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We just keeping getting older
May 18, 2009 - Jim Smith
Why does it seem every year the average age of West Virginians increases, making us now the state with the second oldest population?
Sixteen percent of our follow West Virginians are 65 or older, trailing close behind Florida, which has long had the reputation of being the "retirement" state, with 17 percent of its population at or older than 65. Oddly enough, Pennsylvania is third with 15 percent of its population being in the so-called senior years.
I understand Florida being the oldest, and to some extent I can rationalize West Virginia being second, considering residents have a tendancy to stay close to family and friends and many younger West Virginians have a tendancy to leave the state for employment opportunities. But, Pennsylvania being third baffles me.
According to the U.S. Census Bureau, as of July 1, 2008, West Virginia's median age was 40.6, up from 39.8 from April 1, 2000, when the Census was last taken.
The oldest county in the state is Pendleton, with a median age was 45.9. Monongalia is the youngest, with a median age of 30.8.
The PROMISE scholarship was supposed to help get high school grads into college and to keep them here after getting their degrees. I haven't seen any stats as to how it's working, although there's been plenty of reports how much it is costing the state.
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