Kanawha County Courthouse in Charleston
Location within the U.S. state of West Virginia
West Virginia's location within the U.S.
|Founded||October 5, 1789|
|Named for||Kanawha River|
|o Total||911 sq mi (2,360 km2)|
|o Land||902 sq mi (2,340 km2)|
|o Water||9.3 sq mi (24 km2) 1.0%%|
| o Estimate |
|o Density||210/sq mi (82/km2)|
|Time zone||UTC-5 (Eastern)|
|o Summer (DST)||UTC-4 (EDT)|
Kanawha County ( k?-NAW or k?-NAW-?) is a county in the U.S. state of West Virginia. As of the 2010 census, the population was 193,063, making it West Virginia's most populous county. Its county seat is Charleston, the state capital. Kanawha County is part of the Charleston, WV Metropolitan Statistical Area.
The county began taking formation on November 14, 1788, under authorization of the Virginia General Assembly and was founded on October 5, 1789. The county was named for the Kanawha River, which in turn was named after a Native American tribe that lived in the area. During the American Civil War, a number of state infantry and cavalry regiments were organized in the county for both Confederate Army and Union Army service.
In 1863, 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. Kanawha County was divided into ten districts: Big Sandy, Cabin Creek, Charleston, Elk, Jefferson, Loudon, Malden, Poca,[i] Union, and Washington. In the 1970s the historic districts were consolidated into five new magisterial districts: District 1, District 2, District 3, District 4, and District 5. A District 6 was created in the 1980s, but in the 1990s the county was redistricted again, reducing the number of magisterial districts to four: District 1, District 2, District 3, and District 4.
According to the U.S. Census Bureau, the county has a total area of 911 square miles (2,360 km2), of which 902 square miles (2,340 km2) is land and 9.3 square miles (24 km2) (1.0%) is water. It is the fourth-largest county in West Virginia by area.
As of the census of 2000, there were 200,073 people, 86,226 households, and 55,960 families living in the county. The population density was 222 people per square mile (86/km2). There were 93,788 housing units at an average density of 104 per square mile (40/km2). The racial makeup of the county was 90.46% White, 6.97% Black or African American, 0.21% Native American, 0.85% Asian, 0.02% Pacific Islander, 0.21% from other races, and 1.27% from two or more races. 0.59% of the population were Hispanics or Latinos of any race.
There were 86,226 households, out of which 26.50% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 49.00% were married couples living together, 12.30% had a female householder with no husband present, and 35.10% were non-families. 30.80% of all households were made up of individuals, and 12.50% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.28 and the average family size was 2.84.
The age distribution was 21.30% under the age of 18, 8.40% from 18 to 24, 28.10% from 25 to 44, 25.60% from 45 to 64, and 16.50% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 40 years. For every 100 females, there were 90.70 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 87.10 males.
The median income for a household in the county was $33,766, and the median income for a family was $42,568. Males had a median income of $33,842 versus $24,188 for females. The per capita income for the county was $20,354. About 11.20% of families and 14.40% of the population were below the poverty line, including 20.60% of those under age 18 and 10.50% of those age 65 or over.
As of the 2010 United States Census, there were 193,063 people, 84,201 households, and 52,172 families living in the county. The population density was 214.1 inhabitants per square mile (82.7/km2). There were 92,618 housing units at an average density of 102.7 per square mile (39.7/km2). The racial makeup of the county was 89.1% white, 7.3% black or African American, 1.0% Asian, 0.2% American Indian, 0.3% from other races, and 2.0% from two or more races. Those of Hispanic or Latino origin made up 0.9% of the population. In terms of ancestry, 14.8% were German, 14.2% were Irish, 13.9% were English, and 13.4% were American.
Of the 84,201 households, 27.1% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 44.3% were married couples living together, 13.1% had a female householder with no husband present, 38.0% were non-families, and 32.5% of all households were made up of individuals. The average household size was 2.26 and the average family size was 2.84. The median age was 42.4 years.
The median income for a household in the county was $42,669 and the median income for a family was $54,203. Males had a median income of $42,522 versus $31,754 for females. The per capita income for the county was $25,439. About 9.7% of families and 13.7% of the population were below the poverty line, including 20.5% of those under age 18 and 8.3% of those age 65 or over.
Kanawha County was dominated by the Democratic Party for much of the 20th century, albeit to a lesser extent than much of West Virginia. However, since 2004 it has been won by Republicans in presidential elections, although as an urban county the swing to the Republicans has not been as vast as in much of the rest of the state.
|Kanawha County Commission||Commissioner W. Kent Carper, President|
Commissioner Ben Salango
Commissioner Henry "Hoppy" Shores
|Kanawha County Assessor||Sallie Robinson|
|Kanawha County Circuit Clerk||Cathy Gatson|
|Kanawha County Clerk||Vera McCormick|
|Kanawha County Prosecutor||Charles "Chuck" Miller|
|Kanawha County Sheriff||Michael Y. Rutherford|
According to the 2010 U.S. Census there are approximately 5,481 private sector businesses within Kanawha County. There are 89,768 people that are currently employed that live in Kanawha County.
|Coonskin Park||Coonskin Golf Course|
|Shawnee Park||Shawnee Golf Course|
|Meadowood Park||Edgewood Country Club|
|Pioneer Park||Little Creek Golf Course|
|Wallace Hartman Nature Preserve||Sleepy Hollow Golf Club|
|Cato Park||Sandy Brae Golf Course|
|Ridenour Park||Berry Hills Country Club|
|Big Bend Park||Big Bend Golf Course|
|Kanawha State Forest|
|Saint Albans City Park|