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Published February 22, 2011, 04:28 PM

Census Finds Near-record Level of U.S. Counties Dying

In America's once-thriving coal country, 87-year-old Ed Shepard laments a prosperous era gone by, when shoppers lined the streets and government lent a helping hand. Now, here as in one-fourth of all U.S. counties, West Virginia's graying residents are slowly dying off.

By: Hope Yen, John Raby, Associated Press

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