West Virginia Gazetteer

West Virginia - Basic Information

Became a State: June 20, 1863 - 35th State
Population: 1,852,994 (2010 Census) - Ranks 37th
Land Area: 24,038.2 square miles - Ranks 41st
Population Density: 77.1 persons per square mile - Ranks 29th
Housing Units: 881,917 (2010 Census)
Housing Unit Density: 36.7 housing units per square mile
July 1, 2015 Estimates: West Virginia Data and Demographics
State Capital: Charleston
State Website: Official State of West Virginia Website
West Virginia State Flag
West Virginia state flag

West Virginia History

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The area of West Virginia was originally part of the colony and later the state of Virginia. West Virginia was separated from Virginia and admitted to the Union as a state on June 20, 1863, as the 35th state. West Virginia originally included 48 Virginia counties; in 1866, Congress officially added two more counties, Berkeley and Jefferson, to the state resulting in generally the same boundary as the present state.

Although West Virginia had not been legally established, census data for West Virginia are available beginning with the 1790 census when it was enumerated as part of Virginia. The populations shown from 1790 to 1860, before statehood, are based on the county boundaries that existed at each census; these boundaries generally conformed to the present boundary of West Virginia. The population of Virginia (of which the area of West Virginia was a part) as legally existing from 1860 to 1790 was: 1,596,318 in 1860; 1,421,661 in 1850; 1,239,797 in 1840; 1,211,405 in 1830; 1,065,366 in 1820; 974,600 in 1810; 880,200 in 1800; and 821,287 in 1790.

Data for the legally established state of West Virginia are available beginning with the 1870 census.

West Virginia Geographical Areas

See: Geographic Terms & Concepts

Counties & County Equivalents

There are 55 counties in West Virginia.  All counties are functioning governmental units, each governed by a county commission.

Interactive Map of West Virginia Counties | Static Overview Map of West Virginia Counties

County Subdivisions

West Virginia has 235 county subdivisions which are known as minor civil divisions (MCDs).  These magisterial districts are all nongovernmental, nonfunctioning subdivisions of the county and are districts from which voters elect county commissioners and school board members. 

Places (Incorporated Cities, Towns & Census Designated Places)

West Virginia has 401 places; 232 incorporated places and 169 census designated places (CDPs).  The incorporated places consist of 77 cities, 148 towns, 6 villages, and 1 corporation.  Towns and villages have a population less than 2,000 and cities have a minimum population of 2,000.  Incorporated places are dependent within county subdivisions. 

Alphabetical List of Cities, Towns, CDPs and Other Populated Places
A | B | C | D | E | F | G | H | I | J | K | L | M | N | O | P | Q, R | S | T | U, V | W, X, Y, Z

West Virginia Civil Features

West Virginia Civil Features: Political Subdivisions, Native Areas, Land Grants, etc. - sorted by Census Class Codes.

Metropolitan and Micropolitan Stastical Areas

There are 7 Metropolitan and 6 Micropolitan Statistical Areas in West Virginia. WV Metopolitan & Micropolitan Areas

West Virginia ZIP Code Tabulation Areas

West Virginia has 708 ZIP Code tabulation areas (ZCTAs). View West Virginia ZIP Codes and ZIP Code Maps.

School Districts

West Virginia has 55 county-coextensive unified school districts. View West Virginia Public and Private Schools.

Congressional Districts

West Virginia has 3 congressional districts. An interactive map shows the contact information for each Representative as well as the boundaries for each West Virginia district. View Map of West Virginia Congressional Districts.

State Legislative Districts

There are 16 state senate districts and 58 state house districts in West Virginia.

West Virginia Physical, Cultural and Historic Features

  1. West Virginia Physical Features such as lakes, islands, streams, valleys, summits, etc.
  2. West Virginia Cultural Features such as schools, churches, hospitals, parks, dams, reservoirs, etc.
  3. West Virginia Historical Features and West Virginia Historic Landmarks

West Virginia Maps

  • To find a ZIP Code: input the address in the top-left search box of any ZIP Code Map.
  • To find the County: input the address in the top-left search box of the interactive WV map.
  • To find the School Attendance Zone: input the address in the top-left search box of any WV school map

West Virginia Census Data Comparison Tool

Compare West Virginia Census Data
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