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Bluefield, West Virginia

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Census Data for Bluefield ...

Population ...

The most recent Census Estimate<1> was for 2017 and it gives Bluefield a population of 9,869 people.

The last Decennial Census<2> was in 2010, giving Bluefield a population of 10,447 people.

The city of Bluefield is located in Mercer County. The 2010 Census gave Mercer County a population of 62,264 people. This means that Bluefield had 16.78% of the county's total population, making it Mercer's most populous community.

At the same time, West Virginia had a population of 1,852,994 people, meaning that Bluefield had 0.56% of the total population of West Virginia - making it the state's 14th most populous community.

Area ...

When the Census Bureau conducts a census for a city like Bluefield, they draw a boundary around the area in which they are going to conduct their count - this is called a sampling area (or a polygon). The shape of the sampling area can be quite complex and it's important to keep in mind that the boundaries of the sampling area may or may not match the recognized boundaries of the city.

Things like the population, area and housing for Bluefield reflect the sampling area. Since the shape of the sampling area and the actual boundaries of Bluefield might be slightly different, it's best to check with the U.S. Census Bureau if you need precision.

The 2010 Census shows that the sample polygon for Bluefield has a total area of 8.86 square miles [22.9 km²].

Mercer County has a land area of 419 square miles [1,085.2 km²]. At 8.86 square miles [22.9 km²], Bluefield has 2.11% of the county's total land area.

Not only does the sampling area define boundaries, it also has a GPS location (latitude & longitude) that indicates a point within the sampling area (usually at the center of the polygon). At the time of the 2010 Census, the sampling area was located at:

Lat:   37° 15' 46"   (or 37.26°)             [Map]

Lon:   -81° 12' 39"   (or -81.21°)

More information on this topic and the changes between the 2000 Census and the 2010 Census can be found in the section for our Census-to-Census Observations ... (see below).

Population Density ...

Using the population (10,447 people) and land area (8.86 square miles [22.9 km²]) values from the 2010 Census, Bluefield had a population density of 1,179 people per square mile [455.5 people/km²].

In comparison, the 2000 Census shows Bluefield had a population of 11,451 people and a land area of 8.73 square miles [22.6 km²]. This gives a population density of 1,311 people per square mile [506 people/km²]

NOTE: Be aware that when comparing population density between the 2000 and the 2010 Census, there were changes in the sampling area for Bluefield. You need to be careful when making such a comparison, the differences are likely to lead to a misleading comparison. More information about the nature of these changes can be found in the section Census-to-Census Observations ... (see below).

Housing Units ...

At the time of the 2010 Census, Bluefield had 5,457 Housing Units<3> and with its population of 10,447 people, this averages 1.91 people per Housing Unit.

The 2010 Census shows Bluefield had a land area of 8.86 square miles [22.9 km²]. This translates to 616 Housing Units per square mile [237.9 housing units/km²].

From the Census of 2000: Bluefield had 5,966 Housing Units, a population of 11,451 people and a land area of 8.73 square miles [22.6 km²]. This gives a density of 1.92 people per Housing Unit and 683 Housing Units per square mile [263.8 housing units/km²].

NOTE: Repeating the caution above (under Population Density), be aware that when comparing Housing Units between the 2000 and the 2010 Census, there were changes in the sampling area for Bluefield and you need to be careful when comparing between the censuses. More information about the nature of these the changes can be found in the section called Census-to-Census Observations ... (see below).

Mercer County ...

The community of Bluefield is located in Mercer County.

The county had a population of 62,264 people at the 2010 Census. With it's population of 10,447 people, Bluefield represented 16.78% of the county's total.

In addition, where the city of Bluefield has a population density of 1,179 people per square mile [455.5 people/km²], Mercer County averages 148.6 people per square mile [57.4 people/km²].

For more information, please visit our Census Page for Mercer County.

Population Rings for Bluefield ...

To help identify the number of people who live in Bluefield and the surrounding area, we have drawn concentric rings centered on Bluefield. We counted the number of communities within each ring and summed their populations.<4>

  Radius   No of
    Communities    
2017
    Population    
Change
  Since 2010    
5 mi   [8 km]214,583-8.23%
10 mi   [16 km]621,323-8.5%
15 mi   [24 km]1022,905-8.84%
20 mi   [32 km]1428,369-9.07%
25 mi   [40 km]2445,258-8.5%
30 mi   [48 km]2958,912-7.61%

Census-to-Census Observations ...

Introduction ...

When the Census Bureau takes a census count (or enumeration) for Bluefield, they start by specifying the boundaries of the area to be counted. This area (or sampling area) is a polygon and its shape can be quite complex - it may or may not match the geographical boundaries of Bluefield. It's important to note that from one Census to the next, the shape and location of the polygon can change. If you need precision or details about the methodology of the Census, you should visit the U.S. Census Bureau for a definitive answer.

Area ...

The sampling area (or polygon) given for the 2010 Census is 1.42% larger than the 2000 Census.

The 2010 Census shows that the total area for Bluefield was 8.86 square miles [22.9 km²]. Of this total, only a minor amount of the area is covered by water.

The 2000 Census shows a total area of 8.73 square miles [22.6 km²]. Of this total, only a minor amount of the area is covered by water.

Location ...

While generally coinciding with the GPS location (latitude/longitude) of Bluefield, the latitude and longitude given by the Census Bureau actually indicates the GPS location of the polygon for Bluefield.

For the 2010 Census, the location was given as:

Lat:   37.263051°   (or 37°15'46" N)             [Map]

Lon:   -81.210861°   (or -81°12'39" W)

For the 2000 Census, the location given was:

Lat:   37.262219°   (or 37°15'43" N)             [Map]

Lon:   -81.218674°   (or -81°13'7" W)

The difference indicates that the U.S. Census Bureau moved the location of the polygon for the 2010 Census 2,287 feet to the east<5> of the location that was used in the 2000 Census.

The U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) and the U.S. Board on Geographic Names (BGN) have assigned a unique GNIS identifier (#2390566) to Bluefield. This identifier also marks a GSP point on the map, and that point lies within the boundaries of Bluefield. The GNIS point has been mapped to the latitude/longitude:

Lat:   37.260361°   (or 37°15'37" N)             [Map]

Lon:   -81.216295°   (or -81°12'58" W)

The GSP location given for the 2010 Census lies 1,856 feet to the northeast<6> of the point given by the GNIS for Bluefield. For more information about this and the relationship of the various Federal Codes, please visit our Misc Page for Bluefield.

Miscellaneous Information for Bluefield ...

The Federal government has assigned various identifying codes to each community, county and state. At one time or another, the US Census Bureau has referenced one (or more) of the following identifiers when referring to either Mercer County or the city of Bluefield:

The GNIS Codes ...

The current system of identification is called the Geographic Names Information System (GNIS). The following GNIS codes relate to Bluefield:

GNIS ID for Bluefield: 2390566

GNIS ID for Mercer County: 1557645

GNIS ID for West Virginia: 1779805

The FIPS Codes ...

An earlier (and largely obsolete) identification method was called the Federal Information Processing Standard (FIPS):

State Code: 54 (West Virginia)

County Code: 055 (Mercer County)

Place Code: 08524 (Bluefield)

State & County Code: 54/055 (West Virginia / Mercer County)

State & Place Code: 54/08524 (West Virginia / Bluefield)

Misc. Census Codes ...

Bluefield is located in Census Region #3 (the South Region) and Division #5 (the South Atlantic Division).

The US Postal Service ZIP Code ...

While some people have used a ZIP code to identify a community, the purpose of the ZIP code was to make mail delivery more efficient by grouping addresses together. Although the ZIP Code doesn't specifically identify a city like Bluefield, it does identify addresses that are in (or near) Bluefield. It's important to remember that the boundaries of a ZIP Code can be changed, re-assigned or overlapped with other ZIP Codes.

The ZIP code for Bluefield: 24701<7>

Census ZCTA Codes ...

The US Census Bureau created statistical entities that they call ZIP Code Tabulation Areas (ZCTAs) and these ZCTAs are frequently confused with the ZIP codes that come from the US Postal Service (USPS).

ZCTAs were first created for the 2000 Census and at that time, they were based upon the USPS ZIP codes. While largely covering the same areas, the boundaries of a ZCTA do not necessarily match the boundaries of a postal ZIP code with the same number. For example, while a postal ZIP code can cross a county or state line, a Census ZCTA can not. They should be treated as separate entities with no correlation between them.

For more information about the various Federal identification codes, please visit our Misc Page for Bluefield.

Other Roadside Stops ...



Find a Community in West Virginia

About Mercer County

About West Virginia

Off-the-Road Links ...

The official website of the U.S. Census Bureau


The official website for Bluefield: www.ci.bluefield.wv.us/

The official website for State of West Virginia: www.wv.gov/


The official website of the U.S. Board on Geographic Names (BGN)

The official website of the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS)



Footnotes ...

<1>Every year, the US Census Bureau creates a population estimate for the preceeding year. Keep in mind that this value is an estimate and not an actual count. The most recent Census estimate is for the year 2017.

- Return to Citation

<2>Every 10 years (eg- 1990, 2000, 2010), the US Census Bureau conducts a Constitutionally-mandated count (or enumeration) of people living within the United States. This count is called a Decennial Census. The last Decennial Census was the 2010 Census, with the next one planned for 2020.

- Return to Citation

<3>A Housing Unit is a broad term for those places where people live (whether occupied or temporarily vacant), such as a house, an apartment, a mobile home, or an area that is considered as a separate living quarter. Separate living quarters (consisting of one or more rooms) are considered to be those places where people live, sleep and eat separately from others and that have access to the outside (either directly or by a shared hallway).

- Return to Citation

<4>The communities in our count are those provided by the 2010 Census, so keep in mind that our population rings will only include the people living in those communities. Smaller communities usually don't participate directly in the Census and therefore they won't be included. While our count is a close approximation, it shouldn't be considered as a complete or accurate count.

- Return to Citation

<5>The calculated bearing (or angle) to the 2010 Census location is 277 degrees and a distance of 2,287 feet.

- Return to Citation

<6>The calculated bearing (or angle) to the GNIS point is 301 degrees and a distance of 1,856 feet.

- Return to Citation

<7>When looking for a ZIP Code, whether Bluefield or elsewhere, it's always best to check the website of the United States Postal Service (USPS).

- Return to Citation



 
 
 

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This page was last modified: 22 Oct 2018
By John Hall