Census Data for Princeton ...
The most recent Census Estimate<1> was for 2017 and it gives Princeton a population of 5,822 people.
The last Decennial Census<2> was in 2010, giving Princeton a population of 6,432 people.
The city of Princeton is located in Mercer County. The 2010 Census gave Mercer County a population of 62,264 people. This means that Princeton had 10.33% of the county's total population, making it Mercer's 2nd most populous community.
At the same time, West Virginia had a population of 1,852,994 people, meaning that Princeton had 0.35% of the total population of West Virginia - making it the state's 21st most populous community.
When the Census Bureau conducts a census for a city like Princeton, 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 Princeton reflect the sampling area. Since the shape of the sampling area and the actual boundaries of Princeton 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 Princeton has a total area of 3.04 square miles [7.9 km²]. Of this total, 3.01 square miles [7.8 km²] is land, with the balance (1.25%) being water (0.04 square miles [0.1 km²]).
Mercer County has a land area of 419 square miles [1,085.2 km²]. At 3.01 square miles [7.8 km²], Princeton has 0.72% 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° 22' 7" (or 37.37°) [Map]
Lon: -81° 5' 46" (or -81.1°)
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 (6,432 people) and land area (3.01 square miles [7.8 km²]) values from the 2010 Census, Princeton had a population density of 2,112 people per square mile [815 people/km²].
In comparison, the 2000 Census shows Princeton had a population of 6,347 people and a land area of 3 square miles [7.8 km²]. This gives a population density of 2,113 people per square mile [816 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 Princeton. 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 changes can be found in the section Census-to-Census Observations ... (see below).
Housing Units ...
At the time of the 2010 Census, Princeton had 3,489 Housing Units<3> and with its population of 6,432 people, this averages 1.84 people per Housing Unit.
The 2010 Census shows Princeton had a land area of 3.01 square miles [7.8 km²]. This translates to 1,145 Housing Units per square mile [442.4 housing units/km²].
From the Census of 2000: Princeton had 3,371 Housing Units, a population of 6,347 people and a land area of 3 square miles [7.8 km²]. This gives a density of 1.88 people per Housing Unit and 1,122 Housing Units per square mile [433.4 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 Princeton 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).
Mercer County ...
The community of Princeton is located in Mercer County and is the County Seat for Mercer County.
The county had a population of 62,264 people at the 2010 Census. With it's population of 6,432 people, Princeton represented 10.33% of the county's total.
In addition, where the city of Princeton has a population density of 2,112 people per square mile [815 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 Princeton ...
To help identify the number of people who live in Princeton and the surrounding area, we have drawn concentric rings centered on Princeton. We counted the number of communities within each ring and summed their populations.<4>
| Radius ||No of|
|5 mi [8 km]||2||6,743||-9.85%|
|10 mi [16 km]||5||16,938||-7.32%|
|15 mi [24 km]||11||25,167||-8.12%|
|20 mi [32 km]||17||29,406||-7.93%|
|25 mi [40 km]||23||36,574||-8.12%|
|30 mi [48 km]||32||80,589||-7.06%|
Census-to-Census Observations ...
When the Census Bureau takes a census count (or enumeration) for Princeton, 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 Princeton. 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 1.4% larger than the 2000 Census.
The 2010 Census shows that the total area for Princeton was 3.04 square miles [7.9 km²]. Of this total, 3.01 square miles [7.8 km²] is land, with the balance (1.25%) being water (0.04 square miles [0.1 km²]).
The 2000 Census shows a total area of 3 square miles [7.8 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 Princeton, the latitude and longitude given by the Census Bureau actually indicates the GPS location of the polygon for Princeton.
For the 2010 Census, the location was given as:
Lat: 37.368782° (or 37°22'7" N) [Map]
Lon: -81.096206° (or -81°5'46" W)
For the 2000 Census, the location given was:
Lat: 37.368015° (or 37°22'4" N) [Map]
Lon: -81.095807° (or -81°5'44" W)
The difference indicates that the U.S. Census Bureau moved the location of the polygon for the 2010 Census 302.6 feet to the northwest<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 (#2390640) to Princeton. This identifier also marks a GSP point on the map, and that point lies within the boundaries of Princeton. The GNIS point has been mapped to the latitude/longitude:
Lat: 37.368904° (or 37°22'8" N) [Map]
Lon: -81.096068° (or -81°5'45" W)
The GSP location given for the 2010 Census lies 59.8 feet to the southwest<6> of the point given by the GNIS for Princeton. For more information about this and the relationship of the various Federal Codes, please visit our Misc Page for Princeton.
Miscellaneous Information for Princeton ...
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 Princeton:
The GNIS Codes ...
The current system of identification is called the Geographic Names Information System (GNIS). The following GNIS codes relate to Princeton:
GNIS ID for Princeton: 2390640
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: 65692 (Princeton)
State & County Code: 54/055 (West Virginia / Mercer County)
State & Place Code: 54/65692 (West Virginia / Princeton)
Misc. Census Codes ...
Princeton 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 Princeton.
|<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.|
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|<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.|
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|<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).|
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|<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.|
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|<5>||The calculated bearing (or angle) to the 2010 Census location is 22 degrees and a distance of 302.6 feet.|
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|<6>||The calculated bearing (or angle) to the GNIS point is 138 degrees and a distance of 59.8 feet.|
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