Gilmer County is a county in the U.S. state of West Virginia. As of the 2010 census, the population was 8,693. Its county seat is Glenville. The county was formed in 1845 from parts of Lewis and Kanawha Counties, and named for Thomas Walker Gilmer, Governor of Virginia from 1840 to 1841. Gilmer was later a representative in the United States Congress and Secretary of the Navy in President John Tyler’s cabinet.
According to the U.S. Census Bureau, the county has a total area of 340 square miles (880 km), of which 339 square miles (880 km) is land and 1.6 square miles (4.1 km) (0.5%) is water.
In 1863, West Virginia’s counties were divided into civil townships, with the intention of encouraging local government. This proved impractical in the heavily rural state, and in 1872 the townships were converted into magisterial districts. Gilmer County was divided into four districts: Centre, De Kalb, Glenville, and Troy. In the 1980s, De Kalb and Troy Districts were combined to form De Kalb-Troy District, and a new district, City, was established.
As of the census of 2000, there were 7,160 people, 2,768 households, and 1,862 families residing in the county. The population density was 21 people per square mile (8/km²). There were 3,621 housing units at an average density of 11 per square mile (4/km²). The racial makeup of the county was 97.33% White, 0.91% Black or African American, 0.20% Native American, 0.57% Asian, 0.01% Pacific Islander, 0.10% from other races, and 0.88% from two or more races. 0.70% of the population were Hispanic or Latino of any race.
There were 2,768 households out of which 28.20% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 54.40% were married couples living together, 8.60% had a female householder with no husband present, and 32.70% were non-families. 25.50% of all households were made up of individuals and 12.30% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.43 and the average family size was 2.92.
In the county, the population was spread out with 20.30% under the age of 18, 16.40% from 18 to 24, 24.50% from 25 to 44, 23.50% from 45 to 64, and 15.30% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 37 years. For every 100 females there were 101.10 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 101.40 males.
The median income for a household in the county was $22,857, and the median income for a family was $28,685. Males had a median income of $25,497 versus $15,353 for females. The per capita income for the county was $12,498. About 20.20% of families and 25.90% of the population were below the poverty line, including 27.70% of those under age 18 and 8.90% of those age 65 or over.
As of the 2010 United States Census, there were 8,693 people, 2,753 households, and 1,806 families residing in the county. The population density was 25.7 inhabitants per square mile (9.9/km). There were 3,448 housing units at an average density of 10.2 per square mile (3.9/km). The racial makeup of the county was 82.5% white, 12.3% black or African American, 0.5% American Indian, 0.4% Asian, 0.1% Pacific islander, 2.4% from other races, and 1.7% from two or more races. Those of Hispanic or Latino origin made up 5.7% of the population. In terms of ancestry, 23.1% were German, 14.9% were Irish, 9.6% were American, and 6.1% were English.
Of the 2,753 households, 25.9% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 49.8% were married couples living together, 10.1% had a female householder with no husband present, 34.4% were non-families, and 27.6% of all households were made up of individuals. The average household size was 2.34 and the average family size was 2.83. The median age was 38.0 years.
The median income for a household in the county was $29,706 and the median income for a family was $38,044. Males had a median income of $30,654 versus $16,834 for females. The per capita income for the county was $13,899. About 25.1% of families and 30.3% of the population were below the poverty line, including 39.4% of those under age 18 and 13.1% of those age 65 or over.