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Wheeling, West Virginia

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The location of Wheeling

Census Data for Wheeling ...

Population ...

The most recent Census Estimate<1> was for 2017 and it gave Wheeling a population of 27,066 people.

The last Decennial Census<2> was in 2010, which gave Wheeling a population of 28,486 people.

The city of Wheeling is located in Ohio County. The 2010 Census gave Ohio County a population of 44,443 people. This means that Wheeling had 64.1% of the county's total population, making it Ohio's most populous community.

At the same time, West Virginia had a population of 1,852,994 people, meaning that Wheeling had 1.54% of the total population of West Virginia - making it the state's 5th most populous community.

Area ...

When the Census Bureau conducts a census for a city like Wheeling, 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 Wheeling reflect the sampling area. Since the shape of the sampling area and the actual boundaries of Wheeling 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 Wheeling has a total area of 16.01 square miles [41.5 km²]. Of this total, 13.79 square miles [35.7 km²] is land, with the balance (13.88%) being water (2.22 square miles [5.8 km²]).

Ohio County has a land area of 105.8 square miles [274.1 km²]. At 13.79 square miles [35.7 km²], Wheeling has 13.03% 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° 4' 26"   (or 40.07°)             [Map]

Lon:   -80° 41' 43"   (or -80.7°)

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 (28,486 people) and land area (13.79 square miles [35.7 km²]) values from the 2010 Census, Wheeling had a population density of 1,778 people per square mile [686 people/km²].

In comparison, the 2000 Census shows Wheeling had a population of 31,419 people and a land area of 13.91 square miles [36 km²]. This gives a population density of 1,986 people per square mile [766 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 Wheeling. You need to be careful when making such a comparison, the differences are likely to lead to an incorrect 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, Wheeling had 14,661 Housing Units<3> and with its population of 28,486 people, this averages 1.94 people per Housing Unit.

The 2010 Census shows Wheeling had a land area of 13.79 square miles [35.7 km²]. This translates to 915 Housing Units per square mile [353.5 housing units/km²].

From the Census of 2000: Wheeling had 15,706 Housing Units, a population of 31,419 people and a land area of 13.91 square miles [36 km²]. This gives a density of 2 people per Housing Unit and 992 Housing Units per square mile [383.4 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 Wheeling and you need to be careful when comparing values between the censuses. More information about these differences can be found in the section called Census-to-Census Observations ... (see below).

Ohio County ...

The city of Wheeling is primarily located in Ohio County and is the County Seat for Ohio County. A portion of Wheeling extends into Marshall County.

The county had a population of 44,443 people at the 2010 Census. With it's population of 28,486 people, Wheeling represented 64.1% of the county's total.

In addition, where the city of Wheeling has a population density of 1,778 people per square mile [686 people/km²], Ohio County averages 420 people per square mile [162.2 people/km²].

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

Population Rings for Wheeling ...

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

  Radius   No of
  Since 2010    
5 mi   [8 km]1046,136-4.91%
10 mi   [16 km]2371,944-5.4%
15 mi   [24 km]3179,813-5.49%
20 mi   [32 km]45116,014-5.12%
25 mi   [40 km]58160,345-4.86%
30 mi   [48 km]74188,254-4.7%

Census-to-Census Observations ...

Introduction ...

When the Census Bureau takes a census count (or enumeration) for Wheeling, 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 Wheeling. 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 1.23% larger than the 2000 Census.

The 2010 Census shows that the total area for Wheeling was 16.01 square miles [41.5 km²]. Of this total, 13.79 square miles [35.7 km²] is land, with the balance (13.88%) being water (2.22 square miles [5.8 km²]).

The 2000 Census shows a total area of 15.82 square miles [41 km²]. Of this total, 13.91 square miles [36 km²] is land, with the balance (11.9%) being water (1.91 square miles [4.9 km²]).

Location ...

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

For the 2010 Census, the location was given as:

Lat:   40.073906°   (or 40°4'26" N)             [Map]

Lon:   -80.695370°   (or -80°41'43" W)

For the 2000 Census, the location given was:

Lat:   40.070348°   (or 40°4'13" N)             [Map]

Lon:   -80.698604°   (or -80°41'54" W)

The difference indicates that the U.S. Census Bureau moved the location of the polygon for the 2010 Census 1,580 feet to the northeast<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 (#2390672) to Wheeling. This identifier also marks a GSP point on the map, and that point lies within the boundaries of Wheeling. The GNIS point has been mapped to the latitude/longitude:

Lat:   40.075196°   (or 40°4'30" N)             [Map]

Lon:   -80.695363°   (or -80°41'43" W)

The GSP location given for the 2010 Census lies 470.3 feet to the south<6> of the point given by the GNIS for Wheeling. For more information about this and the relationship of the various Federal Codes, please visit our Misc Page for Wheeling.

Miscellaneous Information for Wheeling ...

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 Ohio County or the city of Wheeling:

The GNIS Codes ...

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

GNIS ID for Wheeling: 2390672

GNIS ID for Ohio County: 1717163

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: 069 (Ohio County)

Place Code: 86452 (Wheeling)

State & County Code: 54/069 (West Virginia / Ohio County)

State & Place Code: 54/86452 (West Virginia / Wheeling)

Misc. Census Codes ...

Wheeling 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 Wheeling.

Other Roadside Stops ...

Find a Community in West Virginia

About Ohio County

About West Virginia

Off-the-Road Links ...

The official website of the U.S. Census Bureau

The official website for Wheeling:

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 325 degrees and a distance of 1,580 feet.

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<6>The calculated bearing (or angle) to the GNIS point is 179 degrees and a distance of 470.3 feet.

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This page was last modified: 19 Jan 2019