|By Bob Weaver|
West Virginia is losing more residents than any other state.
Following the long-term trend, the United States in 2018 grew at its weakest pace in more than 80 years.
Illinois and West Virginia and Illinois were the only states with fewer residents in 2018 than a decade earlier.
West Virginia lost about 34,500 people since 2008, or the equivalent of 0.19 percent a year, and has recorded population losses for the past six years.
Illinois' growth rate was virtually flat over the same period, shedding about 6,000 residents since 2008 and losing population for the past five years.
State populations grow or shrink depending on the net effect of births, deaths, and migration to other states for employment opportunities.
West Virginia's economy for over a century has been driven by extratables from the earth, and has been unable to shift to 21st Century growth industries, many driven by technology and so-called green businesses.
The state is near the bottom with real broadband connectivity for 25 years, with politicians announcing new initiatives every year.
The state is on the most worsts lists in the USA, unable to shift toward attracting 21st Century developments.
Meanwhile, Charleston politicos announce how great tax collections are and how great the state is doing.