Clay, West Virginia

By | March 28, 2023

Clay, West Virginia is a small city located in the state’s Clay County and is surrounded by lush forests and rolling hills. The city sits at an elevation of 1,074 feet, which gives it a mild climate with hot summers and cold winters. Clay has a rich history that dates back to the early 1800s when it was first settled by the brothers Thomas and Peter Clay. It was initially a farming community but later developed into a small manufacturing town, which helped to fuel its economy. Politically, Clay is known as a staunchly conservative town, with most of its citizens identifying as Republican or Independent.┬áCheck howsmb for information about Barbour County, West Virginia.

The local school system in Clay is highly regarded for its quality of education. The schools are managed by the Clay County Board of Education, who strive to provide students with an excellent learning experience that prepares them for college or vocational careers. The district offers numerous activities such as sports teams and clubs for students to get involved in after school hours. Additionally, there are several private schools in the area that provide alternative educational opportunities for those who seek them out.

When it comes to landmarks and attractions in Clay, there are plenty to choose from. One of the most popular spots is the historic downtown area which features many old buildings from the early days of settlement including an old log cabin and other historical sites such as an old grist mill site that still stands today. Other popular attractions include several golf courses located around town as well as several parks where visitors can enjoy outdoor activities like fishing and boating on one of the nearby rivers or lakes.

Population: 593. Estimated population in July 2020: 580 (-2.2% change)
Males: 270 (45.5%), Females: 323 (54.5%)

Clay County

Zip code: 25043

Median resident age: 35.3 years
Median household income: $14,712
Median house value: $59,600

Races in Clay:

  • White Non-Hispanic (98.7%)
  • Two or more races (1.0%)
  • American Indian (0.8%)

Ancestries: United States (15.9%), English (13.5%), German (7.3%), Irish (7.3%), Dutch (2.5%), Scotch-Irish (2.5%).

Elevation: 708 feet

Land area: 0.6 square miles


Clay, West Virginia is a small town nestled in the Appalachian Mountains. It has a population of just over 1,000 people and is one of the most rural areas in West Virginia. The town is mostly comprised of white individuals, with a smaller percentage of African Americans and other ethnicities. The median age in Clay is 45 years old, with over 30% of the population being over 65 years old. The town’s economy relies heavily on coal mining and the timber industry, though there are many small businesses that keep the town alive. There are also several churches in Clay that provide spiritual guidance to its residents. Education is highly valued here, with several good schools in the area. Healthcare options are limited; however, there are two hospitals within an hour’s drive from Clay. Residents enjoy outdoor activities such as fishing, hiking, camping and hunting as well as visiting local attractions like the Clay County Historical Museum. The people of Clay take pride in their community and strive to make it an enjoyable place to live for all who visit or make it their home.

For population 25 years and over in Clay

  • High school or higher: 69.0%
  • Bachelor’s degree or higher: 16.4%
  • Graduate or professional degree: 9.4%
  • Unemployed: 21.3%
  • Mean travel time to work: 28.4 minutes

For population 15 years and over in Clay town

  • Never married: 26.0%
  • Now married: 40.8%
  • Separated: 2.7%
  • Widowed: 12.3%
  • Divorced: 18.2%

0.0% Foreign born

Population change in the 1990s: +3 (+0.5%).


Hospitals/medical centers near Clay:



Airports certified for carrier operations nearest to Clay:

  • YEAGER (about 36 miles; CHARLESTON, WV; Abbreviation: CRW)
  • RALEIGH COUNTY MEMORIAL (about 47 miles; BECKLEY, WV; Abbreviation: BKW)
  • GREENBRIER VALLEY (about 64 miles; LEWISBURG, WV; Abbreviation: LWB)

Other public-use airports nearest to Clay:

  • SUMMERSVILLE (about 23 miles; SUMMERSVILLE, WV; Abbreviation: SXL)
  • BOGGS FIELD (about 30 miles; SPENCER, WV; Abbreviation: 14P)
  • RICHWOOD MUNI (about 34 miles; RICHWOOD, WV; Abbreviation: 3I4)

Colleges and Universities

Colleges/universities with over 2000 students nearest to Clay:

  • WEST VIRGINIA STATE COLLEGE (about 36 miles; INSTITUTE, WV; Full-time enrollment: 3,688)
  • WEST VIRGINIA UNIVERSITY AT PARKERSBURG (about 64 miles; PARKERSBURG, WV; Full-time enrollment: 2,306)
  • CONCORD COLLEGE (about 70 miles; ATHENS, WV; Full-time enrollment: 2,723)
  • BLUEFIELD STATE COLLEGE (about 83 miles; BLUEFIELD, WV; Full-time enrollment: 2,096)
  • OHIO UNIVERSITY-MAIN CAMPUS (about 92 miles; ATHENS, OH; Full-time enrollment: 18,721)
  • MARSHALL UNIVERSITY (about 94 miles; HUNTINGTON, WV; Full-time enrollment: 12,361)
  • FAIRMONT STATE COLLEGE (about 96 miles; FAIRMONT, WV; Full-time enrollment: 5,317)


Public high school in Clay:

  • CLAY COUNTY HIGH SCHOOL (Students: 609; Location: 1 PANTHER DRIVE; Grades: 09 – 12)

Public primary/middle schools in Clay:

  • CLAY COUNTY MIDDLE SCHOOL (Students: 506; Location: 236 CHURCH ST.; Grades: 06 – 08)
  • CLAY ELEMENTARY SCHOOL (Students: 499; Location: CHURCH STREET; Grades: PK – 05)

Private primary/middle school in Clay:

  • CLAY CHRISTIAN ACADEMY (Students: 33; Location: BOX 849; Grades: UG – UG)


Library in Clay:

  • CLAY COUNTY PUBLIC LIBRARY (Operating income: $58,713; Location: 299 MAIN STREET; 18,891 books; 1,596 audio materials; 382 video materials; 36 serial subscriptions)

Clay, West Virginia