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ERIC Number: ED299095
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 1986-Jul
Reference Count: N/A
Out-Migration and Economic Growth in West Virginia.
Adkins, Roger L.; Akkihal, Ramchandra G.
This study discusses the migration of people out of West Virginia, a recurring phenomenon through the State's history. The study links outmigration to economic factors and summarizes recent research. West Virginia is a mostly rural state, and it is noted that employment opportunities in rural areas are generally limited. While outmigration often eases unemployment problems, the loss of an area's most skilled workers can make it less attractive to potential businesses, hamper expansion of existing firms, and hasten economic decline. Population changes in different areas of the state are observed: some counties are experiencing growth, others are suffering stagnation. People appear to be moving away from the State's two urban areas to suburban areas, whereas the Eastern Panhandle has shown strong population growth. Rapid growth in southern West Virginia during the 1970s has been reversed, probably due to the boom and bust cycle of the coal industry there. West Virginia has lagged behind the rest of the nation in economic growth for decades. It was the only state where total employment fell significantly from 1982 to 1983. The unemployment rate was about twice the national figure in 1983 and 1984. The outmigration problem, therefore, is seen as part of the larger problem of a poor economy. It is suggested that future federal funding be more concentrated in a minimal number of "growth centers," with an emphasis on education, especially postsecondary education. An upgrading of the entire state educational system and standards is urged. The study includes 27 references, and charts and maps showing counties' population changes are appended. (TES)
Publication Type: Reports - Research
Education Level: N/A
Sponsor: Economic Development Administration (DOC), Washington, DC.
Authoring Institution: Marshall Univ., Huntington, WV. Center for Regional Progress.
Identifiers - Location: West Virginia