Fayette County, West Virginia
|Fayette County, West Virginia|
Location in the state of West Virginia
West Virginia's location in the U.S.
|Largest city||Oak Hill|
668 sq mi (1,730 km²)
664 sq mi (1,720 km²)
4 sq mi (10 km²), 0.66%
73/sq mi (28/km²)
Fayette County was created by Act of the Virginia General Assembly, passed February 28, 1831, from parts of Greenbrier, Kanawha, Nicholas, and Logan counties. It was named in honor of the Marquis de la Fayette, who had played a key role assisting the Continental Army during the American Revolutionary War. Virginia previously had a Fayette County, which was lost to form the new state of Kentucky. Accordingly, in the State records of Virginia, there will be listings for Fayette County from 1780–1792 and Fayette County from 1831-1863. Neither location is still located in Virginia and despite naming a county after him twice, Virginia no longer has a county named for the Marquis de la Fayette.
A substantial portion was subdivided from Fayette County to form Raleigh County in 1850. Fayette was one of 50 counties that broke off from the rest of Virginia and formed the new state of West Virginia during the American Civil War. In 1871, an Act of the West Virginia Legislature severed a small portion to form part of Summers County.
According to the U.S. Census Bureau, the county has a total area of 668 square miles (1,730.1 km2), of which 664 square miles (1,719.8 km2) is land and 4 square miles (10.4 km2) (0.66%) is water. Plum Orchard Lake, a reservoir southwest of Oak Hill, is the second largest lake in West Virginia.
Major highways 
- Interstate 64/Interstate 77
- U.S. Highway 19
- U.S. Highway 60
- West Virginia Route 16
- West Virginia Route 39
- West Virginia Route 41
- West Virginia Route 61
- West Virginia Route 612
Adjacent counties 
- Nicholas County (north)
- Greenbrier County (east)
- Summers County (southeast)
- Raleigh County (south)
- Kanawha County (west)
National protected areas 
As of the census of 2000, there were 47,579 people, 18,945 households, and 13,128 families residing in the county. The population density was 72 people per square mile (28/km²). There were 21,616 housing units at an average density of 33 per square mile (13/km²). The racial makeup of the county was 92.74% White, 5.57% Black or African American, 0.27% Native American, 0.30% Asian, 0.04% Pacific Islander, 0.15% from other races, and 0.93% from two or more races. 0.68% of the population were Hispanic or Latino of any race.
There were 18,945 households out of which 29.00% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 52.10% were married couples living together, 13.20% had a female householder with no husband present, and 30.70% were non-families. 26.90% of all households were made up of individuals and 13.40% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.41 and the average family size was 2.89.
In the county, the population was spread out with 21.70% under the age of 18, 9.60% from 18 to 24, 27.10% from 25 to 44, 25.10% from 45 to 64, and 16.40% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 40 years. For every 100 females there were 98.20 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 94.70 males.
The median income for a household in the county was $24,788, and the median income for a family was $30,243. Males had a median income of $28,554 versus $18,317 for females. The per capita income for the county was $13,809. About 18.20% of families and 21.70% of the population were below the poverty line, including 31.90% of those under age 18 and 13.70% of those age 65 or over.
Cities and towns 
Incorporated cities and towns 
Below is partial listing of known unincorporated communities within Fayette County. A complete listing is available here
Unincorporated communities 
The county has a tradition of coal mining, which still serves as a primary source of employment in the area. A Georgia Pacific lumber mill has its home to the west of Mt. Hope, adjacent to U.S. Route 19. There exists a large metal alloy plant in Alloy. The Mount Olive Correctional Complex, West Virginia's only maximum security state prison, is also located in Fayette County.
See also 
- Babcock State Park
- Beury Mountain Wildlife Management Area
- Bridge Day
- Hawks Nest State Park
- Plum Orchard Lake Wildlife Management Area
- National Register of Historic Places listings in Fayette County, West Virginia
- Fayette County Chamber of Commerce
- Fayette County Schools
- Fayette County Public Libraries
- WVGenWeb Fayette County
|Kanawha County||Greenbrier County|
|Raleigh County||Summers County|