion // Wikimedia Commons

#1. Berkeley County

- 2010 to 2020 population change: 21,166
--- #321 among all counties nationwide
- 2010 to 2020 percent population change: +21.0%
--- #1 among counties in West Virginia, #166 among all counties nationwide
- 2020 population: 122,076
--- #54 largest county in West Virginia, #519 largest county nationwide

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