© 2024 Blue Ridge Public Radio
Blue Ridge Mountains banner background
Your source for information and inspiration in Western North Carolina.
Play Live Radio
Next Up:
0:00 0:00
Available On Air Stations

How WNC Bucked The National Trend In The 2020 U.S. Census

Dr. Chris Cooper
Nationally, rural areas lost population while urban areas gained. But in Western North Carolina, that didn't occur

The 2020 U.S. Census figures arrived last week eagerly anticipated - and late (for a variety of reasons).  One of the big early takeaways from the initial Census data that was released was that rural areas all around the United States lost population.  One region where that wasn't true was Western North Carolina.  Dr. Chris Cooper, political scientist at Western Carolina University, crunched the numbers and found that only five of the 16 counties in Western North Carolina's 11th Congressional District lost population over the past decade.  The rest gained, and in some cases gained a lot. 


He joined BPR's Matt Bush over Zoom to go over the initial Census figures, and how they might impact new lines for Congressional and state legislative districts.  You can hear the full interview above, or listen to a new episode of The Porch, a production of the BPR news team, Friday morning at 9 or anytime with the free BPR mobile app or through Apple or Google Podcasts.

Matt Bush joined Blue Ridge Public Radio as news director in August 2016. Excited at the opportunity the build up the news service for both stations as well as help launch BPR News, Matt made the jump to Western North Carolina from Washington D.C. For the 8 years prior to coming to Asheville, he worked at the NPR member station in the nation's capital as a reporter and anchor. Matt primarily covered the state of Maryland, including 6 years of covering the statehouse in Annapolis. Prior to that, he worked at WMAL in Washington and Metro Networks in Pittsburgh, the city he was born and raised in.