Wood County, West Virginia

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Wood County
The Wood County Courthouse in Parkersburg
The Wood County Courthouse in Parkersburg
Flag of Wood County
Map of West Virginia highlighting Wood County
Location within the U.S. state of West Virginia
Map of the United States highlighting West Virginia
West Virginia's location within the U.S.
Coordinates: 39°13′N 81°31′W / 39.21°N 81.51°W / 39.21; -81.51
Country United States
State West Virginia
FoundedDecember 21, 1798
Named forJames Wood
SeatParkersburg
Largest cityParkersburg
Area
 • Total377 sq mi (980 km2)
 • Land367 sq mi (950 km2)
 • Water11 sq mi (30 km2)  2.8%%
Population
 (2020)
 • Total84,296
 • Estimate 
(2021)
83,624 Decrease
 • Density220/sq mi (86/km2)
Time zoneUTC−5 (Eastern)
 • Summer (DST)UTC−4 (EDT)
Congressional district1st
Websitewww.woodcountywv.com
First courthouse in Wood County (ca. 1802), sketch by Joseph H. Diss Debar.

Wood County is a county in the U.S. state of West Virginia. As of the 2020 census, the population was 84,296,[1] making it West Virginia's fifth-most populous county. Its county seat is Parkersburg.[2] The county was formed in 1798 from the western part of Harrison County and named for James Wood, governor of Virginia from 1796 to 1799.[3]

Wood County is part of the Parkersburg-Vienna, WV Metropolitan Statistical Area.

History[edit]

Wood County was formed on December 21, 1798, from portions of Harrison County. It was named for the then Governor of Virginia (1796–99), James Wood, formerly a brigadier general in the American Revolutionary War.

In 1861, Virginia seceded from the Union. The delegates of the 40 western counties who opposed secession formed their own government and seceded from the Confederate state of Virginia. West Virginia was granted statehood in 1863.

Later that year, West Virginia'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.[4] Wood County was divided into ten districts: Clay, Harris, Lubeck, Parkersburg, Slate, Steele, Tygart, Union, Walker, and Williams.[5]

Geography[edit]

According to the United States Census Bureau, the county has a total area of 377 square miles (980 km2), of which 366 square miles (950 km2) is land and 11 square miles (28 km2) (2.8%) is water.[6]

Wood County's northern and western boundary is the Ohio River. The Little Kanawha River flows northwestward through the county to its mouth at the Ohio River in Parkersburg. Tributaries of the Little Kanawha River in Wood County include Worthington Creek, Tygart Creek, and Walker Creek.[7]

Major highways[edit]

Adjacent counties[edit]

National protected area[edit]

Demographics[edit]

Historical population
Census Pop.
18001,217
18103,036149.5%
18205,86093.0%
18306,4299.7%
18407,92323.2%
18509,45019.3%
186011,04616.9%
187019,00072.0%
188025,00631.6%
189028,61214.4%
190034,45220.4%
191038,00110.3%
192042,30611.3%
193056,52133.6%
194062,39910.4%
195066,5406.6%
196078,33117.7%
197086,81810.8%
198093,6487.9%
199086,915−7.2%
200087,9861.2%
201086,956−1.2%
202084,296−3.1%
2021 (est.)83,624[8]−0.8%
U.S. Decennial Census[9]
1790–1960[10] 1900–1990[11]
1990–2000[12] 2010–2020[1]

2000 census[edit]

As of the census[13] of 2000, there were 87,986 people, 36,275 households, and 24,884 families living in the county. The population density was 240 people per square mile (92/km2). There were 39,785 housing units at an average density of 108 per square mile (42/km2). The racial makeup of the county was 97.32% White, 1.01% Black or African American, 0.21% Native American, 0.51% Asian, 0.04% Pacific Islander, 0.14% from other races, and 0.77% from two or more races. 0.58% of the population were Hispanic or Latino of any race.

There were 36,275 households, out of which 29.30% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 54.30% were married couples living together, 10.80% had a female householder with no husband present, and 31.40% were non-families. 27.10% of all households were made up of individuals, and 11.50% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.39 and the average family size was 2.88.

In the county, the population was spread out, with 23.00% under the age of 18, 8.00% from 18 to 24, 27.90% from 25 to 44, 25.60% from 45 to 64, and 15.50% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 39 years. For every 100 females there were 92.40 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 89.30 males.

The median income for a household in the county was $33,285, and the median income for a family was $40,436. Males had a median income of $34,899 versus $22,109 for females. The per capita income for the county was $18,073. About 10.60% of families and 13.90% of the population were below the poverty line, including 20.50% of those under age 18 and 8.60% of those age 65 or over.

2010 census[edit]

As of the 2010 United States Census, there were 86,956 people, 36,571 households, and 24,262 families living in the county.[14] The population density was 237.4 inhabitants per square mile (91.7/km2). There were 40,215 housing units at an average density of 109.8 per square mile (42.4/km2).[15] The racial makeup of the county was 96.4% white, 1.1% black or African American, 0.5% Asian, 0.2% American Indian, 0.2% from other races, and 1.5% from two or more races. Those of Hispanic or Latino origin made up 0.9% of the population.[14] In terms of ancestry, 22.3% were German, 19.6% were American, 13.7% were English, and 13.6% were Irish.[16]

Of the 36,571 households, 29.1% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 50.1% were married couples living together, 11.6% had a female householder with no husband present, 33.7% were non-families, and 28.4% of all households were made up of individuals. The average household size was 2.35 and the average family size was 2.85. The median age was 42.2 years.[14]

The median income for a household in the county was $42,146 and the median income for a family was $52,058. Males had a median income of $42,497 versus $27,893 for females. The per capita income for the county was $22,890. About 12.3% of families and 16.4% of the population were below the poverty line, including 25.3% of those under age 18 and 7.8% of those age 65 or over.[17]

Politics[edit]

Wood County was strongly Unionist during the Virginia Secession Convention[18] and has been solidly Republican for most of the century and a half since. The only Democrats to win Wood County have been Samuel J. Tilden in 1876, Woodrow Wilson in 1912 and 1916, Franklin D. Roosevelt between 1932 and 1940, Harry S. Truman in 1948, and Lyndon Johnson in 1964.

United States presidential election results for Wood County, West Virginia[19]
Year Republican Democratic Third party
No.  % No.  % No.  %
2020 27,202 70.18% 10,926 28.19% 634 1.64%
2016 25,434 70.53% 8,400 23.29% 2,229 6.18%
2012 22,183 65.10% 11,230 32.96% 663 1.95%
2008 22,896 63.38% 12,573 34.80% 657 1.82%
2004 24,948 63.60% 14,025 35.75% 254 0.65%
2000 20,428 60.34% 12,664 37.40% 765 2.26%
1996 15,502 47.45% 13,261 40.59% 3,909 11.96%
1992 15,441 42.83% 13,529 37.52% 7,084 19.65%
1988 19,450 59.73% 12,959 39.80% 154 0.47%
1984 24,821 68.42% 11,357 31.30% 101 0.28%
1980 20,080 56.54% 13,622 38.36% 1,810 5.10%
1976 18,382 51.84% 17,075 48.16% 0 0.00%
1972 27,315 71.50% 10,886 28.50% 0 0.00%
1968 18,960 51.76% 14,293 39.02% 3,379 9.22%
1964 14,947 40.94% 21,560 59.06% 0 0.00%
1960 22,131 58.97% 15,396 41.03% 0 0.00%
1956 21,096 61.30% 13,320 38.70% 0 0.00%
1952 19,917 58.46% 14,154 41.54% 0 0.00%
1948 14,198 49.83% 14,224 49.92% 71 0.25%
1944 14,566 51.58% 13,676 48.42% 0 0.00%
1940 15,005 48.45% 15,962 51.55% 0 0.00%
1936 12,574 42.75% 16,829 57.21% 11 0.04%
1932 12,144 47.30% 13,294 51.78% 235 0.92%
1928 15,184 69.90% 6,412 29.52% 125 0.58%
1924 10,086 50.29% 9,378 46.76% 591 2.95%
1920 10,463 53.72% 8,839 45.38% 176 0.90%
1916 4,521 47.69% 4,817 50.81% 142 1.50%
1912 2,509 29.37% 3,784 44.29% 2,251 26.35%


Communities[edit]

Cities[edit]

Town[edit]

Magisterial districts[edit]

  • Clay
  • Harris
  • Lubeck
  • Parkersburg
  • Slate
  • Steele
  • Tygart
  • Union
  • Walker
  • Williams

Census-designated places[edit]

Unincorporated communities[edit]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b "State & County QuickFacts". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved July 6, 2022.
  2. ^ "Find a County". National Association of Counties. Retrieved June 7, 2011.
  3. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on September 23, 2001. Retrieved February 4, 2013.{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
  4. ^ Otis K. Rice & Stephen W. Brown, West Virginia: A History, 2nd ed., University Press of Kentucky, Lexington (1993), p. 240.
  5. ^ United States Census Bureau, U.S. Decennial Census, Tables of Minor Civil Divisions in West Virginia, 1870–2010.
  6. ^ "2010 Census Gazetteer Files". United States Census Bureau. August 22, 2012. Retrieved July 31, 2015.
  7. ^ West Virginia Atlas & Gazetteer. Yarmouth, Me.: DeLorme. 1997. pp. 22–23, 33–34. ISBN 0-89933-246-3.
  8. ^ "Annual Estimates of the Resident Population for Counties: April 1, 2020 to July 1, 2021". Retrieved July 6, 2022.
  9. ^ "U.S. Decennial Census". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved January 16, 2014.
  10. ^ "Historical Census Browser". University of Virginia Library. Retrieved January 16, 2014.
  11. ^ "Population of Counties by Decennial Census: 1900 to 1990". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved January 16, 2014.
  12. ^ "Census 2000 PHC-T-4. Ranking Tables for Counties: 1990 and 2000" (PDF). United States Census Bureau. Retrieved January 16, 2014.
  13. ^ "U.S. Census website". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved May 14, 2011.
  14. ^ a b c "DP-1 Profile of General Population and Housing Characteristics: 2010 Demographic Profile Data". United States Census Bureau. Archived from the original on February 13, 2020. Retrieved April 3, 2016.
  15. ^ "Population, Housing Units, Area, and Density: 2010 - County". United States Census Bureau. Archived from the original on February 13, 2020. Retrieved April 3, 2016.
  16. ^ "DP02 SELECTED SOCIAL CHARACTERISTICS IN THE UNITED STATES – 2006-2010 American Community Survey 5-Year Estimates". United States Census Bureau. Archived from the original on February 13, 2020. Retrieved April 3, 2016.
  17. ^ "DP03 SELECTED ECONOMIC CHARACTERISTICS – 2006-2010 American Community Survey 5-Year Estimates". United States Census Bureau. Archived from the original on February 13, 2020. Retrieved April 3, 2016.
  18. ^ ‘How Virginia Convention Delegates Voted on Secession, April 4 and April 17, 1861, and Whether They Signed a Copy of the Ordinance of Secession’
  19. ^ Leip, David. "Dave Leip's Atlas of U.S. Presidential Elections". uselectionatlas.org. Retrieved March 28, 2018.

Coordinates: 39°13′N 81°31′W / 39.21°N 81.51°W / 39.21; -81.51