Morgantowns population increased nearly three times that of any other incorporated area of the state between 2000 and 2003, U.S. Census Bureau figures released Thursday (June 24) show.
p. The city added 1,086 residents from July 1, 2000, through July 1, 2003, according to an analysis of the data by Randy Childs, an economist with the Bureau of Business and Economic Research in West Virginia Universitys College of Business and Economics.

Martinsburg and Ranson, both in the Eastern Panhandle, ranked second and third in the state with population increases of 371 and 329, respectively.

Anmoore, Ranson and Charles Town lead the state as the fastest growing incorporated places with growth rates of 13.9 percent, 11.1 percent, and 8.5 percent, respectively. Morgantown and Martinsburg were the only places with more than 10,000 residents that ranked in the top 25. Morgantown was the seventh fastest growing place in the state, while Martinsburg ranked 12th.

Many of the states largest incorporated places have seen declines in population since 2000. Charleston, Huntington and Wheeling each lost more than 1,000 residents since 2000, with Charleston suffering the worst loss with 1,844 fewer residents than in 2000.

West Virginias incorporated places lost a net population of 10,349 residents. This is in contrast to unincorporated areas of the state, which gained a net 13,377 residents. This trend is evident in the Eastern Panhandle. While Berkeley and Jefferson counties both witnessed net positive growth within their incorporated places, the vast majority of growth in these counties came from the unincorporated portions of the counties.

Berkeley Countys unincorporated areas added 8,475 residents from 2000 to 2003, accounting for 95.8 percent of all growth in the county. Jefferson Countys unincorporated areas added 3,289 residents during the same period, accounting for 86.0 percent of total growth in the county.

Monongalia Countys growth was more evenly distributed between incorporated and unincorporated areas. Monongalia Countys unincorporated areas added 1,295 residents, which accounted for 53 percent of total growth in the county. Incorporated areas in the county accounted for the other 47 percent of growth.

Not all counties experienced growth in the unincorporated areas. McDowell County lost 1,286 residents in its unincorporated areas. Kanawha County lost 871 residents in its unincorporated areas.