A Gazetteer for the United States and Canada
Charles Town, West Virginia
Census Data for Charles Town ...
The most recent Census Estimate<1> was for 2017 and it gave Charles Town a population of 5,957 people.
The last Decennial Census<2> was in 2010, which gave Charles Town a population of 5,259 people.
The city of Charles Town is located in Jefferson County. The 2010 Census gave Jefferson County a population of 53,498 people. This means that Charles Town had 9.83% of the county's total population, making it Jefferson's most populous community.
At the same time, West Virginia had a population of 1,852,994 people, meaning that Charles Town had 0.28% of the total population of West Virginia - making it the state's 26th most populous community.
When the Census Bureau conducts a census for a city like Charles Town, they draw a boundary around the area in which they are going to conduct their count - this defines the sampling area (usually shaped as 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 Charles Town reflect the sampling area. Since the shape of the sampling area and the actual boundaries of Charles Town might be different, it's best to check with the U.S. Census Bureau to resolve any difference between the two.
The 2010 Census shows that the sampling area for Charles Town has a total area of 5.81 square miles [15 km²].
Jefferson County has a land area of 209.6 square miles [543 km²]. At 5.81 square miles [15 km²], Charles Town has 2.77% 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 the center of the polygon, known as the centroid). At the time of the 2010 Census, the sampling area was located at:
Lat: 39° 15' 50" (or 39.26°) [Map]
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 (5,259 people) and land area (5.81 square miles [15 km²]) values from the 2010 Census, Charles Town had a population density of 905 people per square mile [349.7 people/km²].
In comparison, the 2000 Census shows Charles Town had a population of 2,907 people and a land area of 1.4 square miles [3.6 km²]. This gives a population density of 2,082 people per square mile [803 people/km²]
NOTE: Be aware that when comparing population density between the 2000 Census and the 2010 Census, there were changes in the sampling area for Charles Town. You need to be careful when making such a comparison, the differences are likely to lead to a questionable comparison. More information about the nature of these differences can be found in the section Census-to-Census Observations ... (see below).
Housing Units ...
At the time of the 2010 Census, Charles Town had 2,270 Housing Units<3> and with its population of 5,259 people, this averages 2.32 people per Housing Unit.
The 2010 Census shows Charles Town had a land area of 5.81 square miles [15 km²]. This translates to 391 Housing Units per square mile [151 housing units/km²].
From the Census of 2000: Charles Town had 1,396 Housing Units, a population of 2,907 people and a land area of 1.4 square miles [3.6 km²]. This gives a density of 2.08 people per Housing Unit and 999 Housing Units per square mile [386.1 housing units/km²].
NOTE: Repeating the caution above (under Population Density), be aware that when comparing Housing Units between the 2000 Census and the 2010 Census, there were changes in the sampling area for Charles Town and you need to be careful when comparing between the censuses. More information about these differences can be found in the section called Census-to-Census Observations ... (see below).
Jefferson County ...
The county had a population of 53,498 people at the 2010 Census. With it's population of 5,259 people, Charles Town represented 9.83% of the county's total.
In addition, where the city of Charles Town has a population density of 905 people per square mile [349.7 people/km²], Jefferson County averages 255.2 people per square mile [98.5 people/km²].
For more information, please visit our Census Page for Jefferson County.
Population Rings for Charles Town ...
To help identify the number of people who live in Charles Town and the surrounding area, we have drawn concentric rings centered on Charles Town. We counted the number of communities within each ring and summed their populations.<5>
Census-to-Census Observations ...
When the Census Bureau takes a census count (or enumeration) for Charles Town, 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 Charles Town. 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.
The sampling area (or polygon) given for the 2010 Census is 315.88% larger than the 2000 Census.
The 2010 Census shows that the total area for Charles Town was 5.81 square miles [15 km²]. Of this total, only a minor amount of the area is covered by water.
The 2000 Census shows a total area of 1.4 square miles [3.6 km²]. Of this total, only a minor amount of the area is covered by water.
While generally coinciding with the GPS location (latitude/longitude) of Charles Town, the latitude and longitude given by the Census Bureau actually indicates the GPS location of the polygon for Charles Town.
For the 2010 Census, the location was given as:
Lat: 39.264010° (or 39°15'50" N) [Map]
For the 2000 Census, the location given was:
Lat: 39.284237° (or 39°17'3" N) [Map]
The difference indicates that the U.S. Census Bureau moved the location of the polygon for the 2010 Census 10,218 feet to the southwest<6> 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 (#2390574) to Charles Town. This identifier also marks a GSP point on the map, and that point lies within the boundaries of Charles Town. The GNIS point has been mapped to the latitude/longitude:
Lat: 39.276712° (or 39°16'36" N) [Map]
The GSP location given for the 2010 Census lies 7,185 feet to the southwest<7> of the point given by the GNIS for Charles Town. For more information about this and the relationship of the various Federal Codes, please visit our Misc Page for Charles Town.
Miscellaneous Information for Charles Town ...
The Federal government has assigned various identifying codes to each community, county and state. At one time or another, the US Census Bureau has used one (or more) of the following identifiers when referring to either Jefferson County or the city of Charles Town:
The GNIS Codes ...
The current system of identification is called the Geographic Names Information System (GNIS). The following GNIS codes relate to Charles Town:
GNIS ID for Charles Town: 2390574
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: 037 (Jefferson County)
Place Code: 14610 (Charles Town)
Misc. Census Codes ...
Charles Town 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 Charles Town, it does identify addresses that are in (or near) Charles Town. 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 Charles Town: 25414<8>
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 Charles Town.
Other Roadside Stops ...
Off-the-Road Links ...
The official website of the U.S. Census Bureau
Unfortunately, we don't know of a website for Charles Town. If you can help, please contact us through our Feedback Page.
The official website for Jefferson County: www.jeffersoncountywv.org/
The official website for State of West Virginia: https://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)
Please keep in mind that we can not guarantee the accuracy or timeliness of the information on this website, so use with care. We encourage you to double-check the information that is critical to you.
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This page was last modified: 04 Jan 2019