West Virginia Information
West Virginia, abbreviation WV, is a state in the eastern United States of America. The State is located west of the State of Virginia. Virginia’s nickname is, for obvious reasons, “the Mountain State”. The capital is Charleston. See all cities in West Virginia. As West Virginia’s nickname implies, this state is home to many mountains. West Virginia is partly located in the Appalachians. A visit to West Virginia is therefore especially worthwhile if you love nature and outdoor sports.
The State has many national parks, where you can ski, raft, fish, hike, backpack and mountain bike. If you like idyllic and quaint villages, West Virginia is definitely worth a visit. You can also do some fantastic ‘ghost tours’, where you learn all about local haunted houses. West Virginia has a rich history anyway. You can find it in many museums, especially in the field of the Civil War
Located in the Appalachian Mountains, West Virginia is a little tricky to place geographically, as it doesn’t really fall under the East Coast, Northeast, Midwest, or South. The state borders Pennsylvania, Maryland, Virginia, Kentucky, and Ohio. The state has a distinctive shape and measures a maximum of 360 kilometers from north to south and 350 kilometers from west to east. The state has two geographic panhandles, in the north and east.
Most of West Virginia is mountainous and forested, with several ridges and hill areas. The 1,482-foot Spruce Knob is the highest point in the state. The Ohio River is the state’s largest river and forms the entire border with the Ohio state of the same name. Major tributaries are the Kanawha River and Elk River. The Potomac River flows to the east. The rivers in West Virginia flow to both the Atlantic Ocean and the Gulf of Mexico. There are no national parks in West Virginia, but the New River Gorge National River in the south of the state does.
In the 17th and 18th centuries, Europeans from Virginia and Pennsylvania visited the area that would later become West Virginia. At the beginning of the 19th century, the population did not grow as strongly as elsewhere in the region. During the American Civil War, West Virginia seceded from Virginia in 1861 and formally became the 35th state of the United States in 1863. The Civil War was the main reason for the secession of West Virginia, because this area wanted to stay with the Union, and the rest wanted to belong to the Confederacy.
After the Civil War, mining was developed in West Virginia and became the primary sector of the economy. Coal was mined in many parts of the state. Demand for coal during East Coast industrialization caused the population of West Virginia to grow relatively rapidly after the Civil War, surpassing the 1 million population mark shortly after 1900. Population growth remained strong until just after World War II, when the contraction of heavy industry reduced demand for coal.
West Virginia’s economy has traditionally centered on forestry, agriculture, and mining. There are many coal mines in the state. West Virginia is the second largest coal producer in the country after Wyoming. A lot of gas is also extracted in the state. Large parts of West Virginia are isolated and relatively poor. West Virginia has had a stagnant economy for years, with income growth over time being one of the lowest in the United States.
|Joined the US as the 35th state on:||June 20, 1863|
|state motto:||Mountaineers are always free|
|California official website:||wv.gov|