Deaths Outnumber Births in Rural Virginia Counties
"Rural counties in Virginia, like Dickenson, have been slowly losing their young adult population for decades as many have moved elsewhere to seek more education and work opportunities. But often rural counties have been able to continue growing by attracting older migrants who are nearing retirement or have already established their careers elsewhere. However, these two migration trends are now creating a new problem for most of Virginia’s counties; the gradual hollowing out of their young adult populations from decades of out-migration combined with a growing retiree age population means that in an increasing number of counties, there are no longer enough families with children to replace the rising number of deaths."
The University of Virginia analysis credits an aging population in rural areas as the source of many counties' birth-death imbalance. Going forward, the analysis predicts more aging in the state's population and more natural decrease.