Ritchie County, West Virginia
Ritchie County Courthouse in Harrisville
Location within the U.S. state of West Virginia
West Virginia's location within the U.S.
|Founded||February 18, 1843|
|Named for||Thomas Ritchie|
|• Total||454 sq mi (1,180 km2)|
|• Land||452 sq mi (1,170 km2)|
|• Water||1.7 sq mi (4 km2) 0.4%%|
| • Estimate |
|• Density||23/sq mi (8.9/km2)|
|Time zone||UTC−5 (Eastern)|
|• Summer (DST)||UTC−4 (EDT)|
Ritchie County is a county in the U.S. state of West Virginia. As of the 2010 census, the population was 10,449. Its county seat is Harrisville. The county was created in 1843 by the Virginia General Assembly and named for Richmond newspaper publisher Thomas Ritchie.
Ritchie was one of fifty Virginia counties that were admitted to the Union as the state of West Virginia on June 20, 1863, at the height of the Civil War. Later that year, the new state's counties were divided into civil townships, with the intention of encouraging local government. This proved impractical in the heavily rural state, and in 1872 the townships were converted into magisterial districts. Ritchie County was divided into four districts: Clay, Grant, Murphy, and Union.
- U.S. Route 50
- West Virginia Route 16
- West Virginia Route 31
- West Virginia Route 47
- West Virginia Route 74
- Pleasants County (north)
- Tyler County (northeast)
- Doddridge County (east)
- Gilmer County (southeast)
- Calhoun County (south)
- Wirt County (west)
- Wood County (northwest)
|U.S. Decennial Census|
As of the census of 2000, there were 10,343 people, 4,184 households, and 2,999 families residing in the county. The population density was 23 people per square mile (9/km²). There were 5,513 housing units at an average density of 12 per square mile (5/km²). The racial makeup of the county was 98.68% White, 0.14% Black or African American, 0.27% Native American, 0.13% Asian, 0.11% from other races, and 0.69% from two or more races. 0.47% of the population were Hispanic or Latino of any race.
There were 4,184 households out of which 30.20% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 58.20% were married couples living together, 9.70% had a female householder with no husband present, and 28.30% were non-families. 25.00% of all households were made up of individuals and 12.30% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.45 and the average family size was 2.91.
In the county, the population was spread out with 23.00% under the age of 18, 7.70% from 18 to 24, 28.00% from 25 to 44, 26.10% from 45 to 64, and 15.20% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 40 years. For every 100 females there were 96.20 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 95.10 males.
The median income for a household in the county was $27,332, and the median income for a family was $34,809. Males had a median income of $28,147 versus $18,149 for females. The per capita income for the county was $15,175. About 14.30% of families and 19.10% of the population were below the poverty line, including 23.60% of those under age 18 and 14.10% of those age 65 or over.
As of the 2010 United States Census, there were 10,449 people, 4,367 households, and 2,960 families residing in the county. The population density was 23.1 inhabitants per square mile (8.9/km2). There were 5,843 housing units at an average density of 12.9 per square mile (5.0/km2). The racial makeup of the county was 98.7% white, 0.2% black or African American, 0.1% Asian, 0.1% American Indian, 0.2% from other races, and 0.8% from two or more races. Those of Hispanic or Latino origin made up 0.5% of the population. In terms of ancestry, 20.3% were German, 14.6% were Irish, 13.2% were American, and 11.3% were English.
Of the 4,367 households, 28.2% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 53.2% were married couples living together, 9.8% had a female householder with no husband present, 32.2% were non-families, and 28.2% of all households were made up of individuals. The average household size was 2.37 and the average family size was 2.85. The median age was 44.3 years.
The median income for a household in the county was $32,619 and the median income for a family was $39,919. Males had a median income of $31,807 versus $23,966 for females. The per capita income for the county was $18,255. About 13.9% of families and 18.9% of the population were below the poverty line, including 21.6% of those under age 18 and 15.2% of those age 65 or over.
After having leaned strongly towards the Democratic Party between the New Deal and Bill Clinton’s presidency, most of West Virginia has since 2000 seen an extremely rapid swing towards the Republican Party due to declining unionization along with views on environmental, social and cultural issues increasingly at odds with the national Democratic party. In contrast, Ritchie County along with neighbouring Doddridge County and Tyler County were historically powerfully Unionist and have always been solidly Republican since the Civil War. Only one Democratic presidential nominee has carried Ritchie County since West Virginia’s statehood: Woodrow Wilson in 1912, and he won by a mere six votes with only 34.22 percent of all votes against a Republican Party mortally divided between conservative incumbent Taft and progressive Theodore Roosevelt.
- Historic Berdine's Five and Dime
- North Bend State Park
- North Bend Rail Trail
- The Double Scoop Ice Cream Parlor Cairo, WV
- Pine Hill Pottery
- Sunny Hollow Farms
- Old Stone House Museum
- Hughes River Wildlife Management Area
- National Register of Historic Places listings in Ritchie County, West Virginia
- North Bend State Park
- North Bend Rail Trail
- Ritchie Mines Wildlife Management Area
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- Schwartzman, Gabe; ‘How Central Appalachia Went Right’; Daily Yonder, January 13, 2015
- Cohn, Nate; ‘Demographic Shift: Southern Whites’ Loyalty to G.O.P. Nearing That of Blacks to Democrats’, New York Times, April 24, 2014
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