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Raleigh County, West Virginia
Map of West Virginia highlighting Raleigh County
Location in the state of West Virginia
Map of USA WV
West Virginia's location in the U.S.
Founded 1850
Seat Beckley
 - Total
 - Land
 - Water

609 sq mi (1,577 km²)
607 sq mi (1,572 km²)
2 sq mi (5 km²), 0.40%
 - (2000)
 - Density

129/sq mi (50/km²)

Raleigh County, founded in 1850, 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.[1]


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.[2]

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.


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) is land and 2 square miles (6 km²) (0.40%) is water.

Major highwaysEdit

Adjacent countiesEdit

National protected areaEdit


Historical populations
Census Pop.
1850 1,765
1860 3,367 90.8%
1870 3,673 9.1%
1880 7,367 100.6%
1890 9,597 30.3%
1900 12,436 29.6%
1910 25,633 106.1%
1920 42,482 65.7%
1930 68,072 60.2%
1940 86,687 27.3%
1950 96,273 11.1%
1960 77,826 −19.2%
1970 70,080 −10.0%
1980 86,821 23.9%
1990 76,819 −11.5%
2000 79,220 3.1%
Raleigh County Courthouse Beckley

The Raleigh County Courthouse in Beckley

As of the census[3] 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 Edit

Incorporated cities and towns Edit

Unincorporated communities Edit

See also Edit


  1. ^ "Find a County". National Association of Counties. Retrieved 2011-06-07. 
  2. ^ Wood, Jim (1994). Raleigh County: West Virginia. BJW Printing & Office Supplies, Beckley, W. Va. 91.
  3. ^ "American FactFinder". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved 2008-01-31. 

Raleigh County Links Edit

Coordinates: 37°47′N 81°16′W / 37.78, -81.26

This page uses content from the English language Wikipedia. The original content was at Raleigh 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.