is a county
located in the U.S. state
of West Virginia
. It is part of the Morgantown, West Virginia Metropolitan Statistical Area
and the Pittsburgh DMA
. It was formed from Monongalia County in 1818 and named for Virginia Governor James Patton Preston
. As of 2000, the population was 29,334. Its county seat
According to the U.S. Census Bureau
, the county has a total area of 651 square miles
), of which, 648 square miles (1,679 km²) of it is land and 3 square miles (8 km²) of it (0.47%) is water.
As of the census
of 2000, there were 29,334 people, 11,544 households, and 8,357 families residing in the county. The population density
was 45 people per square mile (17/km²). There were 13,444 housing units at an average density of 21 per square mile (8/km²). The racial makeup of the county was 98.84% White
, 0.29% Black
or African American
, 0.11% Native American
, 0.15% Asian
, 0.02% Pacific Islander
, 0.05% from other races
, and 0.54% from two or more races. 0.57% of the population were Hispanic
of any race.
There were 11,544 households out of which 31.50% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 59.40% were married couples living together, 9.10% had a female householder with no husband present, and 27.60% were non-families. 23.70% of all households were made up of individuals and 11.70% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.50 and the average family size was 2.94.
In the county, the population was spread out with 23.70% under the age of 18, 8.00% from 18 to 24, 27.80% from 25 to 44, 25.60% from 45 to 64, and 15.00% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 39 years. For every 100 females there were 98.20 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 95.90 males.
The median income for a household in the county was $27,927, and the median income for a family was $32,904. Males had a median income of $26,440 versus $17,905 for females. The per capita income for the county was $13,596. About 14.70% of families and 18.30% of the population were below the poverty line, including 24.40% of those under age 18 and 14.50% of those age 65 or over.
Preston County has the most rural roads in West Virginia.
Cities and towns
Incorporated cities and towns
- Cox, Connie Loraine, Our Place In History: Southwestern Preston County, West Virginia, Headline Books, Terra Alta, WV, 2005. (Written and oral histories, photographs)