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Race and Ethnicity in West Virginia

West Virginia, the 39th largest U.S. state by population has a racially and ethnically diverse population. As of 2020, White (Non-Hispanic)  are the largest group in West Virginia followed by Two or more races population.

also read about the Population of West Virginia

Ethnic and Racial Composition

In 2020, the White alone (non-Hispanic) population was the largest racial or ethnic group in West Virginia, comprising 89.14% of the total population. It was followed by the Two or more races population whose share was 4.02%.

Black or African American was the third largest group at 3.61%. Hispanic or Latino population is at 1.94% & Asian at 0.83%

The ethnic composition of West Virginia is as follows

Race and OriginActual Population Percentage 2020
White alone1,598,83489.14%
Two or more races72,1354.02%
Black or African American alone64,7493.61%
Hispanic or Latino34,8271.94%
Asian alone14,9030.83%
Some Other Race alone4,6520.26%
American Indian and Alaska Native alone3,1870.18%
Native Hawaiian and Other Pacific Islander alone4290.02%

Source: US Census Bureau population estimate 2020

*US Census recognized five racial categories (White, Black or African American, Asian American, American Indian/Alaska Native, and Native Hawaiian/Pacific Islander) as well as people of two or more races. It also classified respondents as "Hispanic or Latino" or "Not Hispanic or Latino", identifying Hispanic and Latino as an ethnicity (not a race), which comprises the largest minority group in the nation.

Ancestry in West Virginia

As per Census Studies & estimate German, Irish, American, English, and Italian have made the five largest ancestry groups in West Virginia. The Largest Ancestry in West Virginia is as follows

9French (except Basque)24,4551.4%
12Subsaharan African8,7480.5%
20West Indian (excluding Hispanic origin groups)4,3140.2%
22French Canadian2,5830.1%

Source: US Census Bureau population estimate 2020

Demography Trends

While alone (Non-Hispanics) in West Virginia

Non-Hispanic Whites account for nearly 89.14% of West Virginia’s population. German, English, and Irish Americans have made up three of the largest European ancestry groups in West Virginia. As per the Census report, German Americans made up 14.3% of the population and number 255,718 members. Irish Americans made up 11.9% of the population and number 745,594

English Americans made up 9.4% of the population and number 167,853 followed by Italian ancestry at 4.1% of the population and number 73,979.

In 2020, 9.8% of the population considered themselves to be of only American ancestry (regardless of race or ethnicity). Many of these were of English or Scotch-Irish descent; however, their families have lived in the state for so long that they choose to identify as having “American” ancestry or do not know their ancestry. Some of their ancestry dates to the original thirteen colonies.

African Americans in Florida

Black or African Americans are the second-largest group in West Virginia. As of 2020, those of African ancestry accounted for 3.61% of West Virginia’s population.

Hispanics and Latinos in West Virginia

Hispanics and Latinos are a small minority in West Virginia. Around 1.94% of West Virginia’s Population claims Hispanic or Latin American ethnicity.  

Asian Americans in West Virginia

Asian Americans are a minority group in West Virginia. Americans of Asian descent formed 0.83% of the population. The majority are Asians are Filipinos, Vietnamese, Korean, Indian and Chinese.

Multi-Race in West Virginia

Multiracial individuals are also a visible minority in West Virginia. People identifying as multiracial form 4.02% of the population, and number around 72,135 people. 

Native Americans in West Virginia

Native Americans are a minority group in West Virginia. Native Americans made up 0.18% of West Virginia’s population and number 3,187 individuals as of 2020. 

Pacific Islanders in West Virginia

Americans with origins from the Pacific Islands are the smallest minority in West Virginia.  They made up 0.02% of West Virginia’s population

Race and Ethnicity in West Virginia 2024 | Ancestry in West Virginia