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Deaths Outnumber Births in Rural Virginia Counties

A decade ago many of Virginia's rural counties were among the fastest growing in the country, but in most of Virginia's counties deaths now outnumber births, and county populations are consequently growing more slowly or declining.
July 17, 2015, 10am PDT | hl2qs
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"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. 


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Published on Monday, July 13, 2015 in University of Virginia Center for Public Service
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