Welch is a city located in McDowell County in the State of West Virginia, United States. The population was 2,406 at the 2010 census. Incorporated as a city in 1893, it is the county seat of McDowell County.
According to the United States Census Bureau, the city has a total area of 6.04 square miles (15.64 km), of which 6.01 square miles (15.57 km) is land and 0.03 square miles (0.08 km) is water.
Periodic flooding of the Elkhorn and Tug Fork rivers have plagued the future prosperity of the city. Most notably, the record flooding in 2001 and 2002 nearly destroyed Welch altogether. Flood reduction projects to prevent further destruction in the future are presently in progress.
The town is a railway station on the Norfolk Southern Railway (former Norfolk and Western) network.
As of the census of 2010, there were 2,406 people, 984 households, and 554 families residing in the city. The population density was 400.3 inhabitants per square mile (154.6/km). There were 1,265 housing units at an average density of 210.5 per square mile (81.3/km). The racial makeup of the city was 84.5% White, 13.3% African American, 0.1% Native American, 0.1% Asian, and 2.0% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 0.7% of the population.
There were 984 households of which 22.4% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 38.7% were married couples living together, 13.2% had a female householder with no husband present, 4.4% had a male householder with no wife present, and 43.7% were non-families. 39.3% of all households were made up of individuals and 17.4% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.11 and the average family size was 2.78.
The median age in the city was 44 years. 15.5% of residents were under the age of 18; 7.9% were between the ages of 18 and 24; 27.9% were from 25 to 44; 30.9% were from 45 to 64; and 17.8% were 65 years of age or older. The gender makeup of the city was 53.4% male and 46.6% female.
As of the census of 2000, there were 2,683 people, 1,195 households, and 714 families residing in the city. The population density was 821.1 people per square mile (316.8/km²). There were 1,453 housing units at an average density of 444.7 per square mile (171.6/km²). The racial makeup of the city was 79.20% White, 19.27% African American, 0.26% Native American, 0.30% Asian, 0.34% from other races, and 0.63% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 1.04% of the population.
There were 1,195 households out of which 22.7% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 39.2% were married couples living together, 17.2% had a female householder with no husband present, and 40.2% were non-families. 37.6% of all households were made up of individuals and 17.6% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.12 and the average family size was 2.76.
In the city, the age distribution of the population shows 19.3% under the age of 18, 6.6% from 18 to 24, 24.7% from 25 to 44, 26.7% from 45 to 64, and 22.5% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 45 years. For every 100 females, there were 81.7 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 80.0 males.
The median income for a household in the city was $19,795, and the median income for a family was $30,833. Males had a median income of $30,104 versus $23,320 for females. The per capita income for the city was $16,308. About 23.0% of families and 28.9% of the population were below the poverty line, including 45.9% of those under age 18 and 16.7% of those age 65 or over.