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Mineral County Facts


POPULATION

Mineral County has approximately 30,000 people with a predicted 1.9% population growth between 1996 and 2002.  Average age is 37.4 years old with disbursement as follows: 23.4% 17 and under;  52.3%  18 to 54;  17.9%  55 to 74 and  6.3%  75 years and older. 

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ECONOMY

Median household income in 1999 was $31,149 with per capita annual income of $14,444.  Area recently transformed from a goods to a services economy, with 33% of all jobs in the service sector.  Approximately 40% of the population commutes out of the county to jobs.  A strong work ethic and pro-business climate favors location of new industry. 

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PHYSICAL FEATURES

Mineral County contains 328 sq. miles located in the Potomac Highlands region of West Virginia -- west of the Blue Ridge Mountains.  Residents enjoy a mild climate with four distinct seasons.  Average temperatures range between 61 and 37 degrees.  Annual rainfall is 45 inches and snowfall is 76 inches.  The North Branch of the Potomac River runs through the county, which is predominately mountain-and-valley terrain.  Agricultural pastures, dense forests, and abundant natural resources (minerals, timber, and wildlife) provide both scenic outdoor recreation and opportunities for affordable residential development. 

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RECREATION & CULTURE

Residents and tourists alike enjoy outstanding fishing, hunting, whitewater rafting, bird-watching, skiing, golfing, hiking, rock-climbing, sightseeing, ice skating and boating in the county and nearby.  Cultural and recreational interests are served by the Apple Alley Players, Highlands Arts Unlimited, and the Potomac State college which produce and sponsor a spectrum of performing arts and special events throughout the year.  Local festivals and the county fair, with active 4-H, FFA and Homemakers participation, round out the local youth and civic activities.

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HERITAGE

Settlers came to this land, granted by King Charles II to Thomas, Lord Culpepper, in the early 1700's.  Two important revolutionary forts protected the new frontier settlers.  Maryland and Virginia both claimed rightful ownership of the territory.  After the Revolutionary War, New Creek Station became the "railhead" for the commercial interests of the territory.  The B&O Railroad then moved it facilities to New Creek, which changed its name to Keyser in honor of William Keyser, first vice president of the B&O.  Mineral County was formally established in 1866.  To get the full story, check out Mineral County's History.

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BUSINESS & SOCIAL LIFE

The County enjoys a strong sense of community and active business life, spearheaded by the Mineral County Chamber of Commerce, Mineral County Development Authority, and numerous vital service organizations -- from Rotary International and United Way to Kiwanis and the Lion's Clubs.  Vibrant churches, synagogues and a college campus add to the spiritual and social life of the community. 

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EDUCATION

Mineral County contains two advanced-technology high schools and boasts a drop-out rate of only 1%.  Mineral County Schools were granted full accreditation by the State Board of Education and students' test scores are among the best in the State, consistently outperforming national norms on the CTBS Potomac State College, affiliated with West Virginia University, is located in Keyser along with the Vocational-Technical Training Center.  In the County, 10.4% of the population are college graduates and 73% are high school graduates.  Additionally, the Robert C. Byrd Institute in Rocket Center, WV specializs in training the work force and has a state of the art Engineering Prototype Center available to assist industry.

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CRIME

WV ranks lowest in the nation is its serious crime rate.  Mineral County's rural nature and close-knit community helps to protect it from serious incursion of drug trafficking and urban violence.

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HEALTH & ELDER CARE

The area is served by Potomac Valley Hospital (in Keyser) as well as hospitals in Morgantown, Cumberland and Winchester with regional cardiac and cancer centers.  Heartland Nursing Home in Keyser and nearby assisted-living homes care for the needs of seniors.

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