Wheeling, West Virginia

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Wheeling is a city located in West Virginia, in the United States. Most of the city is in Ohio County, with a small part in Marshall County. As of the 2000 census, the city had a total population of 31,419 (31,059 in Ohio County, 360 in Marshall County). It is the county seat of Ohio County6.

Wheeling was the location of the Wheeling Convention, which established the state of West Virginia, and was the first capital city of the state.



Location of Wheeling, West Virginia

Wheeling is located at 40°4'13" North, 80°41'55" West (40.070348, -80.698604)1.

According to the United States Census Bureau, the city has a total area of 41.0 km² (15.8 mi²). 36.0 km² (13.9 mi²) of it is land and 4.9 km² (1.9 mi²) of it is water. The total area is 12.07% water.

The Fort Henry bridge across the Ohio River, Wheeling, West Virginia
The Fort Henry bridge across the Ohio River, Wheeling, West Virginia

Wheeling Creek flows through the city, and meets the Ohio River in downtown Wheeling.

The city is located both on the West Virginia side of the Ohio River and on an island in the middle of the river called Wheeling Island.


As of the census2 of 2000, there are 31,419 people, 13,719 households, and 7,806 families residing in the city. The population density is 872.1/km² (2,258.4/mi²). There are 15,706 housing units at an average density of 436.0/km² (1,128.9/mi²). The racial makeup of the city is 92.72% White, 4.99% African American, 0.10% Native American, 0.91% Asian, 0.03% Pacific Islander, 0.16% from other races, and 1.09% from two or more races. 0.58% of the population are Hispanic or Latino of any race.

There are 13,719 households out of which 23.4% have children under the age of 18 living with them, 41.8% are married couples living together, 12.2% have a female householder with no husband present, and 43.1% are non-families. 38.3% of all households are made up of individuals and 18.6% have someone living alone who is 65 years of age or older. The average household size is 2.17 and the average family size is 2.89.

The age distribution is 20.6% under the age of 18, 9.1% from 18 to 24, 24.3% from 25 to 44, 24.5% from 45 to 64, and 21.6% who are 65 years of age or older. The median age is 42 years. For every 100 females there are 84.1 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there are 79.6 males.

The median income for a household in the city is $27,388, and the median income for a family is $38,708. Males have a median income of $30,750 versus $22,099 for females. The per capita income for the city is $17,923. 18.0% of the population and 13.1% of families are below the poverty line. Out of the total population, 23.3% of those under the age of 18 and 11.2% of those 65 and older are living below the poverty line.


Wheeling features several municipal parks including Oglebay Park and Wheeling Park. It is also the site of the Wheeling Suspension Bridge which was once the longest suspension bridge in the world. In 2004, a Cabela's outdoor retail store opened outside of Wheeling. It is to be the central feature in a new shopping complex outside of the city. Gaming has also come to Wheeling. Wheeling Island Racetrack and Gaming Center is located on Wheeling Island. It is home to greyhound racing and slots. The success of Wheeling Island racetrack has generated much debate about further legalisation of gambling in the Wheeling area.

Higher education

The Wheeling area is home to West Liberty State College, a public four-year college, and a private Jesuit university, Wheeling Jesuit University. The main branch of West Virginia Northern Community College is also located in downtown Wheeling.


Wheeling has an old-style theatre, the Capitol Music Hall. The Music Hall was home to a popular radio program in the early forties, This is Wheeling Steel, featuring musical performances by workers at a local steel plant. Nowadays, the Music Hall welcomes musical performances of all types. It is also the performance hall of the Wheeling Symphony Orchestra. It is also where the Jamboree USA country music program originated. The Capitol Music Hall is the largest theatre in the state of West Virginia, with some 2,500 seats. Wheeling is also home to the Wheeling Nailers hockey team. The Nailers play in the Wesbanco Arena, and participate in the North division, American Conference of the ECHL.

See also

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