The US state of West Virginia is located in the country’s southern region. It occupies 62,755 square km, which ranks as the 41st largest US state by area. The state has a population of around 1,805,832 people, making it the 38th most populous in the country. West Virginia is subdivided into 55 counties, and Logan County contains the most census-designated places (CDPs) in the state, with a total of 22 CDPs.
The Five Most Populated Cities in West Virginia
Charleston is the capital and most populous city of West Virginia. The 2010 Census estimated the city’s population at 51,400. Charleston is located at the confluence of two rivers, the Kanawha and the Elk. It is the hub of commerce, industry, and serves as the county seat of Kanawha County. Charleston is also an important educational center in West Virginia, as it is home to the University of Charleston, as well as other state and private university campuses.
With a population of 49,138, Huntington is West Virginia’s second largest city. It is the county seat of Cabell County and is located on the Ohio River, near the mouth of the Guyandotte River. The city also extends into Wayne County. Huntington is the country’s second busiest inland port, and the city has a diversified economy. Extensive natural resources near the city have led to the development of a thriving economy.
The third most populous city in West Virginia is Parkersburg, which had a population of 31,492 in 2010. It serves as the county seat of Wood County and is the largest city in the Parkersburg-Marietta-Vienna metropolitan area. Parkersburg spans an area of 31.99 square km and is located at the confluence of the Ohio and Little Kanawha Rivers. The latter divides the city into a northern and southern side. The Kanawha River’s tributary, Worthington Creek, passes through the eastern part of Parkersburg.
The fourth biggest city in West Virginia is Morgantown, which has a population of 29,660. The city serves as the county seat of Monongalia County and is located on the banks of the Monongahela River. The Morgantown Personal Rapid Transit and the West Virginia University are located in the city.
Wheeling is the fifth largest city in West Virginia, with a population of 28,486. The city covers parts of both Ohio and Marshall counties, and serves as the county seat of Ohio County. Wheeling is located at the foothills of the Appalachian Mountains, along the Ohio River. The major industries within the city include education, healthcare, tourism, energy, and legal services.
The Smallest CDP in West Virginia
With a population of only 9, Bowden is West Virginia’s least populous census-designated place (CDP). It occupies an area of only 0.32 square km in Randolph County, which also makes it the smallest CDP in the state by area.