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Open Gates To Almost Heaven

West Virginia’s population problem has been on the minds of lawmakers and public officials for quite some time. Those folks are, however, repeatedly hamstrung by a small but vocal group who would love nothing more than to drive the state backward.

Consequences of such thinking include the Mountain State having the fourth oldest population in the country; and one that is rapidly shrinking. For that reduction in population we have paid a terrible price in Washington, D.C.

WalletHub’s “2022’s Best and Worst States for Millennials” report shows West Virginia is a miserable 50th in the nation, ahead of only Mississippi. We are 38th for education and health; 51st for quality of life; and 43rd for economic health. On the bright side, we are right in the middle of the pack at 24th for affordability — we’ve got the fourth-lowest housing costs in the nation.

Such a dismal performance on those metrics makes it clear why we are 50th in the nation for the percentage of our population who falls into the “millennials” category.

The question now is, why aren’t our elected officials taking seriously the need to take real steps to improve our quality of life?

For too many, steadfast dedication to “the way things have always been” is really a desire to return to “the way we imagine things were 100 years ago.” Those people cannot be allowed to continue to succeed in preventing West Virginia from being the kind of place young people want to live and raise their families. To our detriment, they have slammed shut the gates to Almost Heaven; and report after report shows us how dearly we are paying.

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