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Weirton, Steubenville officials: Population loss tied to industry


The Intelligencer and Wheeling News-Register

The former Weirton Steel basic oxygen plant is demolished March 9. Officials attribute continuing loss of population to the decline in the area’s industrial base.
(Intelligencer photo by John McCabe)

STEUBENVILLE, Ohio — A recent report from USA Today showed five metropolitan statistical areas at least partially located in West Virginia to be among the worst in the country for declining population.

The Weirton-Steubenville MSA ranked sixth on the list, with a decline of 4.9 percent since 2010. The mayors of both cities weighed in Friday, both attributing the shrinking population to the decline of industry in the area. However, both men were hopeful that recent and upcoming developments in the industrial sector could see the trend slowed, stopped or even reversed.

Steubenville Mayor Jerry Barilla said he has lived in the area his entire life and that he’s seen firsthand the decline of industry and how it’s affected the region.

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