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Sophia, West Virginia

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Census Data for Sophia ...

Population ...

The most recent Census Estimate<1> was for 2017 and it gives Sophia a population of 1,274 people.

The last Decennial Census<2> was in 2010, giving Sophia a population of 1,344 people.

The town of Sophia is located in Raleigh County. The 2010 Census gave Raleigh County a population of 78,859 people. This means that Sophia had 1.7% of the county's total population, making it Raleigh's 3rd most populous community.

At the same time, West Virginia had a population of 1,852,994 people, meaning that Sophia had 0.07% of the total population of West Virginia - making it the state's 93rd most populous community.

Area ...

When the Census Bureau conducts a census for a town like Sophia, 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 town.

Things like the population, area and housing for Sophia reflect the sampling area. Since the shape of the sampling area and the actual boundaries of Sophia 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 Sophia has a total area of 0.69 square miles [1.8 km²].

Raleigh County has a land area of 605 square miles [1,567.9 km²]. At 0.69 square miles [1.8 km²], Sophia has 0.11% 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° 42' 26"   (or 37.71°)             [Map]

Lon:   -81° 15' 12"   (or -81.25°)

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 (1,344 people) and land area (0.69 square miles [1.8 km²]) values from the 2010 Census, Sophia had a population density of 1,936 people per square mile [747 people/km²].

In comparison, the 2000 Census shows Sophia had a population of 1,301 people and a land area of 0.68 square miles [1.8 km²]. This gives a population density of 1,902 people per square mile [734 people/km²]

NOTE: Be aware that when comparing population density between the 2000 and the 2010 Census, there were changes in the sampling area for Sophia. You need to be careful when making such a comparison, the differences are likely to lead to a misleading comparison. More information about these differences can be found in the section Census-to-Census Observations ... (see below).

Housing Units ...

At the time of the 2010 Census, Sophia had 655 Housing Units<3> and with its population of 1,344 people, this averages 2.05 people per Housing Unit.

The 2010 Census shows Sophia had a land area of 0.69 square miles [1.8 km²]. This translates to 943 Housing Units per square mile [364.4 housing units/km²].

From the Census of 2000: Sophia had 643 Housing Units, a population of 1,301 people and a land area of 0.68 square miles [1.8 km²]. This gives a density of 2.02 people per Housing Unit and 940 Housing Units per square mile [363 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 Sophia and you need to be careful when comparing results 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).

Raleigh County ...

Sophia is located in Raleigh County.

The county had a population of 78,859 people at the 2010 Census. With it's population of 1,344 people, Sophia represented 1.7% of the county's total.

In addition, where the town of Sophia has a population density of 1,936 people per square mile [747 people/km²], Raleigh County averages 130.3 people per square mile [50.3 people/km²].

For more information, please visit our Census Page for Raleigh County.

Population Rings for Sophia ...

To help identify the number of people who live in Sophia and the surrounding area, we have drawn concentric rings centered on Sophia. We counted the number of communities within each ring and summed their populations.<4>

  Radius   No of
  Since 2010    
5 mi   [8 km]32,895-6.61%
10 mi   [16 km]519,461-6.83%
15 mi   [24 km]822,297-7.2%
20 mi   [32 km]1435,142-4.32%
25 mi   [40 km]2347,953-6.53%
30 mi   [48 km]3261,513-6.52%

Census-to-Census Observations ...

Introduction ...

When the Census Bureau takes a census count (or enumeration) for Sophia, 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 Sophia. 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.

Area ...

The sampling area (or polygon) given for the 2010 Census is 1.49% larger than the 2000 Census.

The 2010 Census shows that the total area for Sophia was 0.69 square miles [1.8 km²]. Of this total, only a minor amount of the area is covered by water.

The 2000 Census shows a total area of 0.68 square miles [1.8 km²]. Of this total, only a minor amount of the area is covered by water.

Location ...

While generally coinciding with the GPS location (latitude/longitude) of Sophia, the latitude and longitude given by the Census Bureau actually indicates the GPS location of the polygon for Sophia.

For the 2010 Census, the location was given as:

Lat:   37.707311°   (or 37°42'26" N)             [Map]

Lon:   -81.253594°   (or -81°15'12" W)

For the 2000 Census, the location given was:

Lat:   37.714197°   (or 37°42'51" N)             [Map]

Lon:   -81.250659°   (or -81°15'2" W)

The difference indicates that the U.S. Census Bureau moved the location of the polygon for the 2010 Census 2,649 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 (#2391419) to Sophia. This identifier also marks a GSP point on the map, and that point lies within the boundaries of Sophia. The GNIS point has been mapped to the latitude/longitude:

Lat:   37.706089°   (or 37°42'21" N)             [Map]

Lon:   -81.253594°   (or -81°15'12" W)

The GSP location given for the 2010 Census lies 445.5 feet to the north<6> of the point given by the GNIS for Sophia. For more information about this and the relationship of the various Federal Codes, please visit our Misc Page for Sophia.

Miscellaneous Information for Sophia ...

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 Raleigh County or the town of Sophia:

The GNIS Codes ...

The current system of identification is called the Geographic Names Information System (GNIS). The following GNIS codes relate to Sophia:

GNIS ID for Sophia: 2391419

GNIS ID for Raleigh County: 1550047

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: 081 (Raleigh County)

Place Code: 75172 (Sophia)

State & County Code: 54/081 (West Virginia / Raleigh County)

State & Place Code: 54/75172 (West Virginia / Sophia)

Misc. Census Codes ...

Sophia 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 Sophia.

Other Roadside Stops ...

Cities, Towns and Villages of West Virginia

About Raleigh County

About West Virginia

Off-the-Road Links ...

The official website of the U.S. Census Bureau

Unfortunately, we don't know of a website for Sophia. If you can help, please contact us through our Feedback Page.

The official website for State of West Virginia:

The official website of the U.S. Board on Geographic Names (BGN)

The official website of the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS)

Footnotes ...

<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.

- Return to Citation

<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).

- Return to Citation

<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 161 degrees and a distance of 2,649 feet.

- Return to Citation

<6>The calculated bearing (or angle) to the GNIS point is 359 degrees and a distance of 445.5 feet.

- Return to Citation


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This page was last modified: 22 Oct 2018
By John Hall