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  •   State: 
    West Virginia
    Kanawha County
      County FIPS: 
    38°20′50″N 81°38′0″W
      Area total: 
    32.64 sq mi
      Area land: 
    31.50 sq mi (81.59 km²)
      Area water: 
    1.14 sq mi (2.95 km²)
    597 ft (182 m)
    1788; Incorporated 1794
  •   Latitude: 
      Dman name cbsa: 
    Charleston, WV
    Eastern Standard Time (EST) UTC-5:00; Eastern Daylight Time (EDT) UTC-4:00
      ZIP codes: 

    Charleston, Kanawha County, West Virginia, United States

  •   Population: 
      Population density: 
    1,500 residents per square mile of area (580/km²)
      Household income: 
      Unemployment rate: 
  •   Sales taxes: 
      Income taxes: 

Charleston is the capital and most populous city of West Virginia, United States. Located at the confluence of the Elk and Kanawha rivers, the city had a population of 48,864 at the 2020 census. The Charleston metropolitan area as a whole had an estimated 255,020 residents in 2021. Charleston is the center of government, commerce, and industry for Kanaw Ha County, of which it is the county seat. The city is the home of the Charleston Dirty Birds of the Atlantic League of Professional Baseball. Yeager Airport and the University of Charleston are in the city. West Virginia State University is in the local area as well as West Virginia University and Marshall University satellite campuses. The first permanent settlement, Fort Morris, was built in fall 1773 by William Morris prior to Lord Dunmore's War. The town of Charleston was incorporated by the Virginia House of Delegates in 1794 with the trustees being William Morris, Leonard Morris, and Daniel Boone. Early industries important to Charleston included salt and the first natural gas well. Later, coal became central to economic prosperity in theCity and the surrounding area. Today, trade, utilities, government, medicine, and education play central roles in the City's economy. The annual 15-mile (24 km) Charleston Distance Run is held in Charleston every year to raise money for local charities. The City of Charleston is a member of the American Football League (AFL) and the Southern Conference of the United States Football Association (NCF).


Charleston is the primary city name, but also Big Chimney are acceptable city names or spellings. Charleston's history goes back to the 18th century. Fort Lee, first permanent settlement, was built in 1787 by Col. George Clendenin. Today, Charleston is the largest in the state capital of West Virginia. The city is named after Col. Clendin's father, Charles Clittin, and his company of Rangers of Virginia. Charleston's population is 51,400, making it the largest state capital in the U.S. and the state's second largest city after Morgantown, West Virginia, which has a population of 80,000. The town is located on the Kanawha River, near the mouth of the Elk River. It is home to the University of Charleston, the West Virginia Music Hall of Fame, and the WVU Museum of Art. The Charleston Gazette-Mail newspaper is formed by the merger of the Charleston Gazette and Charleston Daily Mail. It was founded in 1818 and is based in the city's downtown area. It has a circulation of more than 1,000,000 people (as of 2014). The city's population was 1,050 in 2010. It's the largest city in West Virginia with an estimated population of 48,864 people (as of 2014) and an estimated annual growth rate of 0.7%. The city has a history of being named after two men: Charles Clitenin and Cuthbert Bullbert Bullitt, who died in 1778 and sold his land in 1786. The name Charleston was first used in 1794.


Charleston is located in west-central Kanawha County at 38°2058N 81°380W (38.349497, 81.633294). It lies within the ecoregion of the Western Allegheny Plateau. The city has a total area of 32.66 square miles (84.59 km²), of which 31.52 sq miles (81.64 km²) are land and 1.14sq miles (2.95km²) is water. Charleston is about 117 miles (188 km) southeast of Chillicothe, Ohio, 315 miles (507 km) west of Richmond, Virginia, 228 miles (367 km) southwest of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, 247 miles (398 km) east of Louisville, Kentucky, and 264 miles (425 km) north of Charlotte, North Carolina. The hardiness zone is 7a. The area averages about 3.5 inches (89 mm) of precipitation each month. Thunderstorms are frequent during the late spring and throughout the summer, and occasionally they can be quite severe, producing the rare tornado. Snowfall generally occurs from late November to early April, with the heaviest period being January and February. However, major snowstorms of more than 10 inches (25 cm) are rare. The last such instance was July 8, 2012. The record cold maximum is 4 °F (16 °C) on December 22, 1989 (during the December 1989 United States cold wave), while, conversely the record warm minimum is 84 °C (29 °F) on July 29, 1924.


Charleston functions under the Mayor-Council form of city government. The Mayor is the designated Chief Executive Officer of the city. The Charleston City Council has 26 members. Twenty of the council members are elected from a specific ward within the city, and an additional six are elected by the city at-large. The City Manager has supervision and control of the executive work and management of the heads of all departments under his or her control as directed by the Mayor. General Elections for Mayor, City Council and other city officers take place in May every four years (Primary Elections are held in March). The most recent election was in May 2019. The mayor, Amy Goodwin, was sworn in Monday, January 7, 2019, and is the first female mayor in the history of Charleston. Charleston also has a City Manager who is appointed by the mayor and approved by the Council. The City's current City Manager is Jonathan Storage, who also assumed office on January7, 2019. He makes all contracts for labor and supplies, and generally has the responsibility for all of the business and administrative work of the City. The city has a population of 1,856,000. It is located on the Atlantic seaboard of South Carolina. It has a latitude of 50 miles (80 kilometers) and a longitude of 60 miles (100 kilometers) The city is in the eastern part of the state and has a long-range latitude of 40 miles (65 kilometers) It has an altitude of 2,000 feet (800 meters) and an area of 2.5 square miles (3,000 kilometers).


As of the census of 2010, there were 51,400 people, 23,453 households, and 12,587 families residing in the city. The racial makeup of the city was 78.4% White, 15.5% African American, 0.2% Native American, 2.3% Asian, and 0.3%. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 1.4%. The five most common ancestries were German (12.4%), English (11.6%), American (11,4%), Irish (10.6%) and Italian (3.9%). The median income for a household in theCity was $34,009, and the median income. for a family was $47,975. About 12.7% of families and 16.7%. of the population were below the poverty line, including 24.5%. of those under age 18 and 11.5. of those age 65 or over. The average household size was 2.11 and the average family size was2.82. The median age in the City was 41.7 years. The city has a population density of 1,630.7 inhabitants per square mile (629.6/km²). There were 26,205 housing units at an average density of 831.4 per squaremile (321.0/km 2) The city's median age was 41 years. For every 100 females there were 87.3 males. For each 100 females age 18 or over, there are 83.7 males.


Charleston hosts a branch campus of West Virginia University that serves as a clinical campus for the university's medical and dental schools. The city is also home to a 1,000-student private college, the University of Charleston, formerly Morris Harvey College. Students at either school must complete their class work at the main campus in Morgantown but can complete their clinical rotations at hospitals in the Eastern Panhandle, or Charleston. The Charleston Branch of the Robert C. Byrd Institute for Advanced Flexible Manufacturing provides access to computer numerical control (CNC) equipment for businesses. West Virginia Junior College is accredited by the Accrediting Council for Independent Colleges and Schools to award diplomas and associate degrees. The City of Charleston has numerous schools that are part of Kanawha County Schools. The three high schools are: George Washington High School, a public school in the South Hills neighborhood, a Catholic school at the eastern edge of the city's downtown, and Stonewall Jackson High School on the West Side. The South Charleston campus of both the BridgeValley Community and Technical College and of Marshall University also has a campus in Montgomery. In July, 2020 Stonewal Jackson Middle School was renamed West Side Middle School. It was founded in 1940 and converted to a middle school in 1989 after Capital High School opened. Within the immediate area are West Virginia State University in Institute; and the South Charleston campuses of both BridgeValleys and Marshall University. The area is home to the Charleston branch of the R.C. Byrd institute for Advanced Manufacturing, an independent program administered by Marshall University providing access to CNC equipment.


CAMC (Charleston Area Medical Center) is a complex of hospitals throughout the city. Thomas Health is acomplex of hospitals and health care centers in the Charleston area. Highland Hospital is a behavioral health facility in the Kanawha City neighborhood. St. Francis Hospital (downtown) and Thomas Memorial Hospital (South Charleston) are among the hospitals in the Thomas Health complex. The hospital system is part of Thomas Health, which also includes the University of South Carolina Medical Center and University of North Carolina-Charleston Medical Center. The system is a joint venture between Thomas Health and the South Carolina Department of Health and Human Services. It is the largest health care system in the state, with more than 1,000 beds. It also includes a number of other health care facilities, such as a children's hospital and a psychiatric hospital. It was founded in the 1950s and is one of the oldest health care systems in the country. It has been in operation since the 1960s and has been the largest hospital system in South Carolina since the 1970s and 1980s. In the 1990s, it was the largest in the United States, with over 1,200 beds. In 2008, it became the second-largest in the U.S. behind Memorial Hospital in Washington, D.C. and the third-largest overall. The total number of hospitals in Charleston, South Carolina, is more than 2,000. The number of beds in the city is about 1,500, with the majority in downtown.


The City of Charleston recognizes the Charleston Area Alliance as its economic development organization. Shoney's restaurants, L.A. Joe discount department stores, and MATRIC are among the companies based in the Charleston area. The Charleston area is home to the National Basketball Hall of Fame and the College of Charleston. It is also the home of the NCAA Division I Women's Basketball Championship and the NCAA Men's Division I Basketball Championship. The city is also home to a number of colleges and universities, including the University of South Carolina, University of North Carolina-Charleston, and University of Maryland-Eastern Shore. It has a population of more than 1,000,000 people, including more than 100,000 college students. It also has one of the largest populations of African-Americans in the United States, with more than half of its residents living in or near the city's downtown area. It was the site of the U.S. Civil War, and the Battle of the Bulge, which took place in the late 1800s and early 1900s. It's also the birthplace of the Civil Rights Movement, which began in the early 20th century. In the 1930s, the city was the scene of the first African-American newspaper, the Charleston Post, which was published for the first time in 1837. The first black president, George H.W. Bush, was born in Charleston in 1838, and his son, George W. Bush was elected in 1841, the third president, in 1844.


Charleston is home to numerous annual events and fairs that take place throughout the city. The West Virginia Dance Festival features dance students from across the state that attend classes and workshops in ballet, jazz and modern dance. Symphony Sunday, held annually usually the first weekend in June, is a full day of music, food, and family fun, culminating in a free performance by the West Virginia Symphony Orchestra. The Charleston Sternwheel Regatta is an annual river festival held on the Kanawha Boulevard by Haddad Riverfront Park. Charleston is the home to the largest population of privately owned sternwheel vessels in the United States. About fifty buildings in Charleston are on the National Register of Historic Places, including many houses dating from the late 19th and early 20th century as well as a few art deco style buildings from the 1920s and early 30s. In 2022, the festival was reinstated as an Independence Day weekend event, beginning Thursday and concluding on Independence Day on Monday with a fireworks display on Saturday and Monday. It was originally held during Labor Day weekend each year until its discontinuation in 2008, but after its revival in 2022, it is now held during July 4th weekend. The NPR program Mountain Stage was founded in Charleston in 1983. The live performance music program, produced by West Virginia Public Broadcasting, and heard on the Voice of America and via NPR Music, records episodes regularly at the Culture Center Theater on the state capitol grounds. The festival is held at the University of Charleston Stadium at Laidley Field in downtown Charleston.

Air Quality, Water Quality, Superfund Sites & UV Index

The Air Quality index is in Charleston, Kanawha County, West Virginia = 30. These Air Quality index is based on annual reports from the EPA. Higher values are better (100=best). The number of ozone alert days is used as an indicator of air quality, as are the amounts of seven pollutants including particulates, carbon monoxide, sulfur dioxide, lead, and volatile organic chemicals. The Water Quality Index is 60. A measure of the quality of an area’s water supply as rated by the EPA. Higher values are better (100=best). The EPA has a complex method of measuring the watershed quality, using 15 indicators such as pollutants, turbidity, sediments, and toxic discharges. The Superfund Sites Index is 10. Higher is better (100=best). Based upon the number and impact of EPA Superfund pollution sites in the county, including spending on the cleanup efforts. The UV Index in Charleston = 4.2 and is a measure of an area's exposure to the sun's ultraviolet rays. This is most often a combination of sunny weather, altitude, and latitude. The UV Index has been defined by the WHO ( and is uniform worldwide.


The most recent city population of 48,864 individuals with a median age of 42.9 age the population dropped by -6.57% in Charleston, Kanawha County, West Virginia population since 2000 and are distributed over a density of 1,500 residents per square mile of area (580/km²). There are average 2.08 people per household in the 23,116 households with an average household income of $42,336 a year. The unemployment rate in Alabama is 7.70% of the available work force and has dropped -6.00% over the most recent 12-month period and the projected change in job supply over the next decade based on migration patterns, economic growth, and other factors will increase by 20.30%. The number of physicians in Charleston per 100,000 population = 368.5.


The annual rainfall in Charleston = 41.7 inches and the annual snowfall = 18.9 inches. The annual number of days with measurable precipitation (over .01 inch) = 136. The average number of days per year that are predominantly sunny = 176. 88 degrees Fahrenheit is the average daily high temperature for the month of July and 24.8 degrees Fahrenheit is the average daily low temperature for the month of January. The Comfort Index (higher=better) is 45, where higher values mean a more pleasant climate. The Comfort Index measure recognizes that humidity by itself isn't the problem. (Have you noticed nobody ever complains about the weather being 'cold and humid?) It's in the summertime that we notice the humidity the most, when it's hot and muggy. Our Comfort Index uses a combination of afternoon summer temperature and humidity to closely predict the effect that the humidity will have on people.

Median Home Cost

The percentage of housing units in Charleston, Kanawha County, West Virginia which are owned by the occupant = 50.92%. A housing unit is a house, apartment, mobile home, or room occupied as separate living quarters. The average age of homes = 54 years with median home cost = $147,110 and home appreciation of 2.06%. This is the value of the years most recent home sales data. Its important to note that this is not the average (or arithmetic mean). The median home price is the middle value when you arrange all the sales prices of homes from lowest to highest. This is a better indicator than the average, because the median is not changed as much by a few unusually high or low values. The property tax rate of $5.30 shown here is the rate per $1,000 of home value. If for simplification for example the tax rate is $14.00 and the home value is $250,000, the property tax would be $14.00 x ($250,000/1000), or $3500. This is the 'effective' tax rate.


The local school district spends $5,763 per student. There are 16.2 students for each teacher in the school, 423 students for each Librarian and 220 students for each Counselor. 4.58% of the area’s population over the age of 25 with an Associate Degree or other 2-year college degree, 17.66% with a master’s degree, Ph.D. or other advanced college degree and 15.28% with high school diplomas or high school equivalency degrees (GEDs).

  • Charleston's population in Kanawha County, West Virginia of 11,099 residents in 1900 has increased 4,4-fold to 48,864 residents after 120 years, according to the official 2020 census.

    Approximately 52.81% female residents and 47.19% male residents live in Charleston, Kanawha County, West Virginia.

    As of 2020 in Charleston, Kanawha County, West Virginia are married and the remaining 51.23% are single population.

  • 18.1 minutes is the average time that residents in Charleston require for a one-way commute to work. A long commute can have different effects on health. A Gallup poll in the US found that in terms of mental health, long haul commuters are up to 12 percent more likely to experience worry, and ten percent less likely to feel well rested. The Gallup poll also found that of people who commute 61­–90 minutes each day, a whopping one third complained of neck and back pain, compared to less than a quarter of people who only spend ten minutes getting to work.

    75.38% of the working population which commute to work alone in their car, 11.70% of the working population which commutes to work in a carpool, 4.53% of the population that commutes using mass transit, including bus, light rail, subway, and ferry. 2.71% of the population that has their home as their principal place of work.

  • Of the total residential buildings in Charleston, Kanawha County, West Virginia, 50.92% are owner-occupied homes, another 35.77% are rented apartments, and the remaining 13.32% are vacant.

  • The 33.24% of the population in Charleston, Kanawha County, West Virginia who identify themselves as belonging to a religion are distributed among the following most diverse religions.

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