What are the Key Facts of West Virginia? | West Virginia Facts - Answers

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What are the Key Facts of West Virginia?

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Map of West Virginia
Map of West Virginia which lies in the Appalachian region of the Southern USA


West Virginia

State Capital


Largest City



39°N 80.5°W


Mountain State”

Postal Abbreviation



24,230 sq. mi (62,755 sq. km)

Highest Point

Spruce Knob, 4,863 ft (1,482 m)

Neighboring States

Pennsylvania, Maryland, Virginia, Ohio, Kentucky

Number of Counties



1,792,147 (2019)

Date of Entering the Union

June 20, 1863

State Anthem

Take Me Home, Country Roads”, “The West Virginia Hills”, “West Virginia”, “My Home Sweet Home”, and “This Is My West Virginia”


Jim Justice (Republican)

Lieutenant Governor

Mitch Carmichae (Republican)

U.S. senators

Joe Manchin (Democrats), Shelley Moore Capito (Republican)

U.S. House Delegation

David McKinley (Republican), Alex Mooney (Republican), Carol Miller (Republican),

GDP (millions of dollars)



West Virginian

Time Zones

UTC−05:00 (Eastern), Summer (DST) UTC−04:00 (EDT)

Where is West Virginia?

West Virginia lies in the Appalachian region of the Southern United States of America. Pennsylvania surrounds it to the northeast, Virginia in the southeast, Maryland to the east, Kentucky to the southwest, and Ohio in the northwest. It is the 35th state admitted to the union of the United States of America on June 20, 1863. Charleston is the capital of West Virginia.

What is the Geography of West Virginia?

West Virginia spreads across a total area of 24,230 sq. mi (62,755 sq. km), out of which 24,078 sq. mi (62,361 sq. km) is land area while water covers 152 sq. mi (394 sq. km). Water bodies constitute 0.6% of the total area. It ranks 41st in terms of area in the US.

West Virginia has numerous rivers, and some of them have a prominent place like Tygart Valley River, Elk River, Greenbrier River, West Fork Little Kanawha River, and many more. The Ohio River is the longest river of the state; its length is 277 miles (445.7 km).

The state’s mean elevation is 1,513 ft (461 m) above sea level. The highest elevation point of West Virginia is Spruce Knob, which is 4,863 ft (1,482 m), while its lowest elevation point is Potomac River at Virginia border, which is 240 ft (73 m).

The state divides into four geographic regions based on natural and land features, and their names are the Potomac Section, the Allegheny Highlands, the Allegheny Plateau, and the Ohio River Valley.

West Virginia is replete with many mountains, some of the prominent mountains in the state are Spruce Mountain, Cheat Mountain, Back Allegheny Mountain, Mount Porte Crayon, and many more. Spruce Mountain is the tallest mountain of the state.

Forests cover a large part of West Virginia, around 78 percent land of the state is forest land. The northeastern part of the state is thickly forested. The West Virginia Division of Forestry manages a large number of state forests. The names of some of the prominent forests are Cabwaylingo, Calvin Price, Greenbrier. Seneca, etc.

It is known for six native pines such as- White Pine, Red Pine, Virginia Pine, Pitch Pine, Table Mountain Pine, and Shortleaf Pine.West Virginia is home to various mammals and species including whitetail deer, chipmunk, raccoon, skunk, groundhog, opossum, weasel, field mouse, flying squirrel, and many more. It is home to some remarkable variety of birds such as Tufted Titmouse, Eastern Towhee, Hairy Woodpecker, Song Sparrow, and so on.

The state tree of West Virginia is the sugar maple, while rhododendron is the state’s flower. West Virginia’s official State Animal is the black bear, while Northern cardinal has is the state bird of West Virginia.

What is the Climate of West Virginia?

The climate of West Virginia is humid subtropical. The state experiences warm summer, cold winters, and moderate rainfall throughout the year. The state’s climate changes regularly at higher altitudes in the mountain ranges.

The average high temperature in the state in July remains between 82°F (27.8°C) to 87°F (30.6°C). and the average low temperature remains in the range of 50°F (10°C) to 65°F (18.3°C) in July. While West Virginia has severe cold weather in January and the average high temperature in this month remains in the range of 33°F (0.6°C) to 43°F (6.1°C). The state experiences average low temperature in January between 15°F (-9.4°C) to 25°F (-3.9°C). July is undoubtedly the hottest, while January is the coldest month of the state.

West Virginia receives an average annual rainfall of 44 inches (1117.6mm). The average yearly snowfall in the state is 36 inches (914.4mm). The state generally remains cloudy and rainy, and it experiences only 126 days of sunshine most of the time, the sun is present on the horizon throughout the year.

What is the Economy of West Virginia?

Agriculture plays a vital role in the economy of West Virginia. It is a leading producer of apple, peach, trout, and turkey in the United States. Apart from these Sheep and lambs, Beef cattle and calves, farm chickens, honey, farm-raised fish, eggs, dairy products, and wool are extensively produced in the state. Cultivation of corn for grain, soybeans, and wheat also takes place in the state.

West Virginia is replete with natural resources, and it is technologically very advanced. It has diverse manufacturing sectors, including chemicals, biotech, pharmaceuticals, energy, aerospace and automotive components, fabricated products, and many more.

Coal is found in abundance in West Virginia, while its other major mined products are- natural gas, cement, common clay, construction, and industrial sand and gravel, crushed stone, etc.

The total Gross Domestic Product (GDP) of the state was the US $ 78,189.5 in 2019, while the per capita personal income in West Virginia was 42,336 US dollars in 2019.

What is the Transportation System of West Virginia?

Taxi services are available in the big cities of West Virginia. The name of two reliable taxi companies is Charleston’s C & H Taxi and Wheeling’s Yellow Cab. Most taxis provide inner-city service due to mountainous roads in the state.

Amtrak runs two major railway lines for passengers that pass through the state- the Cardinal Route and the Capitol Limited Route. Tourists can also enjoy the scenic train rides in West Virginia.

Bus service has been maintained by Mountain Transit Authority (MTA) in West Virginia. The agency provides regular service to the general public throughout the year in the state.

West Virginia Division of Highways maintains the interstate highways in the state along with US highways as well. It has six primary interstates, one auxiliary interstate, and two proposed interstates.

Some of the prominent primary interstate highways in the state are 1-64, 1-68, 1-70, 1-73, and many more. While 1-470 is a known auxiliary highway in the state. It has several major US highways such as- S-11, US-19, US-21, US-22, and so on.

The airline network well connects the state. The state has several impressive airports; some of the major ones’ are Yeager Airport, North Central West Virginia Airport, Tri-State Airport, Morgantown Municipal Airport, and many more.

What is the Origin of the Name of “West Virginia”?

The name “West Virginia” derives after England’s Queen Elizabeth I, also famous as “The Virgin Queen.” (Sir Walter Raleigh may have recommended this name around 1584). In the early 1600’s all of North America that was not Spanish, or French was then called “Virginia” in honor of “The Virgin Queen”. During the period Virginia Company of London had sent the earliest colonial expedition to the new land.

Why is West Virginia Called “The Mountain State”?

West Virginia is nicknamed “The Mountain State” due to its lofty mountains. Its mountains and high hills like the Appalachian Mountains extend through the eastern part of West Virginia. Apart from this, the state’s average elevation is higher than any other state east of the Mississippi River.

What are the Popular Tourist Attractions in West Virginia?

West Virginia is replete with lofty mountains, dense forests, and rivers. The state is known for fun and entertainment like camping, caving, rock climbing, whitewater rafting, boating, and fishing. The state attracts millions of tourists every year. Some of the remarkable tourist attractions of the state are Harpers Ferry, New River Gorge National Park, Blackwater Falls State Park, Whitewater Rafting, Snowshoe, The Greenbrier, and many more. Therefore West Virginia is a place where tourists can enjoy a lot.

Facts About West Virginia

1.On 20th June 1863 the then President Abraham Lincoln signed a proclamation. As per this document West Virginia became a part of USA.

2.West Virginia’s boundary continues for 1365 miles.

3.West Virginia is the sole state that has been formed by taking away territory from a state. This was done without obtaining the allowance of that particular state.

4.The earliest permanent colony by Caucasians in the Mill Creek area was built by Morgan Morgan. It is situated in what is now known as Berkeley County and was established in 1731.

5.Oakhurst Links was set up in White Sulphur Springs in 1884. It was the earliest organized club for playing golf in the country.

6.Cardinals are the official birds of this state.

7.Majority of earliest indigenous residents of West Virginia had lost their lives during the later part of 1500s thanks diseases or wars fought between tribes. Later on only the Cherokee, Shawnee and Delaware people inhabited the state.

8.At the time of American War of Independence the West Virginian region started to create an economy by developing its abundant resources of minerals. It also took part in an active manner at the war.

9.Black Bear is the officially accepted animal of West Virginia.

10.Sugar maple is the officially recognized tree in the state.

11.Adena Indians were the earliest residents of West Virginia.

12.The officially approved flower of West Virginia is rhododendron.

13.The discovery of the West Virginia’s coal resources was made in 1742. Coal later on became an integral part of the southern state’s history.

14.During American Civil War, Virginia defected from the Union. This happened in 1861 – till then West Virginia was a part of this state.

15.Justice John Marshall was from 1801-1835 the Chief Justice. He was also the main judicial authority when Aaron Burr was tried for treason in 1807. The Marshall University that is situated in Huntington, has received its name from him.

16.Earlier in the state’s history the prominent industry of West Virginia was coal. Its place has now been taken by tourism.

17.Wheeling was the earliest capital of West Virginia. It was replaced in 1870 by Charleston. In 1875 again Wheeling was promoted to being the capital but Charleston got its position back in 1885.

18.In a public voting held on 24th October 1861 participants largely favored a fresh state that was to be named Kanawha. In November a meeting was held at Wheeling, whereby the name West Virginia replaced Kanawha. The same advice was given in 1961 by a newspaper based in Beckley. They opined that the state should either be named Lincoln or Kanawha as many people thought that the state was not an independent entity but the western region of Virginia.

19.Memorial Tunnel in West Virginia was inaugurated on 8th November 1954. It was the earliest passageway to have been watched over by television.

20.It is the sole American state to have been anointed by a declaration that had Presidential sanction.

Related Maps:
Map of USA Depicting Location of West Virginia
Location of West Virginia
West Virginia County Map
West Virginia County Map
Map of the United States

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