Wirt County, West Virginia facts for kids

Kids Encyclopedia Facts
Wirt County, West Virginia
Map
Map of West Virginia highlighting Wirt County
Location in the state of West Virginia
Map of the USA highlighting West Virginia
West Virginia's location in the U.S.
Statistics
Founded January 19, 1848
Seat Elizabeth
Largest town Elizabeth
Area
 - Total
 - Land
 - Water

235 sq mi (609 km²)
233 sq mi (603 km²)
2.3 sq mi (6 km²), 1.0%
PopulationEst.
 - (2015)
 - Density

5,880
25/sq mi (10/km²)
Time zone Eastern: UTC-5/-4
Website: www.wirtcounty.wv.gov/
Named for: William Wirt

Wirt County is a county in the U.S. state of West Virginia. As of the 2010 census, the population was 5,717, making it the least populous county in West Virginia. Its county seat is Elizabeth. The county was created in 1848 by the Virginia General Assembly and named for U.S. Attorney General and presidential candidate William Wirt. The county is serviced by one high school, Wirt County High School.

Wirt County is part of the Parkersburg-Vienna, WV Metropolitan Statistical Area, which is part of the Parkersburg-Marietta-Vienna, WV-OH Combined Statistical Area.

History

Wirt County was created from parts of Jackson and Wood counties on January 19, 1848. The county was named for William Wirt (1772–1834).

The first European pioneer was William Beauchamp (1743-1808), a veteran of the Continental Navy and a Methodist minister. Beauchamp arrived in 1796 with a claim to 1400 acres on the Little Kanawha river. He farmed, built a mill, and laid out the town of Elizabeth, named after his daughter.

Burning Springs was the site of an oil rush in the 1860s. In 1863 the town was burned, along with 100,000 gallons of oil, by Confederate cavalrymen.

Geography

According to the U.S. Census Bureau, the county has a total area of 235 square miles (610 km2), of which 233 square miles (600 km2) is land and 2.3 square miles (6.0 km2) (1.0%) is water.

Major highways

  • WV-5.svg West Virginia Route 5
  • WV-14.svg West Virginia Route 14
  • WV-47.svg West Virginia Route 47
  • WV-53.svg West Virginia Route 53

Adjacent counties

Demographics

Historical population
Census Pop.
1850 3,353
1860 3,751 11.9%
1870 4,804 28.1%
1880 7,104 47.9%
1890 9,411 32.5%
1900 10,284 9.3%
1910 9,047 −12.0%
1920 7,536 −16.7%
1930 6,358 −15.6%
1940 6,475 1.8%
1950 5,119 −20.9%
1960 4,391 −14.2%
1970 4,154 −5.4%
1980 4,922 18.5%
1990 5,192 5.5%
2000 5,873 13.1%
2010 5,717 −2.7%
Est. 2015 5,880 2.9%
U.S. Decennial Census
1790–1960 1900–1990
1990–2000 2010–2015

2000 census

As of the census of 2000, there were 5,873 people, 2,284 households, and 1,699 families residing in the county. The population density was 25 people per square mile (10/km²). There were 3,266 housing units at an average density of 14 per square mile (5/km²). The racial makeup of the county was 98.55% White, 0.29% Black or African American, 0.20% Native American, 0.10% Asian, 0.10% from other races, and 0.75% from two or more races. 0.31% of the population were Hispanic or Latino of any race.

There were 2,284 households out of which 35.20% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 61.50% were married couples living together, 8.90% had a female householder with no husband present, and 25.60% were non-families. 22.20% of all households were made up of individuals and 11.60% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.56 and the average family size was 2.97.

In the county, the population was spread out with 25.40% under the age of 18, 7.60% from 18 to 24, 29.60% from 25 to 44, 24.40% from 45 to 64, and 13.00% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 38 years. For every 100 females there were 100.20 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 97.00 males.

The median income for a household in the county was $30,748, and the median income for a family was $33,872. Males had a median income of $29,088 versus $17,965 for females. The per capita income for the county was $14,000. About 17.00% of families and 19.60% of the population were below the poverty line, including 25.60% of those under age 18 and 13.90% of those age 65 or over.

2010 census

As of the 2010 United States Census, there were 5,717 people, 2,391 households, and 1,689 families residing in the county. The population density was 24.6 inhabitants per square mile (9.5/km2). There were 3,231 housing units at an average density of 13.9 per square mile (5.4/km2). The racial makeup of the county was 98.5% white, 0.2% Asian, 0.2% American Indian, 0.2% black or African American, 0.0% from other races, and 0.9% from two or more races. Those of Hispanic or Latino origin made up 0.5% of the population. In terms of ancestry, 23.5% were American, 23.0% were German, 12.4% were Irish, and 9.3% were English.

Of the 2,391 households, 28.7% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 56.1% were married couples living together, 9.5% had a female householder with no husband present, 29.4% were non-families, and 25.2% of all households were made up of individuals. The average household size was 2.39 and the average family size was 2.82. The median age was 44.4 years.

The median income for a household in the county was $36,705 and the median income for a family was $43,517. Males had a median income of $35,829 versus $28,460 for females. The per capita income for the county was $18,438. About 11.8% of families and 19.2% of the population were below the poverty line, including 31.6% of those under age 18 and 8.3% of those age 65 or over.

Communities

Town

Unincorporated communities


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