Terra Alta is a town and former coal town in Preston County, West Virginia, United States. The population was 1,477 at the 2010 census.
Terra Alta was originally called Portland, and under the latter name had its start in the 1850s. The present name Terra Alta is derived from Latin meaning "high land".
The town is home to the James S. Lakin House and Terra Alta Bank, each listed on the National Register of Historic Places.
Terra Alta is located at 39°26′40″N 79°32′38″W (39.444343, -79.544002).
According to the United States Census Bureau, the town has a total area of 1.19 square miles (3.08 km2), all of it land.
The climate in this area has mild differences between highs and lows, and there is adequate rainfall year-round. According to the Köppen Climate Classification system, Terra Alta has a marine west coast climate, abbreviated "Cfb" on climate maps.
As of the census of 2010, there were 1,477 people, 610 households, and 394 families living in the town. The population density was 1,241.2 inhabitants per square mile (479.2/km2). There were 700 housing units at an average density of 588.2 per square mile (227.1/km2). The racial makeup of the town was 98.0% White, 0.7% African American, 0.5% Native American, 0.1% Asian, 0.2% from other races, and 0.5% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 0.9% of the population.
There were 610 households of which 33.0% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 45.1% were married couples living together, 14.6% had a female householder with no husband present, 4.9% had a male householder with no wife present, and 35.4% were non-families.