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Charleston, West Virginia

West Virginia is the 38th most populous and the 41st largest (24,038 square miles) of the 50 states and capital district in the US. Its capital city is Charleston (in the above picture). Majority of occupations in West Virginia is management and professional (29.80%), followed by sales and office (24.00%). Black or African American is the second largest race in this state after White.

State Stats and Facts

  1. West Virginia has some nicknames including the Mountain State and Panhandle State
  2. West Virginia has one of the lowest prices of owner-occupied housing units ($97,300.00 compared to country median $181,400.00)
  3. West Virginia has one of the lowest annual costs of Public 4-Year College ($12,798.92 vs. USA median $15,918.01)
  4. West Virginia has one of the lowest number of people speaking language other than English at home (0 whilst national median 0)
  5. West Virginia has one of the highest number of population under 65 years old (17.30% while country median 14.10%)

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Total population compared to the USA
Population distribution by race or ethnicity
Female vs male population
Education, home ownership and poverty rate
Land area, population density and life expectancy
Unemployment rate and occupation types
Business ownerships
Production and sales per business sector

Population Charts

Data from 2013 shows West Virginia population was 1,854,304 which ranks the 38th among the 50 states and capital district in the US. The most populous city in West Virginia is Charleston. In this part, you’ll learn various state profiles on population by race, age and gender.


Total population compared to the USA

From April 1, 2010 to July 1, 2013, net population change is 0.10%. This is lower than national average, which is 2.40%. West Virginia population represents only 0.59% of the USA’s whole population as featured in the following chart.

West Virginia total population compared to the USA

Population distribution by race or age

Census 2013 shows the following 5 races or ethnicities representing population in West Virginia (in descending order):

  • White ancestry 93.80%
  • Black or African American 3.60%
  • Others (two or more races) 1.50%
  • Asian ethnicity 0.80%
  • American Indian and Alaska Native 0.20%
  • Native Hawaiian and other Pacific Islander Z

The following chart compares West Virginia population distribution to national average:

Comparison of West Virginia population distribution by rate or ethnicity to USA average

Based on Census QuickFacts 2013, 5.50% of West Virginia population are under 5 years old, 20.60% are under 18 years and 17.30% are 65 years or older. Furthermore 2.40% of West Virginia population (over the age of 5) speak language other than English at home, which is lower than the US average of 20.50%.

Female vs male population

Female population in 2013 is 50.60% which is slightly more than male population. West Virginia female population number ranks the 29th nation-wide. USA’s average female population is 50.80% whereas male population average is 49.20%.  The following chart shows comparison of female and male population between West Virginia and the USA.

Female and male population in West Virginia vs USA average

Demographics Charts

In this section, you’ll find a collection of statistical profiles on education, property ownerships, poverty, land area, population density and life expectancy.  For analysis purposes, each state data is compared to national average.  Data is sourced from last census.

Education, home ownership and poverty rate

In the chart below, you’ll find:

  • Rate of high school graduates is 83.40%, lower than national median of 85.70%
  • Rate of bachelor’s degree is 17.90%, this is lower than national average of 28.50%
  • Home ownership rate is 73.70%, higher than US median of 65.50%
  • People who live below poverty rate is 17.60%, higher than national median of 14.90%

Data is obtained from Census 2008-2012.

Comparison of West Virginia Education, Home Ownership and Poverty to USA average

Land area, population density and life expectancy

Featured on the table below is:

  • Land area is 0.68% of total land area
  • West Virginia has less population density than the USA average (77.1 people per square mile vs 87.4)
  • Life expectancy in West Virginia is lower by 3.46 years than national average

Data is based on Census 2010.

West Virginia land area, population density & life expectancy
Demographic Attribute West Virginia USA
Land area (square miles) 24,038.21 3,531,905.43
Population density (people per square mile) 77.1 87.4
Life expectancy (years) 75.4 78.9

Unemployment rate and occupation types

West Virginia unemployment rate (May 2013 to June 2014) is 6.50% (higher than national average). Minimum wage in West Virginia is $7.25 per hour, which ranks the 42nd highest among the states.  The table and chart below show various occupation types based on data obtained from 2010.

Occupation types in West Virginia based on Census 2010
Occupation West Virginia USA
Management or professional-related job 29.80% 34.90%
Service-related job 18.50% 17.10%
Sales and office job 24.00% 25.50%
Farming, fishing, and forestry 0.60% 0.70%
Construction, extraction, maintenance and repair 13.00% 9.30%
Production, transportation and material moving 14.10% 12.50%
Comparison of West Virginia Occupation Types to USA Average

With regard to travel time to work, workers in West Virginia usually took same time as US average. Data from American Community Survey shows travel time in West Virginia was 25.4 minutes on average, whereas national average was 25.4 minutes. Average travel time is obtained by calculating time required to get from home to work each day during the week.

Business ownerships

Latest census business data shows:

  • Black-owned firms S, higher than national average of 7.10%
  • American Indian and Alaska Native-owned firms S, higher than national median of 0.90%
  • Asian-owned firms 1.30%, lower than US average of 5.70%
  • Native Hawaiian and Other Pacific Islander-owned firms 0.00%, lower than the country’s average of 0.10%
  • Hispanic-owned firms 0.70%, lower than national average of 8.30%
  • Women-owned firms 28.10%, lower than US median of 28.80%

For comparison purpose, the following chart includes data from US average.

Comparison of Business Ownership Percentage to USA Average

Production and sales

The following table and chart show manufacturers production shipments and sales figures per business sector. These highlight which specific business area West Virginia is strong at.

Manufacturers Production Shipments and Sales Figures
Description West Virginia USA
Manufacturers shipments ($1000) 25,080,573 5,319,456,312
Merchant wholesaler sales ($1000) 11,036,467 4,174,286,516
Retail sales ($1000) 20,538,829 3,917,663,456
Accommodation and food services ($1000) 2,553,258 613,795,732
West Virginia Manufacturers Production Shipments and Sales Figures

Retail spending per person is $11,340.00, which is lower than national median of $12,990.00. In 2012, number of building permits issued in West Virginia was 2,718.

Interesting Facts and Statistics (continued)

  1. West Virginia has one of the lowest number of management and professional-related occupations (29.80% whereas country average 34.90%)
  2. West Virginia has one of the lowest number of American Indian and Alaska native population (0.20% vs. USA median 1.20%)
  3. West Virginia has one of the lowest number of population with two or more races (1.50% compared to USA average 2.40%)
  4. West Virginia has one of the lowest number of foreign-born people (1.40% compared to national median 12.90%)
  5. West Virginia has one of the highest rate of homeownership (73.70% whereas USA average 65.50%)
  6. West Virginia has one of the highest number of white population excluding Hispanic and Latino (92.70% while country median 62.60%)
  7. West Virginia has one of the lowest number of GDP state per capita ($29,427.00 vs. country average $42,069.00)
  8. West Virginia has one of the lowest retail sales per person (11,340 whereas country average 12,990)
  9. West Virginia has one of the lowest number of Asian ethnicity (0.80% compared to USA median 5.30%)
  10. West Virginia has one of the lowest household income ($40,400.00 whilst USA average $53,046.00)
  11. West Virginia has one of the highest number of construction, extraction, maintenance and repair occupations (13.00% while USA average 9.30%)
  12. West Virginia has one of the lowest percentage of population change (0.10% whereas USA median 2.40%)
  13. West Virginia has one of the lowest number of sales and office occupations (24.00% vs. USA average 25.50%)
  14. West Virginia has one of the lowest number of housing units in multi-unit structures (12.00% while USA median 25.90%)
  15. West Virginia has one of the lowest number of Hispanic or Latino ethnicity (1.40% compared to country median 17.10%)
  16. West Virginia has one of the lowest number of Hawaiian and Pacific Islander-owned firms (0.00% vs. USA average 0.10%)
  17. West Virginia has one of the lowest life expectancy at birth (75 whereas national median 79)
  18. West Virginia has one of the lowest income per person in 2012 ($22,482.00 whilst national median $28,051.00)
  19. West Virginia has one of the lowest number of Hispanic-owned firms (0.70% whereas USA average 8.30%)
  20. West Virginia has one of the lowest number of Bachelor’s degree or higher (17.90% compared to USA median 28.50%)
  21. West Virginia has one of the lowest number of homeless people (0.09% whilst country median 0.21%)

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