A Gazetteer for the United States and Canada
Parkersburg, West Virginia
Census Data for Parkersburg ...
The most recent Census Estimate<1> was for 2017 and it gave Parkersburg a population of 30,096 people.
The last Decennial Census<2> was in 2010, which gave Parkersburg a population of 31,492 people.
The city of Parkersburg is located in Wood County. The 2010 Census gave Wood County a population of 86,956 people. This means that Parkersburg had 36.22% of the county's total population, making it Wood's most populous community.
When the Census Bureau conducts a census for a city like Parkersburg, 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 Parkersburg reflect the sampling area. Since the shape of the sampling area and the actual boundaries of Parkersburg 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 Parkersburg has a total area of 12.35 square miles [32 km²]. Of this total, 11.82 square miles [30.6 km²] is land, with the balance (4.31%) being water (0.53 square miles [1.4 km²]).
Wood County has a land area of 366.3 square miles [948.6 km²]. At 11.82 square miles [30.6 km²], Parkersburg has 3.23% 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' 40" (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 (31,492 people) and land area (11.82 square miles [30.6 km²]) values from the 2010 Census, Parkersburg had a population density of 2,549 people per square mile [984 people/km²].
In comparison, the 2000 Census shows Parkersburg had a population of 33,099 people and a land area of 11.82 square miles [30.6 km²]. This gives a population density of 2,711 people per square mile [1,046 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 Parkersburg. You need to be careful when making such a comparison, the differences are likely to lead to an incorrect comparison. More information about the changes can be found in the section Census-to-Census Observations ... (see below).
Housing Units ...
At the time of the 2010 Census, Parkersburg had 15,562 Housing Units<3> and with its population of 31,492 people, this averages 2.02 people per Housing Unit.
The 2010 Census shows Parkersburg had a land area of 11.82 square miles [30.6 km²]. This translates to 1,259 Housing Units per square mile [486.4 housing units/km²].
From the Census of 2000: Parkersburg had 16,100 Housing Units, a population of 33,099 people and a land area of 11.82 square miles [30.6 km²]. This gives a density of 2.06 people per Housing Unit and 1,318 Housing Units per square mile [509 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 Parkersburg and you need to be careful when comparing values 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).
Wood County ...
The county had a population of 86,956 people at the 2010 Census. With it's population of 31,492 people, Parkersburg represented 36.22% of the county's total.
In addition, where the city of Parkersburg has a population density of 2,549 people per square mile [984 people/km²], Wood County averages 237.4 people per square mile [91.7 people/km²].
For more information, please visit our Census Page for Wood County.
Population Rings for Parkersburg ...
To help identify the number of people who live in Parkersburg and the surrounding area, we have drawn concentric rings centered on Parkersburg. 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 Parkersburg, 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 Parkersburg. 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 1.19% larger than the 2000 Census.
The 2010 Census shows that the total area for Parkersburg was 12.35 square miles [32 km²]. Of this total, 11.82 square miles [30.6 km²] is land, with the balance (4.31%) being water (0.53 square miles [1.4 km²]).
The 2000 Census shows a total area of 12.21 square miles [31.6 km²]. Of this total, 11.82 square miles [30.6 km²] is land, with the balance (3.15%) being water (0.39 square miles [1 km²]).
While generally coinciding with the GPS location (latitude/longitude) of Parkersburg, the latitude and longitude given by the Census Bureau actually indicates the GPS location of the polygon for Parkersburg.
For the 2010 Census, the location was given as:
Lat: 39.261353° (or 39°15'40" N) [Map]
For the 2000 Census, the location given was:
Lat: 39.266175° (or 39°15'58" N) [Map]
The difference indicates that the U.S. Census Bureau moved the location of the polygon for the 2010 Census 1,792 feet to the south<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 (#2390632) to Parkersburg. This identifier also marks a GSP point on the map, and that point lies within the boundaries of Parkersburg. The GNIS point has been mapped to the latitude/longitude:
Lat: 39.262119° (or 39°15'43" N) [Map]
The GSP location given for the 2010 Census lies 558 feet to the southwest<6> of the point given by the GNIS for Parkersburg. For more information about this and the relationship of the various Federal Codes, please visit our Misc Page for Parkersburg.
Miscellaneous Information for Parkersburg ...
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 Wood County or the city of Parkersburg:
The GNIS Codes ...
The current system of identification is called the Geographic Names Information System (GNIS). The following GNIS codes relate to Parkersburg:
GNIS ID for Parkersburg: 2390632
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: 107 (Wood County)
Place Code: 62140 (Parkersburg)
Misc. Census Codes ...
Parkersburg is located in Census Region #3 (the South Region) and Division #5 (the South Atlantic Division).
For more information about the various Federal identification codes, please visit our Misc Page for Parkersburg.
Other Roadside Stops ...
Off-the-Road Links ...
The official website of the U.S. Census Bureau
The official website for Parkersburg: www.parkersburg-wv.com/
The official website for Wood County: www.woodcountywv.com/
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: 19 Jan 2019