Population Trends
WHlPopChart.jpg
This chart shows the steady growth of Wheeling's population up to 1930 and 1940 when it stabilized at about 61,000. Since then the population has declined every census period.
Whj-PopRate.jpg
This chart plots the rate of change of Wheeling's population. The overall trend of the line is downward towards the right, which means that the rate of growth has slowed overall since the beginning of census data collection. There are two huge reversals of that decline in growth rate, in the 1860s and 1870s, and again in the 1910s. SInce 1940 the population growth rate has been negative, meaning that the population is decreasing. If there is any good news it is that the rate of decrease - which was 19% during the 1980s has slowed down and during the first decade of the 21st century the rate of loss was lower than any time since 1950. Is Wheeling beginning to turn around?

Census
Population
% Change
1840
7,885

1850
11,435
45.0%
1860
14,083
23.2%
1870
19,280
36.9%
1880
30,737
59.4%
1890
34,522
12.3%
1900
38,878
12.6%
1910
41,641
7.1%
1920
56,208
35.0%
1930
61,659
9.7%
1940
61,099
−0.9%
1950
58,891
−3.6%
1960
53,400
−9.3%
1970
48,188
−9.8%
1980
43,070
−10.6%
1990
34,882
−19.0%
2000
31,419
−9.9%
2010
28,847
−8.21%
Sources:
1840-2000: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wheeling,_West_Virginia
2010: http://www.bestplaces.net/city/Profile.aspx?city=Wheeling_WV



Economy
To understand Wheelings growth - and decline* - it is necessary to see what industries and businesses there were and how successful they were over time.
As a starting point here is a list of the largest manufacturing activities from the 1907 WV Commissioner of Labor report.
I am looking for current data, but I think there are now zero glass, cigar, pottery and brewery companies...

Industry
Number ..
Employees ..
Wages
Iron/Steel
11
7,288
$4,753,793
Glass
7
2,147
$982,395
Lumber
6
154
$950,007
Cigars/tobacco
14
1,430
$737,993
Miscellaneous
117
15,340
$672,036
Machinery
6
500
$358,973
Stamping metal
5
900
$337,477
Pottery
3
647
$301,146
Breweries
4
231
$201,447

Source: Dunham (2003)

  • In 2006 the population had fallen below 30,000 for the first time since 1871.


This page has been edited 15 times. The last modification was made by - tychocrater tychocrater on Nov 21, 2010 1:27 pm