Raleigh County, West Virginia

Raleigh County, West Virginia

Infobox U.S. County
county = Raleigh County
state = West Virginia

map size = 225
founded = 1850
seat = Beckley | area_total_sq_mi =609
area_water_sq_mi =2
area percentage = 0.40%
census yr = 2000
pop = 79220
density_km2 =50
web = www.raleighcounty.com

Raleigh County, founded in 1850, is located in the U.S. state of West Virginia. As of 2000, the population was 79,220. Its county seat is BeckleyGR|6.


Raleigh County was formed on January 23, 1850 from portions of Fayette County.

Alfred Beckley (1802-1888) said he gave Raleigh County its name in honor of Sir Walter Raleigh (1552?-1618), the “enterprising and far-seeing patron of the earliest attempts to colonize our old Mother State of Virginia,” according to “Raleigh County: West Virginia” by Jim Wood. [ Wood, Jim (1994). "Raleigh County: West Virginia." BJW Printing & Office Supplies, Beckley, W. Va. 91.]


According to the U.S. Census Bureau, the county has a total area of 609 square miles (1,578 km²), of which, 607 square miles (1,572 km²) of it is land and 2 square miles (6 km²) of it (0.40%) is water.

Major highways

Adjacent counties

*Kanawha County (north)
*Fayette County (northeast)
*Summers County (east)
*Mercer County (southeast)
*Wyoming County (southwest)
*Boone County (northwest)

National protected area

* New River Gorge National River (part)


As of the censusGR|2 of 2000, there were 79,220 people, 31,793 households, and 22,096 families residing in the county. The population density was 130 people per square mile (50/km²). There were 35,678 housing units at an average density of 59 per square mile (23/km²). The racial makeup of the county was 89.63% White, 8.52% Black or African American, 0.19% Native American, 0.72% Asian, 0.02% Pacific Islander, 0.12% from other races, and 0.80% from two or more races. 0.92% of the population were Hispanic or Latino of any race. This number is around 0.3% based on a 2006 Census Estimate by the U.S. Census Bureau

There were 31,793 households out of which 28.60% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 54.30% were married couples living together, 11.90% had a female householder with no husband present, and 30.50% were non-families. 27.10% of all households were made up of individuals and 12.90% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.38 and the average family size was 2.88.

In the county, the population was spread out with 21.50% under the age of 18, 8.70% from 18 to 24, 28.60% from 25 to 44, 25.70% from 45 to 64, and 15.40% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 40 years. For every 100 females there were 96.80 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 94.90 males.

The median income for a household in the county was $28,181, and the median income for a family was $35,315. Males had a median income of $33,000 versus $20,672 for females. The per capita income for the county was $16,233. About 14.60% of families and 18.50% of the population were below the poverty line, including 28.70% of those under age 18 and 10.50% of those age 65 or over.


Cities and towns

Incorporated cities and towns

*City of Beckley
*Town of Lester
*Town of Mabscott
*Town of Rhodell
*Town of Sophia

Unincorporated communities

See also

*Winding Gulf Coalfield
*New River Coalfield
*Little Beaver State Park

Raleigh County Links

* [http://www.brccc.com/ Beckley-Raleigh County Chamber of Commerce]
* [http://www.raleighcounty.com/ Raleigh County Government]
* [http://boe.rale.k12.wv.us/ Raleigh County Board of Education]

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