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Kanawha County, West Virginia
Map of West Virginia highlighting Kanawha County
Location in the state of West Virginia
Map of USA WV
West Virginia's location in the U.S.
Founded 1789
Seat Charleston
 - Total
 - Land
 - Water

911 sq mi (2,359 km²)
903 sq mi (2,339 km²)
8 sq mi (21 km²), 0.87%
 - (2000)
 - Density

223/sq mi (86/km²)

Kanawha County (pronounced ka-gnaw') is a county located in the U.S. state of West Virginia taking its name from the Native term, Kanawha: "place of white stone". As of 2000, the population was 200,072. Its county seat is Charleston6. Kanawha County is the most populous county in the state of West Virginia.

During 1974, Kanawha County became known for its textbook controversy. Conservatives wanted to purge material they considered unsuitable from school textbooks, leading to John D. Maurice writing his Pulitzer Prize winning editorials.

Kanawha County is part of the Charleston WV metropolitan area, with a 2004 population estimate of 307,763 people.


According to the U.S. Census Bureau, the county has a total area of 2,359 km² (911 sq mi). 2,339 km² (903 sq mi) of it is land and 20 km² (8 sq mi) of it (0.87%) is water.

Major HighwaysEdit

Adjacent CountiesEdit


As of the census² of 2000, there were 200,073 people, 86,226 households, and 55,960 families residing in the county. The population density was 86/km² (222/sq mi). There were 93,788 housing units at an average density of 40/km² (104/sq mi). The racial makeup of the county was 90.46% White, 6.97% Black or African American, 0.21% Native American, 0.85% Asian, 0.02% Pacific Islander, 0.21% from other races, and 1.27% from two or more races. 0.59% of the population were Hispanic or Latino of any race.

There were 86,226 households out of which 26.50% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 49.00% were married couples living together, 12.30% had a female householder with no husband present, and 35.10% were non-families. 30.80% of all households were made up of individuals and 12.50% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.28 and the average family size was 2.84.

In the county, the population was spread out with 21.30% under the age of 18, 8.40% from 18 to 24, 28.10% from 25 to 44, 25.60% from 45 to 64, and 16.50% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 40 years. For every 100 females there were 90.70 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 87.10 males.

The median income for a household in the county was $33,766, and the median income for a family was $42,568. Males had a median income of $33,842 versus $24,188 for females. The per capita income for the county was $20,354. About 11.20% of families and 14.40% of the population were below the poverty line, including 20.60% of those under age 18 and 10.50% of those age 65 or over.

Book banningEdit

On 12 March 1974, the English Language Arts Textbook Committee of Kanawha County recommended 325 books and textbooks to the school board for use in Kanawha elementary schools. One of the school board members, a hard-line conservative, rejected the books as offensive and asked the county for support. The controversy that followed caused violent protests and school closings through 1975.

Cities and towns Edit

Incorporated cities and towns Edit

Unincorporated communities Edit

External linksEdit

Coordinates: 38°20′N 81°32′W / 38.34, -81.53

This page uses content from the English language Wikipedia. The original content was at Kanawha County, West Virginia. The list of authors can be seen in the page history. As with this Familypedia wiki, the content of Wikipedia is available under the Creative Commons License.