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Carroll County, Virginia facts for kids

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Carroll County, Virginia
Seal of Carroll County, Virginia
Map of Virginia highlighting Carroll County
Location in the state of Virginia
Map of the USA highlighting Virginia
Virginia's location in the U.S.
Founded 1842
Seat Hillsville
Largest town Hillsville
 - Total
 - Land
 - Water

478 sq mi (1,238 km²)
475 sq mi (1,230 km²)
3 sq mi (8 km²), 0.6%
 - (2015)
 - Density

62/sq mi (24/km²)
Time zone Eastern: UTC-5/-4
Named for: Charles Carroll

Carroll County is a United States county located in the southwestern part of the Commonwealth of Virginia. Roughly one fifth of the county lies in the Virginia Piedmont region, while the rest is part of the Appalachian Mountains. The Carroll county seat and largest town is Hillsville.

The county was established in 1842 from part of Grayson County, and was officially named in honor of Charles Carroll, a signer of the Declaration of Independence. The borders of Carroll County were later expanded by including land from Patrick County.

The total size of the county is 478 square miles (1,238 km2), and, as of the 2010 census, the population was 30,042. Carroll, along with other Appalachian counties, is among the poorest parts of Virginia.


Charles Carroll of Carrollton - Michael Laty
Charles Carroll of Carrollton, for whom the county was named

The first European settlers arrived in the region in the mid 18th century. These were primarily Scotch-Irish pioneers, who were used to high mountain altitudes. However, early settlement was slow, mostly due to the poor agricultural soil of the area. As a result, lead mining was one of the first economic activities in the region.

As the area's population density increased, Carroll County was created in 1842 from part of Grayson County. The new county was officially named for Charles Carroll, a signer of the Declaration of Independence, from Maryland. However, other accounts assert that John Carroll, a Virginia state legislator, had named the county in his own honor, but was blocked by a political rival who had it officially named for Charles Carroll instead.

Parts of Patrick County were added later to increase the size of Carroll County. The first piece was taken in 1845, and another part, which would later become the Fancy Gap District, was added in 1854.


It is the only county in Virginia with Piedmont topography of roughly one fifth in the southeast part of the county and mountain topography of roughly four fifths elsewhere of the county. The Blue Ridge escarpment usually defines the county lines in both North Carolina and Virginia. The CDP community of Cana is in the Virginia Piedmont while the rest of the county is in the Appalachian Mountains.

According to the U.S. Census Bureau, the county has a total area of 478 square miles (1,240 km2), of which 475 square miles (1,230 km2) is land and 3 square miles (7.8 km2) (0.6%) is water.

Adjacent counties / Independent city

National protected areas

  • Blue Ridge Parkway (part)
  • Jefferson National Forest (part)
  • Mount Rogers National Recreation Area (part)

Major highways

  • I-74 (future)
  • I-77
  • US 52
  • US 58
  • US 221
  • SR 94
  • SR 100
  • SR 148


Historical population
Census Pop.
1850 5,909
1860 8,012 35.6%
1870 9,147 14.2%
1880 13,323 45.7%
1890 15,497 16.3%
1900 19,303 24.6%
1910 21,116 9.4%
1920 21,283 0.8%
1930 22,141 4.0%
1940 25,904 17.0%
1950 26,695 3.1%
1960 23,178 −13.2%
1970 23,092 −0.4%
1980 27,270 18.1%
1990 26,594 −2.5%
2000 29,245 10.0%
2010 30,042 2.7%
Est. 2015 29,724 −1.1%
U.S. Decennial Census
1790-1960 1900-1990
1990-2000 2010-2013

As of the census of 2000, there were 29,245 people, 12,186 households, and 8,786 families residing in the county. The population density was 61 people per square mile (24/km²). There were 14,680 housing units at an average density of 31 per square mile (12/km²). The racial makeup of the county was 97.97% White, 0.44% Black or African American, 0.14% Native American, 0.10% Asian, 0.82% from other races, and 0.53% from two or more races. 1.64% of the population were Hispanic or Latino of any race.

There were 12,186 households out of which 27.80% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 59.70% were married couples living together, 8.60% had a female householder with no husband present, and 27.90% were non-families. 25.40% of all households were made up of individuals and 12.20% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.36 and the average family size was 2.80.

In the county, the population was spread out with 21.10% under the age of 18, 7.20% from 18 to 24, 28.00% from 25 to 44, 26.70% from 45 to 64, and 17.00% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 41 years. For every 100 females there were 97.20 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 94.10 males.

The median income for a household in the county was $30,597, and the median income for a family was $36,755. Males had a median income of $25,907 versus $19,697 for females. The per capita income for the county was $16,475. About 8.70% of families and 12.50% of the population were below the poverty line, including 15.70% of those under age 18 and 14.10% of those age 65 or over.



Census-designated places

Other unincorporated communities

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