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West Virginia

West Virginia
(In Detail) (Full size)
State nickname: Mountain State

Other U.S. States
Capital Charleston
Largest City Charleston
 - Total
 - Land
 - Water
 - % water
Ranked 41st
62,809 kmē
62,436 kmē
376 kmē
 - Total (2000)
 - Density
Ranked 37th
Admittance into Union
 - Order
 - Date

June 20, 1863
Time zone Eastern: UTC-5/-4
37°10'N to 40°40'N
77°40'W to 82°40'W
210 km
385 km
1,482 meters
455 meters
73 meters
ISO 3166-2:US-WV

West Virginia is a state of the United States, known as The Mountain State.

While many consider it part of the South, many in the northern panhandle counties are probably emotionally closer to Pittsburgh, while those in the eastern panhandle counties are probably emotionally closer to Washington D.C. West Virginia broke away from Virginia during the American Civil War. The state is noted for its coal mining heritage, and union organizing mine wars in particular.

The state has a rich, stark beauty reflecting its topography. Tourist sites include the New River Gorge Bridge (where on Bridge Day the state government allows parachuting from the bridge), as well as many national and state parks. It is also home to the Green Bank Radioastronomy Center.

The US Navy has named a series of ships USS West Virginia in honor of this state.

Table of contents
1 History
2 Law and Government
3 Geography
4 Demographics
5 Important Cities and Towns
6 Education
7 Professional Sports Teams
8 Miscellaneous Information
9 External Links


West Virginia is the only American state formed as a direct result of the American Civil War. Originally the western part of the state of Virginia, considerable dissatisfaction over the control of the state existed between those in the western part of the state, and plantation owners in the plains and tidewater regions. Upon the outbreak of the American Civil War and the seccession of Virginia from the union, the western counties of the state in turn seceded from Virginia on April 27, 1861. Representatives of these western counties formed a reformed government for Virginia based in Wheeling. This reformed government authorized the creation of the state of West Virginia, which was admitted to the union in 1863, following Abraham Lincoln's signing of an act on December 31, 1862 that authorized this.

Law and Government

The capital is Charleston, in the south west area of the state.

The legislature is bicameral, consisting of the House of Delegates and a Senate. Legislators are not full-time, but part-time. Consequently, the legislators hold a full-time job in their community of residence, which stands in stark contrast to the neighboring states of Pennsylvania, Maryland, and Ohio.

Typically, the legislature is in session between January and early April. The remainder of the year sees legislators gathering periodically for interim meetings to discuss issues which will see debate during the next regular session.

The governor is elected every four years, on the same day as the president, sworn in during January.


See: List of West Virginia counties

It is bordered by Pennsylvania and Maryland to the north, by Ohio and Kentucky to the west, and by Virginia to the east. The Ohio River and the Potomac River form parts of the boundaries.


The population as of 2000 is 1,808,344.

As of 2000, West Virginia was probably the US state least affected by immigration. Only 1.1% of the state's residents were foreign-born, placing West Virginia last among the 50 states and the District of Columbia in that statistic. It was also last in the country in percentage of residents that speak a language other than English in the home (2.7%).

Important Cities and Towns


Colleges and Universities

  • Alderson-Broaddus College
  • Bethany College
  • Bluefield State College
  • Concord College
  • Davis and Elkins College
  • Fairmont State College
  • Glenville State College
  • Marshall University
  • Mountain State University
  • Ohio Valley College
  • Salem International University
  • Shepherd College
  • University of Charleston
  • West Liberty State College
  • West Virginia State College
  • West Virginia University
  • West Virginia University Institute of Technology
  • West Virginia University at Parkersburg
  • West Virginia Wesleyan College
  • Wheeling Jesuit University

Professional Sports Teams

The Minor League Baseball Teams are:

  • Princeton Devil Rays
  • Charleston Alley Cats

The minor league hockey team is:

Miscellaneous Information

External Links