West Virginia Facts

West Virginia Location In The US West Virginia State Map

This page contains a wealth of information on the state of West Virginia. Please click on the type of the fact that you are interested in:

Geography & Demographics

State Abbreviation WV
State Capital Charleston
State Size Total (Land + Water): 24,230 sq miles; Land Only: 24,078 sq miles
Number of Counties 55
Time Zone Eastern Time Zone
Bordering States Kentucky, Maryland, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Virginia
Highest PointSpruce Knob, 4,863 feet
National ParksNone
State Population (2015)1,844,128
State Population Density76.6 people / square mile
Area Codes 304, 681
Top 5 Cities (2010 population) Charleston (51,400)
Huntington (49,138)
Parkersburg (31,492)
Morgantown (29,660)
Wheeling (28,486)

Government & Legislature

Statehood June 20, 1863
Electoral Votes5
State Flag West Virginia State Flag
GovernorOfficial West Virginia Governor Website
U. S. SenatorsList of U. S. Senators From West Virginia
U. S. RepresentativesList of U. S. Representatives From West Virginia
State SenatorsList of West Virginia State Senators
State DelegatesList of West Virginia State Delegates
State GovernmentOfficial Site
State ConstitutionWest Virginia State Constitution
Road ConditionsWest Virginia Road Conditions
State Quarter Issue Date October 14, 2005

State Symbols

State AnimalBlack bear
State Bird Cardinal
State ButterflyMonarch butterfly
State ColorsOld gold and blue
State FishBrook trout
State Flower Rhododendron
State FruitGolden delicious apple
State GemSilicified Mississippian fossil coral
State InsectHoneybee
State Motto Montani semper liberi (Mountaineers are always free)
State Nickname Mountain State
State RockCoal
State SoilMonongahela silt loam
State Song"West Virginia My Home Sweet Home", "The West Virginia Hills", "This is My West Virginia"
State Tree Sugar maple

Sports Teams

Major Sports Teams None
NCAA Division I Schools Marshall University (Conference USA)
West Virginia University (Big 12)


State Gas Tax$0.3320 / Gallon
State Cigarette Tax$0.55 / Pack

Popular Tourist Attractions

Famous People Born In West Virginia

Nobel Prize Winners

  • Pearl Buck (Literature, 1938)
  • John F. Nash Jr. (Economic Sciences, 1994)

Pro Football Hall Of Fame Members

  • George Preston Marshall (Team Owner, Team Founder. Inducted in 1963)
  • Greasy Neale (Coach. Inducted in 1969)
  • Gino Marchetti (Defensive End. Inducted in 1972)
  • Sam Huff (Linebacker. Inducted in 1982)
  • Frank Gatski (Center. Inducted in 1985)

Baseball Hall Of Fame Players

  • Jesse Burkett (Left Fielder. Inducted in 1946)
  • George Brett (Third Baseman. Inducted in 1999)
  • Bill Mazeroski (Second Baseman. Inducted in 2001)

Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall Of Fame Players

  • Hal Greer (Guard-Forward. Inducted in 1982)
  • Jerry West (Guard. Inducted in 1980)

Famous Actors And Actresses

  • John Corbett
  • Elizabeth McLaughlin
  • Ashlie Rhey

Famous Singers

  • Wilma Lee Cooper
  • Red Sovine
  • Bill Withers

West Virginia Fun Facts

  • West Virginia was named for England's "Virgin Queen," Elizabeth I. It was part of Virginia until 1861. When Virginia seceded from the Union, the 40 western county delegates opposed the secession and formed their own government, which was granted statehood in 1863.
  • The New River Gorge Bridge in Fayetteville, West Virginia, is the longest steel-arch bridge in the United States, spanning 1, 699 feet across the New River Canyon.
  • The first state sales tax established in the United States went into effect on July 1, 1921, in West Virginia.
  • Weirton is the only city in the U.S. that extends from one state border to another. The eastern portion of the city borders Pennsylvania, and the western portion of the city borders on Ohio.
  • The first official Mother's Day celebration took in 1908 at a Methodist Church in Grafton, West Virginia, and was organized by Anna Jarvis.
  • In November 2014, 18-year-old Saira Blair was elected to the West Virginia House of Delegates, becoming the youngest elected lawmaker in the United States.
  • In West Virginia, a person can be fined one dollar each act of cursing, swearing, or public drunkenness.
  • Governor Cecil Underwood was the state’s youngest governor at 34 when he was first elected in 1956. He was elected again in 1996 at 74, making him the oldest governor of the state.  
  • The first municipally owned parking building in the U.S. was opened September 1, 1941 in Welch, West Virginia.
  • West Virginia got its first Starbucks in December, 2003, making it the last state in the United States to have a Starbucks store.

This page was last updated on October 20, 2016.

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