Mercer County is a county located in West Virginia since that U.S. state was
formed in 1863. The county was
originally established in the state of Virginia by act of
Assembly on 17 March 1837, using lands taken from Giles and Tazewell counties.
As of 2000, the population was
62,980. Its county seat is
According to the U.S.
county has a total area of 421 square miles (1,090 km²),
of which, 420 square miles (1,089 km²) of it is land and
0 square miles (1 km²) of it (0.06%) is water.
West Virginia Turnpike, now
part of Interstate 77, begins in
As of the census
of 2000, there were 62,980
people, 26,509 households, and 17,946 families residing in the
county. The population density
was 150 people per square mile (58/km²). There were 30,143 housing
units at an average density of 72 per square mile (28/km²).
The racial makeup of the county was 92.56% White
, 5.82% Black
or African American
, 0.19% Native American
, 0.46% Asian
, 0.01% Pacific Islander
, 0.10% from
, and 0.85%
from two or more races. 0.45% of the population were Hispanic
of any race.
There were 26,509 households out of which 26.70% had children under
the age of 18 living with them, 53.00% were married couples
living together, 11.20% had a
female householder with no husband present, and 32.30% were
non-families. 28.70% of all households were made up of individuals
and 13.60% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or
older. The average household size was 2.33 and the average family
size was 2.85.
In the county, the population was spread out with 21.10% under the
age of 18, 9.80% from 18 to 24, 26.20% from 25 to 44, 25.50% from
45 to 64, and 17.40% who were 65 years of age or older. The median
age was 40 years. For every 100 females there were 91.10 males. For
every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 87.70 males.
The median income for a household in the county was $26,628, and
the median income for a family was $33,524. Males had a median
income of $29,243 versus $19,013 for females. The per capita income
for the county was
$15,564. About 14.70% of families and 19.70% of the population were
below the poverty line
28.90% of those under age 18 and 12.70% of those age 65 or
county part of the Bluefield, WV-VA micropolitan area which, with
its population of 107,578, is the thirty-third largest micropolitan
area in the United
The Mercer County Public School System has seventeen elementary
school facilities, seven middle school facilities and four high
school facilities. There is also the Mercer County Technical
educational institutions include Bluefield State College, located in
Bluefield, and Concord
University, located in Athens.
Mercer County is protected by 7 agencies. 5 agencies protect the
incorporated area of the county but the non-incorporated area is
the primary responsibility of the Mercer County Sheriff's
Department. The Mercer County Sheriff's Department consists of 30
sworn law enforcement officers and a number of civilian employess.
Within the Mercer County Sheriff's Department are several
specialized units to better serve the citizens.
K-9 Unit: Deputy Ballard (Quando), Deputy Parks (Arrow), Deputy
Rose (Mitis), & Deputy Ellsion (Max).
Detective Bureau: Cpl. Murphy, Detective Sparks, & Detective
SWAT: Sgt. G. W. Woods, Cpl. J. J. Ruble, Cpl. S. A. Sommers, &
Detective Combs; The rest of the team is compromised from other
agencies within the County, excluding the WV State Police.
The Sheriff's Department has one dedicated Deputy that serves on
the Southern Regional Drug and Violent Crime Task Force.
Mercer County is also home to the Princeton Detachment of the West
Virginia State Police and a Turnpike Detachment (Highway
Cities and towns