A Gazetteer for the United States and Canada
Princeton, West Virginia
Census Data for Princeton ...
The most recent Census Estimate<1> was for 2017 and it gave Princeton a population of 5,822 people.
The last Decennial Census<2> was in 2010, which gave 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.
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 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 Princeton reflect the sampling area. Since the shape of the sampling area and the actual boundaries of Princeton 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 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 the center of the polygon, known as the centroid). At the time of the 2010 Census, the sampling area was located at:
Lat: 37° 22' 7" (or 37.37°) [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 (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 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 Census and the 2010 Census, there were changes in the sampling area for Princeton and you need to be careful when comparing numbers 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 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>
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]
For the 2000 Census, the location given was:
Lat: 37.368015° (or 37°22'4" N) [Map]
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]
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 used 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
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)
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.
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 Princeton. 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: 04 Jan 2019