|McDowell County, West Virginia|
Location in the state of West Virginia
West Virginia's location in the U.S.
535 sq mi (1,386 km²)
0 sq mi (0 km²), 0.03%
52/sq mi (20/km²)
McDowell County is a county located in the U.S. state of West Virginia. As of 2000, the population was 27,329. Its county seat is Welch6. McDowell county is the southern-most county in the state, geographically.
The county is named in honor of James McDowell, Governor of Virginia from 1843 to 1846. McDowell County was nationally known for its prominence in the coal mining industry, setting records for coal production and was a major player in the state's economy. Before the industry's decline that began in the 1950s, McDowell's population was almost at 100,000 residents, third highest in the state in 1950, then declined at a rapid pace after each decennial census afterwards, setting the highest percentage in the state for population loss each time as younger residents move out of the county to seek better futures and leaving behind a much older population and many that lack transportation to find work.
For many years McDowell County was nicknamed the "Free state of McDowell" due to social and political race relations that is uncommon in the rest of the state.
In 2001 and 2002, horrific floods leveled many of the small towns within this county. Over ten inches of rain had fallen in a period of 12 hours in many of the areas. Many towns were left completely demolished by the violent flow of water which was channeled by the mountains and surrounding hills. Over 40 people died, or were declared dead as a result of being missing for over 1 year as a result of a 4 day period of rain.
- Wyoming County (north)
- Mercer County (east)
- Tazewell County (south)
- Buchanan County (west)
- Mingo County (northwest)
As of the census² of 2000, there were 27,329 people, 11,169 households, and 7,840 families residing in the county. The population density was 20/km² (51/sq mi). There were 13,582 housing units at an average density of 10/km² (25/sq mi). The racial makeup of the county was 87.06% White, 11.89% Black or African American, 0.17% Native American, 0.06% Asian, 0.01% Pacific Islander, 0.07% from other races, and 0.74% from two or more races. 0.48% of the population were Hispanic or Latino of any race.
There were 11,169 households out of which 29.20% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 51.10% were married couples living together, 14.90% had a female householder with no husband present, and 29.80% were non-families. 27.30% of all households were made up of individuals and 13.10% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.42 and the average family size was 2.92.
In the county, the population was spread out with 23.20% under the age of 18, 7.90% from 18 to 24, 26.80% from 25 to 44, 26.10% from 45 to 64, and 16.10% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 40 years. For every 100 females there were 90.40 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 86.20 males.
The median income for a household in the county was $16,931, and the median income for a family was $20,496. Males had a median income of $25,994 versus $18,685 for females. The per capita income for the county was $10,174, which is the lowest in the state and the 28th lowest in the country. About 33.80% of families and 37.70% of the population were below the poverty line, including 52.50% of those under age 18 and 21.60% of those age 65 or over.
Cities and towns
Incorporated cities and towns
- McDowell County Board of Education
- McDowell County Commission
- McDowell County Community Calendar
- McDowell County Economic Development Home Page
- McDowell County GenWeb Project
- McDowell Public Library
- ATV McDowell County
|This page uses content from the English language Wikipedia. The original content was at McDowell 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.|