By Bob Weaver

The US 2020 Census says that Calhoun County has the third highest population loss of West Virginia's 55 counties.

Calhoun has loss -18.3 percent of its population in the last decade, with Ritchie, Gilmer, Braxton and Clay just behind Calhoun.

West Virginia had the biggest population loss among all US states.

The fading of "King Coal" has been leaving a workforce and population mess for years, and the localization of the state's steel industry, once its largest employer

Most West Virginia governors during the past 125 years have been "coal barons," with mostly out of state extractors leaving little behind.

Using the state's old school formula based on funding county schools based on enrollment numbers, Calhoun county gets further behind with funding.

All but eight WV counties lost population.

Calhoun is among the most forested counties in the Mountain State, about 90%, and doesn't have a single stop light. The county, once cleared for agriculture, is now mostly covered by a woods.

The West Virginia counties whose populations declined the most over the past decade are:

Pendleton (-20.2%)

Ritchie (-19.2%)

Calhoun (-18.3)

Gilmer (-14.8%)

Braxton (-14.3%)

Clay (-14.2%)

Summers (-14.1%)

McDowell (-13.6%)

Wetzel (-12.9%)

Mingo (-12.2%)

Fayette (-12.1%)

Boone (-11.4%)

Logan (-11.4%)

Wyoming (-10.1%)

Only eight counties in West Virginia showed positive population growth between 2010 and 2020:

Berkeley (17.2% growth)

Monongalia (10%)

Jefferson (7.9%)

Lewis (4%)

Putnam (3.5%)

Preston (2.1%)

Hardy (2%)

Pleasants (0.6%)