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Wood County, West Virginia facts for kids

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Wood County
The Wood County Courthouse in Parkersburg
The Wood County Courthouse in Parkersburg
Map of West Virginia highlighting Wood County
Location within the U.S. state of West Virginia
Map of the United States highlighting West Virginia
West Virginia's location within the U.S.
Country  United States
State  West Virginia
Founded December 21, 1798
Named for James Wood
Seat Parkersburg
Largest city Parkersburg
Area
 • Total 377 sq mi (980 km2)
 • Land 367 sq mi (950 km2)
 • Water 11 sq mi (30 km2)  2.8%%
Population
 (2010)
 • Total 86,956
 • Estimate 
(2019)
83,518
 • Density 230.65/sq mi (89.06/km2)
Time zone UTC−5 (Eastern)
 • Summer (DST) UTC−4 (EDT)
Congressional district 1st
Diss Debar5
First courthouse in Wood County (ca. 1802), sketch by Joseph H. Diss Debar.

Wood County is a county in the U.S. state of West Virginia. As of the 2010 census, the population was 86,956, making it West Virginia's fifth-most populous county. Its county seat is Parkersburg. The county was formed in 1798 from the western part of Harrison County and named for James Wood, governor of Virginia from 1796 to 1799.

Wood County is part of the Parkersburg-Vienna, WV Metropolitan Statistical Area.

History

Wood County was formed on December 21, 1798 from portions of Harrison County. It was named for James Wood, a brigadier general in the American Revolutionary War who was then Governor of Virginia (1796–99). In 1861, Virginia seceded from the Union. The delegates of the 40 western counties who opposed secession formed their own government and seceded from the Confederate state of Virginia. West Virginia was granted statehood in 1863.

Geography

According to the U.S. Census Bureau, the county has a total area of 377 square miles (980 km2), of which 366 square miles (950 km2) is land and 11 square miles (28 km2) (2.8%) is water.

Wood County's northern and western boundary is the Ohio River. The Little Kanawha River flows northwestward through the county to its mouth at the Ohio River in Parkersburg. Tributaries of the Little Kanawha River in Wood County include Worthington Creek, Tygart Creek, and Walker Creek.

Major highways

  • I-77.svg Interstate 77
  • US 50.svg U.S. Route 50
  • WV-2.svg West Virginia Route 2
  • WV-14.svg West Virginia Route 14
  • WV-31.svg West Virginia Route 31
  • WV-47.svg West Virginia Route 47
  • WV-68.svg West Virginia Route 68
  • WV-95.svg West Virginia Route 95

Adjacent counties

National protected area

  • Ohio River Islands National Wildlife Refuge (part)

Demographics

Historical population
Census Pop.
1800 1,217
1810 3,036 149.5%
1820 5,860 93.0%
1830 6,429 9.7%
1840 7,923 23.2%
1850 9,450 19.3%
1860 11,046 16.9%
1870 19,000 72.0%
1880 25,006 31.6%
1890 28,612 14.4%
1900 34,452 20.4%
1910 38,001 10.3%
1920 42,306 11.3%
1930 56,521 33.6%
1940 62,399 10.4%
1950 66,540 6.6%
1960 78,331 17.7%
1970 86,818 10.8%
1980 93,648 7.9%
1990 86,915 −7.2%
2000 87,986 1.2%
2010 86,956 −1.2%
2020 84,296 −3.1%
U.S. Decennial Census
1790–1960 1900–1990
1990–2000 2010–2019

2010 census

As of the 2010 United States Census, there were 86,956 people, 36,571 households, and 24,262 families living in the county. The population density was 237.4 inhabitants per square mile (91.7/km2). There were 40,215 housing units at an average density of 109.8 per square mile (42.4/km2). The racial makeup of the county was 96.4% white, 1.1% black or African American, 0.5% Asian, 0.2% American Indian, 0.2% from other races, and 1.5% from two or more races. Those of Hispanic or Latino origin made up 0.9% of the population. In terms of ancestry, 22.3% were German, 19.6% were American, 13.7% were English, and 13.6% were Irish.

Of the 36,571 households, 29.1% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 50.1% were married couples living together, 11.6% had a female householder with no husband present, 33.7% were non-families, and 28.4% of all households were made up of individuals. The average household size was 2.35 and the average family size was 2.85. The median age was 42.2 years.

The median income for a household in the county was $42,146 and the median income for a family was $52,058. Males had a median income of $42,497 versus $27,893 for females. The per capita income for the county was $22,890. About 12.3% of families and 16.4% of the population were below the poverty line, including 25.3% of those under age 18 and 7.8% of those age 65 or over.

Communities

Cities

Town

Census-designated places

Unincorporated communities

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