Welcome to West Virginia
"The Mountain State"
More than almost any other U.S. state, West Virginia is defined by its geography. In fact, geography directly led to its creation, at least in part. The only state in the Union to secede from a Confederate state (in 1861), West Virginia had petitioned the U.S. Congress for a separate government as far back as 1776. The rugged terrain of what then was simply the western part of Virginia made slavery unprofitable, and created a distinct demarcation between the poor (in the west) and the wealthy (in the east and south).
That economic disparity has yet to disappear. According to the U.S. Census Bureau, West Virginia has the third lowest per-capita income in the country, and it ranks last in median household income. The state's lynchpin industry has long been coal mining. Working conditions were historically quite bad and even dangerous in the mines, and union mine organizing marks a turbulent chapter in the state's history. Small family farms are also prevalent in the state (as opposed to the large agri-businesses found in other states), leading to a large population of rural poor. Still, despite the hardships, West Virginians continue to endure, reflecting the strength and beauty of their home in the Appalachian Mountains.
State Name: West Virginia
State Nickname: "The Mountain State"
State Motto: Montani semper liberi ("Mountaineers are always free")
Name for Residents: West Virginian
Time Zone: Eastern, GMT/UTC -5 / -4 (Daylight Savings Time)
Capital City: Charleston
Date of Statehood: June 20, 1863
Statehood Rank: 35th State
Area: 24,230 square miles (62,755 km²)
Area Rank: 41 of 50
Number of Counties: 55
State Population: 1,812,035 (2007 estimate)
Charleston - 50,302 (2008)
Huntington - 49,185 (2008)
Parkersburg - 31,611 (2008)
Ohio River - Length: 981 mi (1,579 km)
Potomac River - Length: 383 mi (665 km)
Shenandoah River - Length: 150 mi (241 km)
Highest Point: Spruce Knob, 4,863 ft (1,427 m)
Lowest Point: Harpers Ferry, 240 ft (460 m)
Bordering States and Countries:
Record High Temperature:
July 10, 1936 at Martinsburg
Record Low Temperature:
December 30, 1917 at Lewisburg
West Virginia State Flag
West Virginia State Seal
West Virginia Location Map
|Author: World Trade Press|