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West Virginia

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State of West Virginia
Flag of West Virginia State seal of West Virginia
Flag Seal
Nickname(s): Mountain State
Motto(s): Montani semper liberi (mountaineers are always free)
Map of the United States with West Virginia highlighted
Official language none (de facto English)
Demonym West Virginian
(and largest city)
Largest metro Charleston metro area
Area Ranked 41st
 • Total 24,230 sq mi
(62,755 km2)
 • Width 130 miles (210 km)
 • Length 240 miles (385 km)
 • % water 0.6
 • Latitude 37° 12′ N to 40° 39′ N
 • Longitude 77° 43′ W to 82° 39′ W
Population Ranked 37th
 • Total 1,859,815 (2010 Census)
 • Density 75.1/sq mi  (29.0/km2)
Ranked 27th
 • Median household income $38,029 (48th)
 • Highest point Spruce Knob
4,863 ft (1,427 m)
 • Mean 1,500 ft  (460 m)
 • Lowest point Harpers Ferry
240 ft (73 m)
Before statehood Virginia
Admission to Union June 20, 1863 (35)
Governor vacant
(Senate President
Earl Ray Tomblin
is currently acting
as Governor during
the vacancy) [1]
Lieutenant Governor vacant [2]
Legislature West Virginia Legislature
 • Upper house Senate
 • Lower house House of Delegates
U.S. Senators Jay Rockefeller (D)
Joe Manchin (D)
U.S. House delegation 1: David McKinley (R)
2: Shelley Moore Capito (R)
3: Nick Rahall (D) (list)
Time zone Eastern: UTC-5/-4
ISO 3166 US-WV
Abbreviations WV
Website wv.gov

West Virginia is a state in the Appalachian, Upland South, and Mid-Atlantic regions of the United States, bordered by Virginia on the southeast, Kentucky on the southwest, Ohio on the northwest, and Pennsylvania on the northeast and Maryland on the east. The capital and largest city is Charleston.

West Virginia broke away from Virginia during the American Civil War and was admitted to the Union as a separate state on June 20, 1863, and was a key Civil War "border state". It is one of only two states formed during the American Civil War (along with Nevada, which separated from Utah Territory) and is the only state to form by seceding from a Confederate state and one of three states to secede from another state (the others being Kentucky and Maine).

The Census Bureau considers West Virginia part of the South because most of the state is south of the Mason-Dixon Line. The northern panhandle, however, extends adjacent to Pennsylvania and Ohio with the West Virginia city of Weirton on a parallel with Pittsburgh, while Bluefield is less than seventy miles from North Carolina. The unique position of West Virginia means that it is often included in a wide variety of geographical regions, including the Southeastern United States and even the Northeastern United States. Notably, it is the only state which entirely lies within the area served by the Appalachian Regional Commission, which is a common definition of "Appalachia".[3]

The state is noted for its great natural beauty, its historically significant logging and coal mining industries, and its labor history. It is also known for a wide range of outdoor recreational opportunities, including skiing, whitewater rafting, rock climbing, caving, fishing, hiking, mountain biking, and hunting.

Part of this article consists of modified text from Metapedia, page http:en.metapedia.org/wiki/West Virginia and/or Wikipedia, page http:en.wikipedia.org/wiki/West Virginia, and the article is therefore licensed under GFDL.


  1. http://www.state.wv.us/wvsca/docs/spring11/101494.pdf
  2. In the event of a vacancy in the office of Governor, the President of the State Senate acts as governor per the West Virginia Constitution. Earl Ray Tomblin is currently acting as governor under this provision.
  3. "Appalachian Region: Counties in Appalachia". Appalachian Regional Commission. Retrieved 2007-11-13.