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A frequent starting point in determining the demographics of a state or subdivision thereof is the stability or fluctuations over time in its population. A decreasing population is an indicator that there are underlying negative factors, such as loss of job opportunities or more enticing opportunities elsewhere.

Certainly, one of the most serious, if not the most serious, features of West Virginia’s and Charleston’s demographics is their declining populations over the past several years.

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Charles McElwee is a retired Charleston lawyer, a graduate of the WVU Law School and a co-founder of Robinson & McElwee.

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