Barbour County is a county in north-central West Virginia, USA. At the 2010 census, the population was 16,589. The county seat is Philippi, which was chartered in 1844. Both county and city were named for Philip Pendleton Barbour (1783–1841), a U.S. Congressman from Virginia and Associate Justice of the U.S. Supreme Court. The county was formed in 1843 when the region was still part of the state of Virginia. In 1871, a small part of Barbour County was transferred to Tucker County, West Virginia.
According to the U.S. Census Bureau, the county has a total area of 343 square miles (890 km), of which 341 square miles (880 km) is land and 1.8 square miles (4.7 km) (0.5%) is water.
Barbour County is situated on the Allegheny Plateau at the western edge of the Allegheny Mountains (represented by Laurel Mountain at the County’s eastern boundary). Most of the County is drained by the Tygart Valley River which traverses it from south to north and on which its three largest settlements – Philippi, Belington, and Junior – are sited. Tributaries of the Tygart in the County include Teter Creek, Laurel Creek, Hacker’s Creek, the Buckhannon River and the West Fork River. A portion of the County in the west drains into the Middle Fork River, principally through Elk Creek. Audra State Park – the County’s only state park – is situated on the Middle Fork in the southwest corner. Teter Creek Lake Wildlife Management Area – the County’s only WMA – is located on that stream and lake in the eastern portion. All of the mentioned streams are part of the greater Monongahela River watershed.
At the census of 2000, there were 15,557 people, 6,123 households, and 4,365 families residing in the county. The population density was 46 people per square mile (18/km²). There were 7,348 housing units at an average density of 22 per square mile (8/km²). The racial makeup of the county was 97.36% White, 0.49% Black or African American, 0.71% Native American, 0.26% Asian, 0.02% Pacific Islander, 0.12% from other races, and 1.03% from two or more races. 0.47% of the population were Hispanic or Latino of any race.
There were 6,123 households out of which 30.10% have children under the age of 18 living with them, 57.20% were married couples living together, 10.30% had a female householder with no husband present, and 28.70% were non-families. 25.10% of all households were made up of individuals and 12.60% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.47 and the average family size was 2.94.
In the county, the population was spread out with 23.00% under the age of 18, 9.40% from 18 to 24, 26.80% from 25 to 44, 25.20% from 45 to 64, and 15.60% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 39 years. For every 100 females there were 96.70 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 92.00 males.
The median income for a household in the county was $24,729, and the median income for a family was $29,722. Males had a median income of $24,861 versus $17,433 for females. The per capita income for the county was $12,440. 22.60% of the population and 18.40% of families were below the poverty line. Out of the total population, 32.00% of those under the age of 18 and 16.70% of those 65 and older were living below the poverty line.
As of the 2010 United States Census, there were 16,589 people, 6,548 households, and 4,643 families residing in the county. The population density was 48.6 inhabitants per square mile (18.8/km). There were 7,849 housing units at an average density of 23.0 per square mile (8.9/km). The racial makeup of the county was 96.8% white, 0.7% black or African American, 0.6% American Indian, 0.2% Asian, 0.2% from other races, and 1.5% from two or more races. Those of Hispanic or Latino origin made up 0.6% of the population. In terms of ancestry, 23.4% were German, 22.3% were American, 13.6% were Irish, and 11.0% were English.
Of the 6,548 households, 30.7% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 54.8% were married couples living together, 10.9% had a female householder with no husband present, 29.1% were non-families, and 24.2% of all households were made up of individuals. The average household size was 2.46 and the average family size was 2.89. The median age was 41.5 years.
The median income for a household in the county was $31,212 and the median income for a family was $39,434. Males had a median income of $34,573 versus $21,797 for females. The per capita income for the county was $17,304. About 14.3% of families and 18.4% of the population were below the poverty line, including 27.5% of those under age 18 and 13.6% of those age 65 or over.