Fayette County, West Virginia

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Fayette County, West Virginia
FayetteCtyCourthouse FayettevilleWV.jpg
Fayette County courthouse, Fayetteville
Map of West Virginia highlighting Fayette County
Location in the U.S. state of West Virginia
Map of the United States highlighting West Virginia
West Virginia's location in the U.S.
Founded February 28, 1831
Named for Marquis de la Fayette
Seat Fayetteville
Largest city Oak Hill
 • Total 668 sq mi (1,730 km2)
 • Land 662 sq mi (1,715 km2)
 • Water 6.8 sq mi (18 km2), 1.0%
Population (est.)
 • (2014) 45,132
 • Density 68/sq mi (26/km²)
Congressional district 3rd
Time zone Eastern: UTC-5/-4
Website www.fayettecounty.wv.gov
Cathedral Falls

Fayette County is a county located in the U.S. state of West Virginia. As of the 2010 census, the population was 46,039.[1] Its county seat is Fayetteville.[2]

Fayette County is a part of the Beckley, WV Metropolitan Statistical Area.[3]


Fayette County was created by Act of the Virginia General Assembly, passed February 28, 1831,[4] from parts of Greenbrier, Kanawha, Nicholas, and Logan counties. It was named in honor of the Marquis de la Fayette, who had played a key role assisting the Continental Army during the American Revolutionary War.[5] Virginia previously had a Fayette County, which was lost to form the new state of Kentucky. Accordingly, in the State records of Virginia, there will be listings for Fayette County from 1780–1792 and Fayette County from 1831-1863. Neither location is still located in Virginia and despite naming a county after him twice, Virginia no longer has a county named for the Marquis de la Fayette.

A substantial portion was subdivided from Fayette County to form Raleigh County in 1850. Fayette was one of 50 counties that broke off from the rest of Virginia and formed the new state of West Virginia during the American Civil War. In 1871, an Act of the West Virginia Legislature severed a small portion to form part of Summers County.[6]

Fayette County was home to a disastrous mine explosion at Red Ash in March 1900, in which 46 miners were killed.[7]


According to the U.S. Census Bureau, the county has a total area of 668 square miles (1,730 km2), of which 662 square miles (1,710 km2) is land and 6.8 square miles (18 km2) (1.0%) is water.[8] Plum Orchard Lake, a reservoir southwest of Oak Hill, is the second largest lake in West Virginia.

Major highways

Adjacent counties

National protected areas


Historical population
Census Pop.
1840 3,924
1850 3,955 0.8%
1860 5,997 51.6%
1870 6,647 10.8%
1880 11,560 73.9%
1890 20,542 77.7%
1900 31,987 55.7%
1910 51,903 62.3%
1920 60,377 16.3%
1930 72,050 19.3%
1940 80,628 11.9%
1950 82,443 2.3%
1960 61,731 −25.1%
1970 49,332 −20.1%
1980 57,863 17.3%
1990 47,952 −17.1%
2000 47,579 −0.8%
2010 46,039 −3.2%
Est. 2014 45,132 [9] −2.0%
U.S. Decennial Census[10]
1790–1960[11] 1900–1990[12]
1990–2000[13] 2010–2014[1]

As of the census[14] of 2000, there were 47,579 people, 18,945 households, and 13,128 families residing in the county. The population density was 72 people per square mile (28/km²). There were 21,616 housing units at an average density of 33 per square mile (13/km²). The racial makeup of the county was 92.74% White, 5.57% Black or African American, 0.27% Native American, 0.30% Asian, 0.04% Pacific Islander, 0.15% from other races, and 0.93% from two or more races. 0.68% of the population were Hispanic or Latino of any race.

There were 18,945 households out of which 29.00% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 52.10% were married couples living together, 13.20% had a female householder with no husband present, and 30.70% were non-families. 26.90% of all households were made up of individuals and 13.40% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.41 and the average family size was 2.89.

In the county, the population was spread out with 21.70% under the age of 18, 9.60% from 18 to 24, 27.10% from 25 to 44, 25.10% from 45 to 64, and 16.40% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 40 years. For every 100 females there were 98.20 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 94.70 males.

The median income for a household in the county was $24,788, and the median income for a family was $30,243. Males had a median income of $28,554 versus $18,317 for females. The per capita income for the county was $13,809. About 18.20% of families and 21.70% of the population were below the poverty line, including 31.90% of those under age 18 and 13.70% of those age 65 or over.


The county has a tradition of coal mining, which still serves as a primary source of employment in the area. A Georgia Pacific lumber mill has its home to the west of Mt. Hope, adjacent to U.S. Route 19. There exists a large metal alloy plant in Alloy. The Mount Olive Correctional Complex, West Virginia's only maximum security state prison, is also located in Fayette County.[citation needed]

Notable people




Census-designated places

Unincorporated communities

See also


  1. 1.0 1.1 "State & County QuickFacts". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved January 10, 2014.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  2. "Find a County". National Association of Counties. Retrieved 2011-06-07.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  3. http://www.register-herald.com/local/x503822301/Fayette-Raleigh-MPO-expands-to-include-entirety-of-both-counties
  4. http://www.wvculture.org/history/counties/fayette.html
  5. Gannett, Henry (1905). The Origin of Certain Place Names in the United States. Govt. Print. Off. p. 124.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  6. http://burgesslegacy.org/fayette/chapter_i.htm
  7. http://www.wvencyclopedia.org/articles/29
  8. "2010 Census Gazetteer Files". United States Census Bureau. August 22, 2012. Retrieved July 24, 2015.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  9. "Annual Estimates of the Resident Population for Incorporated Places: April 1, 2010 to July 1, 2014". Retrieved June 4, 2015.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  10. "U.S. Decennial Census". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved January 10, 2014.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  11. "Historical Census Browser". University of Virginia Library. Retrieved January 10, 2014.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  12. "Population of Counties by Decennial Census: 1900 to 1990". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved January 10, 2014.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  13. "Census 2000 PHC-T-4. Ranking Tables for Counties: 1990 and 2000" (PDF). United States Census Bureau. Retrieved January 10, 2014.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  14. "American FactFinder". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved 2011-05-14.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  15. http://www.visitwv.com/vacation/mount-hope-jubilee/

External links

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