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|Statehood: June 20, 1863|
|Borders: KY, MD, OH, PA, VA|
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Today’s West Virginia counties did not always exist in the present form. They went through many different changes in the space of a few short years.
West Virginia Territorial Counties
West Virginia was part of the Commonwealth of Virginia in 1863, in which 50 counties had already been established.
At that time, Berkeley County and Jefferson County, the two easternmost counties of West Virginia, refused to recognize their inclusion in the state. In March 1866, the U.S. Congress passed a mandate saying they were to be in West Virginia.
West Virginia Counties Today
See Virginia For counties earlier than 1863.
West Virginia divides county government powers between seven county offices, each of which is independently elected:
- county commission
- county clerk
- circuit clerk
- county sheriff
- county assessor
- county prosecuting attorney
- county surveyor of lands
Fun Facts about West Virginia Counties
Counties by Year
- Hampshire County was the first county created in 1754.
- Mingo County was the last county to be formed in 1895.
County Size Facts
- Randolph County (1,040 sq mi) is the largest county in West Virginia.
- Hancock County (83 sq mi) is the smallest county in West Virginia.
County Population (2017 Est.) Facts
- Kanawha County (193,063) is the most populated county in West Virginia.
- Wirt County (5,717) is the least populated county in West Virginia.
West Virginia City Facts
West Virginia’s 10 largest cities (2014) are:
- Charleston (50,404) is in Kanawha County
- Huntington (48,807) is in Cabell County
- Morgantown (31,073) is in Monongalia County
- Parkersburg (30,981) is in Wood County
- Wheeling (27,790) is in Ohio County
- Weirton (19,362) is in Hancock County
- Fairmont (18,740) is in Marion County
- Martinsburg (17,743) is in Berkeley County
- Beckley (17,238) is in Raleigh County
- Clarksburg (16,242) is in Harrison County
Boundary Changes of West Virginia Counties from 1863-1915
This Interactive Map of West Virginia Counties show the historical boundaries, names, organization, and attachments of every county, extinct county and unsuccessful county proposal from 1863 to 1915.
List of West Virginia Counties
|County||Created||Created From||Named For||County Seat||Notes|
List of Old Former / Extinct West Virginia Counties
West Virginia has no counties that are extinct.