Census Estimates Show 1 in 4 US Counties Are Dying

Tuesday, 22 Feb 2011 06:57 AM

 

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WELCH, W.Va.  — Census figures show that a near-record level of U.S. counties are "dying" — that is, they are experiencing more deaths than births in their communities.

About 1 in 4 counties — or roughly 760 — are fading away. They stretch from industrial areas near Pittsburgh and Cleveland to the vineyards outside San Francisco to the rural areas of east Texas and the Great Plains.

Once-booming housing areas have not been immune, including parts of Florida.

According to the latest census figures, West Virginia was the first state to experience a natural decrease statewide since 2000. Maine, Pennsylvania and Vermont could follow soon.

Demographers say the problem is spreading. It comes amid a prolonged U.S. job slump.

© Copyright 2014 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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