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War, West Virginia
2017-07-22 12 09 09 "Welcome to the City of War" sign along southbound West Virginia State Route 16 (Main Street) at Excelsior A Road (McDowell County Route 102-08) in War, McDowell County, West Virginia.jpg
West Virginia's most southern city
Location of War in McDowell County, West Virginia.
Location of War in McDowell County, West Virginia.
War, West Virginia is located in West Virginia
War, West Virginia
War, West Virginia
Location in West Virginia
Country United States
State West Virginia
County McDowell
 • Total 0.92 sq mi (2.38 km2)
 • Land 0.89 sq mi (2.31 km2)
 • Water 0.03 sq mi (0.08 km2)
1,342 ft (409 m)
 • Total 862
 • Estimate 
 • Density 768.80/sq mi (296.85/km2)
Time zone UTC-5 (EST)
 • Summer (DST) UTC-4 (EDT)
ZIP code
Area code(s) 304
FIPS code 54-84484
GNIS feature ID 1555916

War is a city in McDowell County, West Virginia, United States. The population was 862 at the 2010 census. War was incorporated in 1920 by the Circuit Court of McDowell County. Its name is derived from War Creek, whose confluence with Dry Fork is located within the city. War is the only place in the United States with this name. War was formerly known as Miner's City. It is also known for being a setting in the movie October Sky; as writer Homer Hickam's Big Creek High School.


War is located at 37°18′4″N 81°41′3″W / 37.30111°N 81.68417°W / 37.30111; -81.68417 (37.301140, −81.684031).

According to the United States Census Bureau, the city has a total area of 0.92 square miles (2.38 km2), of which, 0.89 square miles (2.31 km2) is land and 0.03 square miles (0.08 km2) is water.


Historical population
Census Pop.
1930 1,392
1940 1,277 −8.3%
1950 3,992 212.6%
1960 3,006 −24.7%
1970 2,004 −33.3%
1980 2,158 7.7%
1990 417 −80.7%
2000 788 89.0%
2010 862 9.4%
2019 (est.) 685 −20.5%
U.S. Decennial Census

2010 census

As of the census of 2010, there were 862 people, 373 households, and 243 families living in the city. The population density was 968.5 inhabitants per square mile (373.9/km2). There were 436 housing units at an average density of 489.9 per square mile (189.2/km2). The racial makeup of the city was 94.7% White, 3.2% African American, 0.6% Native American, and 1.5% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 0.6% of the population.

There were 373 households, of which 27.6% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 46.1% were married couples living together, 13.4% had a female householder with no husband present, 5.6% had a male householder with no wife present, and 34.9% were non-families. 28.7% of all households were made up of individuals, and 13.5% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.31 and the average family size was 2.78.

The median age in the city was 44.7 years. 19.5% of residents were under the age of 18; 6.8% were between the ages of 18 and 24; 23.9% were from 25 to 44; 30.2% were from 45 to 64; and 19.7% were 65 years of age or older. The gender makeup of the city was 49.2% male and 50.8% female.


Companies based in War include War Telephone.

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