West Virginia - Demographics

Demographics

Historical populations
Census Pop.
1790 55,873
1800 78,592 40.7%
1810 105,469 34.2%
1820 136,808 29.7%
1830 176,924 29.3%
1840 224,537 26.9%
1850 302,313 34.6%
1860 376,688 24.6%
1870 442,014 17.3%
1880 618,457 39.9%
1890 762,794 23.3%
1900 958,800 25.7%
1910 1,221,119 27.4%
1920 1,463,701 19.9%
1930 1,729,205 18.1%
1940 1,901,974 10.0%
1950 2,005,552 5.4%
1960 1,860,421 −7.2%
1970 1,744,237 −6.2%
1980 1,949,644 11.8%
1990 1,793,477 −8.0%
2000 1,808,344 0.8%
2010 1,852,994 2.5%

The United States Census Bureau estimates that the population of West Virginia was 1,855,364 on July 1, 2011, a 0.13% increase since the 2010 United States Census. The center of population of West Virginia is located in Braxton County, in the town of Gassaway.

At the 2010 Census, 93.2% of the population was non-Hispanic White, 3.4% non-Hispanic Black or African American, 0.2% non-Hispanic American Indian and Alaska Native, 0.7% non-Hispanic Asian, 0.1% from some other race (non-Hispanic) and 1.3% of two or more races (non-Hispanic). 1.2% of West Virginia's population was of Hispanic, Latino, or Spanish origin (they may be of any race).

As of 2005, West Virginia has an estimated population of 1,816,856, which is an increase of 4,308, or 0.2%, from the prior year and an increase of 8,506, or 0.5%, since the year 2000. This includes a natural decrease since the last census of 3,296 people (that is 108,292 births minus 111,588 deaths) and an increase from net migration of 14,209 people into the state. West Virginia is the least populous southeastern state. Immigration from outside the United States resulted in a net increase of 3,691 people, and migration within the country produced a net increase of 10,518 people.

Only 1.1% of the state's residents were foreign-born, placing West Virginia last among the 50 states in that statistic. It also has the lowest percentage of residents that speak a language other than English in the home (2.7%).

The five largest ancestry groups in West Virginia are: English (35.2%), German (17.2%), Irish (8%), Scots-Irish (5%) and Italian (4.8%). In the 2000 Census People who identified their ethnicity as simply "American" made up 18.8% of the population. Many of these people are of Scots-Irish ancestry, and many are of English descent as well.

Large numbers of people of German ancestry are present in the northeastern counties of the state. People of English ancestry are present throughout the entire state. Many West Virginians who self-identify as Irish are actually Scots-Irish Protestants.

5.6% of West Virginia's population were reported as under 5, 22.3% under 18, and 15.3% were 65 or older. Females made up approximately 51.4% of the population.

There were 20,928 births in 2006. Of these, 19,757 (94.40% of the births, 95.19% of the population) were to Non-Hispanic Whites. There were 22 births to American Indians (0.11% of the births and 0.54% of the population), 177 births to Asians (0.85% of the births and 0.68% of the population), 219 births to Hispanics (1.05% of the births and 0.88% of the population) and 753 births to Blacks and others (3.60% of the births and 3.56% of the population).

The state's Northern Panhandle, and North-Central region feel an affinity for Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. Also, those in the Eastern Panhandle feel a connection with the Washington, D.C. suburbs in Maryland and Virginia, and southern West Virginians often consider themselves Southerners. Finally, the towns and farms along the mid-Ohio River, which forms most the state's western border, have an appearance and culture somewhat resembling the Midwest.

Demographics of West Virginia (csv)
By race White Black AIAN* Asian NHPI*
2000 (total population) 96.01% 3.49% 0.59% 0.66% 0.05%
2000 (Hispanic only) 0.63% 0.04% 0.02% 0.01% 0.01%
2005 (total population) 95.99% 3.56% 0.56% 0.69% 0.05%
2005 (Hispanic only) 0.80% 0.04% 0.02% 0.01% 0.01%
Growth 2000–05 (total population) 0.46% 2.49% -3.96% 5.57% -2.80%
Growth 2000–05 (non-Hispanic only) 0.28% 2.30% -4.24% 5.96% -0.52%
Growth 2000–05 (Hispanic only) 27.74% 21.51% 5.56% -20.22% -16.67%
* AIAN is American Indian or Alaskan Native; NHPI is Native Hawaiian or Pacific Islander

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