MARTINSBURG, W.Va. — Berkeley County continues to lead West Virginia in both population growth and rate of growth, according to the latest population estimates released Thursday by the U.S. Census Bureau.
Between July 1, 2014, and July 1, 2015, Berkeley County added 1,507 residents for a total of 111,901, the second most populous county in the state. That is a growth rate of about 1.37 percent.
Since the census in 2010, Berkeley County’s population has grown by 7,732 for a growth rate of about 7.42 percent.
As of July 1, 2015, Jefferson County’s population was 56,482, an increase of 742. Its growth rate was about 1.33 percent.
Since 2010, Jefferson County has grown by 2,984, which is a rate of about 5.58 percent.
After four years of declining population, Morgan County recorded an increase of 26 residents from 2014 to 2015 for a total of 17,524, and a rate of about 0.15 percent.
In 2010, Morgan County’s population was 17,541. That is a net loss of 17 and a growth rate of minus 0.09 percent in 2015.
Monongalia County is the only other West Virginia county with more than 100,000 residents, topping that amount in 2012. Its 2015 population estimate was 104,236, an increase of 1,300 from 2014, a rate of about 1.26 percent.
Since 2010, Monongalia County has added residents at a rate of about 8.37 percent for a total of 8,047.
West Virginia’s largest county, Kanawha, lost 1,819 residents between 2014 and 2015 for a total of 188,332, dropping it below 190,000 for the first time in several decades.
At the beginning of the current census cycle, Kanawha County’s population was 193,063. It has lost residents at a rate of about 2.45 percent, or a total of 4,731 since 2010.
From 2014 to 2015, 38 of West Virginia’s 55 counties lost population, while 17 gained population.
West Virginia’s total population in 2015 was 1,844,128, a decrease of 6,198 from 2014. That is a rate of minus 0.34 percent.
Regionally, Washington County, Maryland, saw 162 more residents in 2015 for a total of 149,585. That is a growth rate of 0.11 percent. Since 2010, Washington County grew by 2,155, or at a rate of 1.46 percent.
Frederick County, Maryland, recorded 1,847 more residents in 2015 for a total of 245,322 and a growth rate of 0.76 percent. Over the decade, Frederick County has added residents at a rate of 5.11 percent for a total of 11,937.
The population of Frederick County, Virginia, grew by 732 in 2015 for a total of 83,199. That is a rate of 0.89 percent. Since 2010, it has grown by 4,894, a rate of 6.25 percent.
Clarke County, Virginia, lost two residents in 2015. Its total population was 14,363. Its rate of change was negligible. However, since 2010, it has added 329 residents for a net growth rate of 2.34 percent.
The independent city of Winchester, Virginia, lost 99 residents in 2015 for a total of 27,284, a negative rate of 0.36. For the decade, Winchester has had a net increase of 1,081 for a rate of 4.13 percent.
Loudoun County, Virginia, grew by 12,135 in 2015, a rate of 3.33 percent, for a total of 375,629. Since 2010, it has grown by 63,318, a rate of 20.27 percent.
Franklin County, Pennsylvania, saw an increase in 2015 of 687 residents for a total of 153,638, a growth rate of 0.45 percent. Since 2010, it has gained 4,020 residents, a rate of 2.69 percent.
Population estimates for municipalities in West Virginia will be released later this year.
For the complete Census report, go to www.census.gov.
Staff writer John McVey can be reached at 304-263-3381, ext. 128, or twitter.com/jmcveyJN.