There are 55 counties in West Virginia. West Virginia’s most populous county is Kanawha County, home of the city of Charleston, which has a 2019 population of 180,454. Since the last census was taken in 2010, Kanawha County has seen a loss in its total population with a negative -6.46% growth rate. Behind Kanawha County in terms of population are Berkeley County (117,132), Monongalia County (106,420), and Cabell County (93,224). Of these counties, Berkeley County had the highest growth rate of 11.97%.
The county in West Virginia that holds the lowest number of residents is Wirt County. Wirt County has a population of 5,830 which represents a growth rate of 1.82% since the 2010 census. Other small counties include Tucker County (6,955), Pendleton County (6,997), and Calhoun County (7,254). West Virginia has twelve counties under 10,000 residents and another 33 counties between 10,000 and 50,000 residents. Most of these small counties have lost residents since the census. Among counties under 10,000 people, Webster County (8,285) experienced the most dramatic decline with a -9.48% growth rate.
The most rapid growth found in West Virginia comes from Berkeley County which, since 2010’s census, has seen an 11.97% increase in its population to 117,123 people in 2019. Other counties with rapid growth in West Virginia include Monongalia County (9.99%), Jefferson County (5.98%), and Doddridge County (2.54%). The county with the most dramatic decline is McDowell County which lost 17.54% of its residents since 2010 and now has a population of 18,223.