West Virginia

State Motto

Montani semper liberi (Mountaineers are always free)

State Motto of West Virginia

West Virginia, often referred to as the "Mountain State," is a landlocked state located in the Appalachian region of the eastern United States. It was carved out of Virginia during the American Civil War and officially became a state in 1863. With its rugged terrain and picturesque landscapes, West Virginia is known for its stunning mountains, rolling hills, and extensive forests. The state's economy has historically been rooted in coal mining, but it has diversified in recent years, with industries such as healthcare, tourism, and natural gas playing significant roles. West Virginia is rich in cultural heritage, with a strong tradition of Appalachian music, folklore, and artisanal craftsmanship. Despite economic challenges, the state's residents take pride in their scenic beauty, friendly communities, and a resilient spirit that characterizes the Mountain State.

What's in a name?

Separated from Virginia during the Civil War and named for its western location.

State Nickname of West Virginia

Geography

Map of the State of West Virginia

Download maps of West Virginia

Area: 24,230 sq mi (62,756 kmĀ²), 41st
Highest Point: Spruce Knob; 4,862 ft (452 m), 24th
Lowest Point: Potomac River; 240 ft (22 m)
Bordering States: Kentucky, Maryland, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Virginia
Area Codes: Area Codes of West Virginia
Zip Codes: Zip Codes of West Virginia

West Virginia is characterized by its rugged and picturesque terrain. Known as the "Mountain State," it is primarily situated within the Appalachian Mountain range, featuring rolling hills, lush forests, and numerous river valleys. The state boasts a diverse landscape with the Allegheny Mountains dominating the eastern part, while the western region gradually levels into the Ohio River Valley. West Virginia is renowned for its outdoor recreational opportunities, including hiking, white-water rafting, and skiing, thanks to its abundant natural beauty. It is also home to the New River Gorge, one of the deepest canyons in the eastern United States, and numerous state parks, making it a haven for nature enthusiasts and adventure seekers.

Economy

The economy of West Virginia is characterized by a diverse mix of industries, although it has historically been heavily reliant on coal mining and manufacturing. Over the years, the state has undergone a transition, with a declining coal industry but growth in sectors like healthcare, education, and tourism. Energy production, including natural gas extraction, has gained prominence, contributing to the state's economic landscape. Agriculture and forestry also play a role in West Virginia's economy. However, the state faces challenges related to workforce development, economic diversification, and infrastructure improvement to further stimulate economic growth and reduce poverty rates.

Agriculture

  • Dairy
  • Corn
  • Soybeans

Industry

  • Energy
  • Manufacturing
  • Tourism

State Symbols

State Flag

State Flag of West Virginia

State Seal

State Seal of West Virginia

State Quarter

State Quarter of West Virginia

State Bird

State Bird of West VirginiaCardinal

State Flower

State Flower of West VirginiaRhododendron

State Tree

State Tree of West VirginiaSugar Maple

State Mammal

State Mammal of West VirginiaBlack Bear

State Fish

State Fish of West VirginiaBrook Trout

State Insect

State Insect of West VirginiaMonarch Butterfly
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