A Gazetteer for the United States and Canada
Chester, West Virginia
Census Data for Chester ...
The most recent Census Estimate<1> was for 2017 and it gave Chester a population of 2,448 people.
The last Decennial Census<2> was in 2010, which gave Chester a population of 2,585 people.
The city of Chester is located in Hancock County. The 2010 Census gave Hancock County a population of 30,676 people. This means that Chester had 8.43% of the county's total population, making it Hancock's most populous community.
When the Census Bureau conducts a census for a city like Chester, 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 Chester reflect the sampling area. Since the shape of the sampling area and the actual boundaries of Chester 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 Chester has a total area of 1 square miles [2.6 km²].
Hancock County has a land area of 82.6 square miles [214 km²]. At 1 square miles [2.6 km²], Chester has 1.21% 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: 40° 36' 46" (or 40.61°) [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 (2,585 people) and land area (1 square miles [2.6 km²]) values from the 2010 Census, Chester had a population density of 2,587 people per square mile [999 people/km²].
In comparison, the 2000 Census shows Chester had a population of 2,592 people and a land area of 0.96 square miles [2.5 km²]. This gives a population density of 2,705 people per square mile [1,044 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 Chester. You need to be careful when making such a comparison, the differences are likely to lead to an apple-to-oranges 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, Chester had 1,381 Housing Units<3> and with its population of 2,585 people, this averages 1.87 people per Housing Unit.
The 2010 Census shows Chester had a land area of 1 square miles [2.6 km²]. This translates to 1,382 Housing Units per square mile [533 housing units/km²].
From the Census of 2000: Chester had 1,289 Housing Units, a population of 2,592 people and a land area of 0.96 square miles [2.5 km²]. This gives a density of 2.01 people per Housing Unit and 1,345 Housing Units per square mile [519 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 Chester and you need to be careful when comparing numbers between the censuses. More information about these differences can be found in the section called Census-to-Census Observations ... (see below).
Hancock County ...
The community of Chester is located in Hancock County.
The county had a population of 30,676 people at the 2010 Census. With it's population of 2,585 people, Chester represented 8.43% of the county's total.
In addition, where the city of Chester has a population density of 2,587 people per square mile [999 people/km²], Hancock County averages 371.3 people per square mile [143.4 people/km²].
For more information, please visit our Census Page for Hancock County.
Population Rings for Chester ...
To help identify the number of people who live in Chester and the surrounding area, we have drawn concentric rings centered on Chester. We counted the number of communities within each ring and summed their populations.<4>
Census-to-Census Observations ...
When the Census Bureau takes a census count (or enumeration) for Chester, 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 Chester. 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 4.26% larger than the 2000 Census.
The 2010 Census shows that the total area for Chester was 1 square miles [2.6 km²]. Of this total, only a minor amount of the area is covered by water.
The 2000 Census shows a total area of 0.96 square miles [2.5 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 Chester, the latitude and longitude given by the Census Bureau actually indicates the GPS location of the polygon for Chester.
For the 2010 Census, the location was given as:
Lat: 40.612924° (or 40°36'46" N) [Map]
For the 2000 Census, the location given was:
Lat: 40.612792° (or 40°36'46" N) [Map]
The difference indicates that the U.S. Census Bureau moved the location of the polygon for the 2010 Census 49.44 feet to the north<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 (#2390576) to Chester. This identifier also marks a GSP point on the map, and that point lies within the boundaries of Chester. The GNIS point has been mapped to the latitude/longitude:
Lat: 40.612924° (or 40°36'46" N) [Map]
The GSP location given for the 2010 Census lies 0.92 feet to the southeast<6> of the point given by the GNIS for Chester. For more information about this and the relationship of the various Federal Codes, please visit our Misc Page for Chester.
Miscellaneous Information for Chester ...
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 Hancock County or the city of Chester:
The GNIS Codes ...
The current system of identification is called the Geographic Names Information System (GNIS). The following GNIS codes relate to Chester:
GNIS ID for Chester: 2390576
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: 029 (Hancock County)
Place Code: 15076 (Chester)
Misc. Census Codes ...
Chester 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 Chester, it does identify addresses that are in (or near) Chester. 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 Chester: 26034<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 Chester.
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 Chester. If you can help, please contact us through our Feedback Page.
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: 15 Jan 2019