Virginia Has Lost Its Mojo — Appalachia Edition

A new report, “The Future of Appalachia,” outlines economic development strategies for one of the most intractably poor regions in the country. Drawing a distinction between “southern” and “northern” Appalachia, the study observes that southern Appalachia has achieved far more economic success than its northern counterpart. Unfortunately, for purposes of this analysis, Virginia is deemed part of “northern” Appalachia.

The difference in dynamism can be seen in the map above, which shows net in-migration between 2021 and 2022. Each dot represents 100 people. The mountains of Tennessee, North Carolina, South Carolina, Georgia and Alabama are experiencing significant in-migration — Virginia, West Virginia, and Kentucky almost none.

Alas, I do not have the time to explore this study in any detail. I’ll settle for filing this under, “Virginia has lost its mojo.” I invite readers to dip into the study and report their observations. — JAB