Interesting Wheeling

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Archive for September, 2006


Posted by ZaneMan on September 2, 2006

From the early 1800s until 1900 Wheeling was one of the 100 largest cities in the US. Although the city’s population continued to grow (from 38,878 in 1900 to 61,659 in 1930) it grew slower than other large cities and never again was one of the 100 biggest. The graph above (from US Bureau of Census data) shows in blue the rise and fall of Wheeling’s population. Since 1930 the population has declined every decade, at an average rate of 12% since 1950. The smooth black curve is a mathematical fit to the actual population numbers and it shows that a parabola can describe our growth and decline. Extrapolating the actual population numbers into the future suggests that the decline will continue, reaching 20,000 in 2018, 10,000 in 2029, and zero population in 2038.

All projections are risky, especially those for the future, and a trend is not a certainty. Although we can hope for a turnaround, that will only occur if changes occur in the conditions that cause decline. Are they?


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Posted by ZaneMan on September 2, 2006

Wheeling and West Virginia have long been Democratic strongholds, except that Bush won the state (and the election) in 2000 and 2004. In October 2004 a reporter for the French newspaper Le Monde diplomatique (The World – Dipomacy) wrote a quite perceptive article, What’s the Matter with West Virginia, that analysed how the majority of the population of our poor state voted for Bush, against its own financial interest. The author writes that Bush’s support of hunting and mining and his identification with normal joes, not smug intellectuals, accounts for his success in West Virginia and in other poor, formerly Democratic states. Whether you are a Democrat or a Republican its a valuable read as we head into the 2006 and 2008 elections.

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Posted by ZaneMan on September 2, 2006

The Wheeling area has not been the home – or burial place – of any nationally famous politicians. But here is a web site that lists the ones who were born, lived or interred in Ohio County. When you discover such websites you realize that some people have strange hobbies!

Posted in Politics, Quirky | Leave a Comment »