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Raleigh County, West Virginia

Raleigh County, West Virginia
The Raleigh County Courthouse in Beckley
Seal of Raleigh County, West Virginia
Map of West Virginia highlighting Raleigh County
Location in the state of West Virginia
Map of the United States highlighting West Virginia
West Virginia's location in the U.S.
Founded 1850
Named for Sir Walter Raleigh
Seat Beckley
Largest city Beckley
 • Total 609 sq mi (1,577 km2)
 • Land 605 sq mi (1,567 km2)
 • Water 4.0 sq mi (10 km2), 0.7%
Population (est.)
 • (2014) 78,241
 • Density 129/sq mi (50/km²)
Congressional district 3rd
Time zone Eastern: UTC-5/-4
Website .com.raleighcountywww

Raleigh County is a county located in the U.S. state of West Virginia. As of the 2010 census, the population was 78,859.[1] Its county seat is Beckley.[2] The county was founded in 1850 and is named for Sir Walter Raleigh.[3]

Raleigh County is included in the Beckley, West Virginia Metropolitan Statistical Area.


  • History 1
  • Geography 2
    • Major highways 2.1
    • Adjacent counties 2.2
    • National protected area 2.3
  • Demographics 3
  • Communities 4
    • City 4.1
    • Towns 4.2
    • Census-designated places 4.3
    • Unincorporated communities 4.4
  • See also 5
  • References 6
  • External links 7


Raleigh County was formed on January 23, 1850 from portions of Fayette County, then a part of Virginia.

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.[4]

The county was the scene in 1914 of the Eccles Mine Disaster, the second-worst coal mining disaster in West Virginia history. The death toll was at least 180. More recently, the Upper Big Branch Mine disaster of 2010, which killed 29, also occurred in Raleigh County.

Longtime Senator Robert Byrd's home town was Sophia.


According to the U.S. Census Bureau, the county has a total area of 609 square miles (1,580 km2), of which 605 square miles (1,570 km2) is land and 4.0 square miles (10 km2) (0.7%) is water.[5]

Major highways

Adjacent counties

National protected area

  • New River Gorge National River (part)


The Flag Of Raleigh County in Beckley

As of the census[11] 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.




Census-designated places

Unincorporated communities

See also


  1. ^ a b "State & County QuickFacts". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved January 11, 2014. 
  2. ^ "Find a County". National Association of Counties. Retrieved 2011-06-07. 
  3. ^
  4. ^ Wood, Jim (1994). Raleigh County: West Virginia. BJW Printing & Office Supplies, Beckley, W. Va. 91.
  5. ^ "2010 Census Gazetteer Files". United States Census Bureau. August 22, 2012. Retrieved July 30, 2015. 
  6. ^ "Annual Estimates of the Resident Population for Incorporated Places: April 1, 2010 to July 1, 2014". Retrieved June 4, 2015. 
  7. ^ "U.S. Decennial Census". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved January 11, 2014. 
  8. ^ "Historical Census Browser". University of Virginia Library. Retrieved January 11, 2014. 
  9. ^ "Population of Counties by Decennial Census: 1900 to 1990". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved January 11, 2014. 
  10. ^ "Census 2000 PHC-T-4. Ranking Tables for Counties: 1990 and 2000" (PDF). United States Census Bureau. Retrieved January 11, 2014. 
  11. ^ "American FactFinder".  

External links

  • Beckley-Raleigh County Chamber of Commerce
  • Raleigh County Government
  • Raleigh County Board of Education
  • History of Raleigh County Flag

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