Nicholas County is a county located in the U.S. state of West Virginia. As of the 2010 census, the population was 26,233. Its county seat is Summersville. The county was created in 1818 by the Virginia General Assembly and named for Virginia Governor Wilson Cary Nicholas.
As of the census of 2000, there were 26,562 people, 10,722 households, and 7,762 families residing in the county. The population density was 41 people per square mile (16/km²). There were 12,406 housing units at an average density of 19 per square mile (7/km²). The racial makeup of the county was 98.84% White, 0.05% Black or African American, 0.24% Native American, 0.19% Asian, 0.02% Pacific Islander, 0.10% from other races, and 0.55% from two or more races. 0.48% of the population were Hispanic or Latino of any race.
As of the 2010 United States Census, there were 26,233 people, 10,938 households, and 7,591 families residing in the county. The population density was 40.6 inhabitants per square mile (15.7/km2). There were 13,064 housing units at an average density of 20.2 per square mile (7.8/km2). The racial makeup of the county was 98.4% white, 0.3% Asian, 0.2% American Indian, 0.2% black or African American, 0.1% from other races, and 0.9% from two or more races. Those of Hispanic or Latino origin made up 0.6% of the population. In terms of ancestry, 21.7% were Irish, 19.0% were German, 12.9% were English, and 10.1% were American.
Of the 10,938 households, 28.8% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 53.8% were married couples living together, 10.7% had a female householder with no husband present, 30.6% were non-families, and 26.5% of all households were made up of individuals. The average household size was 2.38 and the average family size was 2.85. The median age was 43.3 years.
The median income for a household in the county was $38,457 and the median income for a family was $45,127. Males had a median income of $42,302 versus $25,859 for females. The per capita income for the county was $19,359. About 14.3% of families and 18.7% of the population were below the poverty line, including 25.5% of those under age 18 and 12.3% of those age 65 or over.