Appalachia is Dying. Pikeville is Not.

Deep in Kentucky’s Appalachian Mountains, a Small City Finds Success

Lyman Stone
Nov 16, 2016 · 20 min read
All pictures are from Google Streetview. Huge thanks to the diligent folks who’ve been photographing Pikeville — many of the pictures I use are dated as being taken in October 2016. Sadly, the vast majority of the roads around Pikeville have not been Streetviewed, and even many that have are now nearly a decade out-of-date. Several places do have recent pictures by the portable camera-orb or whatever it is, but not as many as could be hoped for a city wanting to promote its tourism.

But Lyman — I’ve Never Heard of Pikeville

It’s worth reiterating again that those gray splotchy bits you see in Appalachia are not, as you might expect, cities. They are coal mines.
Thanks, Google Maps 3d Modellers!

Looks Can Be Deceiving

Pikeville’s Population Record Actually Very Impressive

Pikeville is a growing city in a shrinking county.

Pikeville’s Changing Economy

And, at the end of the day, these investments would all be unsustainable if there was no hope for the population base. But there IS hope for Pikeville’s population growth.

Appalachia Is Dying. Pikeville Is Not.

It seems highly likely that Greater Pikeville will include at least 18,000 people by 2030.


In a State of Migration

People Move. I Ask Why.

Lyman Stone

Written by

Global cotton economist. Migration blogger. Proud Kentuckian. Advisor at Demographic Intelligence. Senior Contributor at The Federalist.

In a State of Migration

People Move. I Ask Why.