Chariton is a city in and the county seat of Lucas County, Iowa, United States. The population was 4,573 at the 2000 census. It is the primary distribution center for, and former corporate seat of, the Hy-Vee supermarket chain.
It is the exact half way point, on U.S. Route 34 (runs east and west to each side of the state). The courthouse is the highest point of elevation in the whole town.
There were 1,936 households out of which 27.4% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 49.1% were married couples living together, 9.6% had a female householder with no husband present, and 38.4% were non-families. 34.6% of all households were made up of individuals and 18.7% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.27 and the average family size was 2.92.
In the city the population was spread out with 24.6% under the age of 18, 7.5% from 18 to 24, 24.8% from 25 to 44, 20.4% from 45 to 64, and 22.6% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 40 years. For every 100 females there were 90.2 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 81.8 males.
The median income for a household in the city was $27,844, and the median income for a family was $37,935. Males had a median income of $32,265 versus $21,981 for females. The per capita income for the city was $15,553. About 6.6% of families and 12.7% of the population were below the poverty line, including 14.5% of those under age 18 and 10.5% of those age 65 or over.