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West Virginia, abbreviated WV and W.Va., is a state of the United States, on
the Allegheny Plateau. It borders Pennsylvania and Maryland in the
north, Virginia in the east and south, Kentucky in the southwest and Ohio in the
west, along the Ohio River. The state has an area of 62,760 km2 and
has 1,815,857 residents (US Census, 2017). The capital is Charleston.
West Virginia is also known as The Mountain State, the "Mountain
Geography and climate
West Virginia is a mountain and mountain landscape with narrow
valleys; almost half the area is covered by the Appalachians, the highest peak
being Spruce Knob (1481 masl) in the east. The Ohio River forms the western
The climate is humid continental; Charleston has 23.4 °C on average in July,
1.1 °C in January and 1010 mm of precipitation. Around the 3 / 4 of
the area is covered by forest, mainly woodland. Main species of wood are oak,
beech, walnut, chestnut and poplar.
Of the population, 92.2 per cent are considered white, 3.6 per cent black and
1.6 per cent Hispanic (US Census, 2017). 48.7 per cent of the population live in
cities or urban areas, against the national average of 80.7 per cent (2010). The
largest cities are the capital of Charleston and Huntington. Major institutions
of higher education are Marshall University in Huntington (founded 1837) and
West Virginia University in Morgantown
(1867). Methodists, Baptists and Catholics make up the largest denominations.
West Virginia sends two senators and three representatives to
the Washington Congress in Washington.
Only six percent of the area is cultivated; It produces especially high,
grain and apples. Animal husbandry is important, with lots of cattle and
poultry. West Virginia is among the largest coal producers in the United
States. There is also some oil and natural gas; also salt, sand and limestone.
The coal deposits created an early foundation for a significant iron and
steel industry, chemical industry and glassworks. Reductions in the mining and
heavy industry have led to high unemployment and emigration since the 1960s, and
a conscious effort is being made to attract new industries.
The world famous spa resort is located in White Sulfur Springs. Harpers
Ferry, where John Brown raided a federal arsenal of arms in an attempt to arm
the slaves for rebellion in 1859, is today a national memorial.
West Virginia belonged to Virginia until 1861, when the state split
during the American Civil War. The 40 westernmost counties (counties) voted
against withdrawal of the union and formed a state government in Wheeling, and
in 1863, West Virginia busy as the 35th state in the union.