Coal mining establishments in West Virginia employ more
people than those in other states. According to the economic
census, in 2007, 10,598 people were employed in the state’s coal
mining industry, compared to 5,937 in 2002 [PDF 210
U.S. Census Bureau History: West Virginia's 150th Birthday
Lithograph of Harper’s Ferry, WV, by Currier and Ives, ca. 1860. Image
courtesy of the Library of Congress.
West Virginia became the 35th state in the Union on June
20, 1863. The state was formed from the western counties of Virginia after that state seceded from the United States during
the Civil War. Below are some facts about West Virginia from the U.S. Census Bureau:
In 1860, the 50 Virginia counties that would become
West Virginia had a population of 376,688. The new state’s population as of the 1870 Census was 442,014.
In 1940, when the Census Bureau first conducted the Census of Housing, there were 459,725 housing units in West Virginia. In 2011, there were 844,623 housing units.
In 1950, 24.5 percent of West Virginians had at least a
high school education. By 2011, 82.6 percent of the
population had completed high school or more education.
According to the 1950 Census, 6.5 percent of West Virginia’s labor force was
unemployed in 1950. In 2011, the unemployment rate was 7.5 percent.
West Virginia is one of the leading producers of coal in the United States. In 2009 [PDF 62 KB], there were 283 coal mines in the state, ranking second
to Kentucky's 449 mines.
Harper’s Ferry, WV, 1912. Photo courtesy of the Library of
This Month in Census History
In a June 1963 report from the 1960 Census, the U.S.
Census Bureau noted that 78 percent of West Virginians living in the state had been born there. Only North Carolina and South Carolina had higher percentages of native-born residents. Nevada had the lowest percentage of
residents born in-state: 19.7 percent.
Did You Know?
West Virginia, Kentucky, and Wyoming accounted for 52 percent of the value of U.S. shipments in the coal mining industry
in 2007. The U.S. Census Bureau’s "Industry Snapshots" provide key industry
statistics for this and other industries in the United States and includes comparisons of the data from the 1997, 2002, and
2007 Economic Censuses.
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