West Virginia, United States

West Virginia, United States

Country USA
Capital city Charleston
Area 62,755 km²
Population 1,793,716 people (2020)
28.6 people/km²
Governor Earl Ray Tomblin
Time zone -5/-4
ZIP code WV
ISO 3166-2 US-WV
Official site www.wv.gov
West Virginia

West Virginia is a state in the United States. Its zip code is WV and the capital city is Charleston.

The state has a population of 1,805,832 (2018). The total area of ​​West Virginia is 62,755 km², of which 62,361 km² is land and 394 km² (0.6%) is water.


Until the arrival of European settlers, the territory of West Virginia was inhabited by Native American tribes. The first settlers settled in the area in the early 18th century, after several expeditions explored the western mountainous parts of Virginia (the Appalachians). The inhabitants of the first settlements faced a number of unfavorable factors, such as the difficult mountainous terrain, the resistance of the native inhabitants, the military conflict between the English and the French in the Ohio River valley, and the disputed ownership of the land. The French and Indian Warsettles British and French claims to the area. In 1763, the French ceded to the British all lands west of the Appalachians to the Mississippi River, but the British Royal Proclamation of the same year established a boundary line to establish Indian reservations and prohibited colonial expansion westward .

Despite these obstacles, the number of new settlements in the west grew. At the same time, dissatisfaction with the government became widespread. In 1769, a 14th colony was proposed to be named Vandalia, and a few years later, residents of the lands west of Virginia and Pennsylvania moved into the area with a request to create a 14th state, Westylvania. The frontiersmen, mainly composed of German, Scotch, and Irish Protestants, differed from the aristocratic settlers of eastern Virginia. The mountainous terrain and harsh climate made slavery economically untenable in the region, and legislative and tax policies favored the eastern part of the state .. Due to geographic features, the area is economically oriented more toward the Ohio River Valley than the rest of Virginia . These differences, as well as the neglect of the region by the government of Virginia, created a desire among the majority of the population west of the Appalachians to secede into a separate state with its own government.

West Virginia was created as a separate state during the American Civil War by secession of its territory from Virginia. Residents in the counties of Northwestern Virginia did not wish to secede from the Union, unlike the planters of the South and the coast, who adhered to the Confederate States. West Virginia seceded from Virginia at the Wheeling Convention, held in the city of the same name, and was admitted to the Union in 1863. The state’s existence was confirmed by a Supreme Court decision in 1870.

In the last decades of the 19th century, the state experienced a rapid industrial development associated with the development of mineral deposits and the construction of railways. The leading sector in the economy is the mining industry. The most intense periods in the development of the coal industry occurred in the period 1910-1970 (West Virginia was the first in the country in terms of coal mining). At the beginning of the 20th century, the state was repeatedly covered by riots in connection with the miners’ struggle for their rights.


West Virginia is located in the Appalachian Mountain Range region

Located in the Appalachian mountain range, West Virginia covers an area of ​​62,754.8 square kilometers, of which 393.8 square kilometers is water, making it the 41st largest state in the United States. West Virginia is bordered by Pennsylvania and Maryland to the northeast, Virginia to the southeast, Ohio to the northwest, and Kentucky to the southwest. Its longest border is with Virginia – 613 km, followed by Ohio – 391, Maryland – 280, Pennsylvania – 190 and Kentucky – 127.

West Virginia is located entirely in the Appalachian region, and the state is almost entirely mountainous. Elevation is lower near the Ohio and Shenandoah rivers. About 75% of the state lies on the Cumberland and Allegheny Plateaus. Although the topography is not high-mountainous, it is highly hilly in most areas. The average elevation of West Virginia is approximately 460 meters. The highest peak is Spruce Knob (1482 m) , located in the western part of the state.

Most of the state drains via the Ohio River into the Mississippi and thence into the Gulf of Mexico. Only the extreme eastern areas drain via the Potomac River into the Chesapeake Bay.

The climate of West Virginia is generally humid subtropical (Köppen Climate Classification Cfa, except Dfb at higher elevations) with warm to hot, humid summers and freezing winters that become more severe with increasing elevation. Some southern areas of the highland region also have a mountain temperate climate (Köppen Cfb), where winter temperatures are more moderate and summer temperatures are slightly colder.

Average January temperatures range from about -4 °C near the Cheat River to 5 °C along sections of the Kentucky border. July averages range from 19 °C along the Potomac River to 24 °C in the western part of the state. It is cooler in the mountains than in the lower parts of the state . The highest temperature recorded in the state was 44 °C in Martinsburg on July 10, 1936, and the lowest was -38 °C in Lewisburg on December 30, 1917.


West Virginia has a 2018 estimate of 1,805,832 residents, of whom 93.5% are White, 3.6% African American, 0.8% Asian, 0.3% Native American, and 1.7% Hispanic. Only 1.6% of the state’s population was born outside the US. The state has one of the lowest shares of residents (2.5%) in the US who speak a language other than English at home. 5.3% of West Virginia’s population is under the age of 5, 20.2% is under 18, and 19.9% ​​is 65 or older. The share of women as part of the total population is 50.5% .


  • Bluefield
  • Wheeling
  • Charleston


West Virginia is divided into 55 counties:

  1. Barber
  2. Braxton
  3. Brooke
  4. Bun
  5. Berkeley
  6. Gilmer
  7. Grant
  8. Greenbrier
  9. Jackson
  10. Jefferson
  11. Doddridge
  12. Cable
  13. Calhoun
  14. Clay
  15. Kanawha
  16. Lincoln
  17. Logan
  18. Lewis
  19. McDowell
  20. Marion
  21. Marshall
  22. Mason
  23. Mineral
  24. Mingo
  25. Monongalia
  26. Monroe
  27. Morgan
  28. Mercer
  29. Nicholas
  30. Ohio
  31. Pendleton
  32. Pleasants
  33. Pocahontas
  34. Preston
  35. Putnam
  36. Randolph
  37. Richie
  38. Roley
  39. Rowan
  40. Summers
  41. Tyler
  42. Tucker
  43. Taylor
  44. Wyoming
  45. Wood
  46. Webster
  47. Wayne
  48. Wetzel
  49. Worth
  50. Fayette
  51. Hampshire
  52. Hancock
  53. Hardy
  54. Harrison
  55. Upsher

Fifty of the counties existed at the time of the Wheeling Convention in 1861, when West Virginia seceded from Virginia. The other five (Grant, Mineral, Lincoln, Summers, and Mingo) were formed in the state after its admission to the United States on June 20, 1863.

The West Virginia Constitution allows the creation of new counties if a majority of citizens in the proposed new county vote to create it and the new county has a minimum area of ​​400 square miles (1,036 sq km) and a population of at least 6,000. The creation of a new county is not allowed if it would reduce the area or population of another county below the fixed minimum.

Charleston (West Virginia)

Country USA
State West Virginia
Area 84.70 km²
Highness height 597 feet
Population 51,400 people (2010)
607 people/km²
Founding 1788
Official site www.cityofcharleston.org

Downtown Charleston

Charleston (in English: Charleston) is a city and the capital of the state of West Virginia in the United States. Charleston has a population of 51,176 (2005 est.), making it currently the largest city in West Virginia. The city has a total area of ​​84.70 km² (32.70 mi²).

West Virginia, United States

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