West Virginia (State)

State of West Virginia
Coordinates 39°0’NB, 80°30’WL
Surface 62.809 km²
(0,6% water)
Residents 1.855.364
(29,8 inhabitants/km²)
Capital city Charleston
Governor Jim Justice (R)
Time zone Eastern Standard Time (UTC−5)
Joined 20 juni 1863
Nickname Mountain State
Website wv.gov

West Virginia (Dutch: West Virginia) is one of the states of the United States. The standard abbreviation for the “Mountain State,” as its nickname goes, is WV. The capital is Charleston.


The area now called West Virginia was originally settled by Native American tribes. The Iroquois ceded what is now Kentucky and West Virginia to the British in the 1768 Peace Treaty of Fort Stanwix, although the tribes living there (Shawnees, Delawares, and Cherokees) were not represented. In return they received numerous gifts and over 10,000 pounds.

It belonged to the state of Virginia until the American Civil War, although there was already disagreement between the government and the planters in the region, including over the abolition of slavery. When Virginia seceded from the Union, the western counties in turn seceded from Virginia on April 27, 1861. On December 31, 1862 , Abraham Lincoln signed a law allowing West Virginia to form an independent state. On June 20, 1863, it formally became the 35th state of the United States. The constitution provided for a gradual abolition of slavery, but already in February 1865 the parliament of the state abolished slavery altogether.


According to JIBIN123.COM, the state of West Virginia covers 62,809 km², of which 62,436 km² is land. To the east and north, the state has an elongated protrusion called a panhandle. West Virginia is in the Eastern time zone.

West Virginia is bordered to the north by the state of Pennsylvania, to the west by Ohio and Kentucky, to the east by Maryland and to the south by Virginia.

The main river is the Ohio, which forms the border with the state of the same name. The state lies partly in the Appalachian Mountains, with the top of Spruce Knob (1,482 m) being the highest point.

Demography and Economics

West Virginia had 1,808,344 inhabitants (29 per km²). The state is one of the few states in the country with negative population growth. The largest cities are capital Charleston, Huntington and Wheeling.

The gross product of the state in 2001 was $42 billion.

Administrative division

According to COUNTRYAAH, West Virginia is divided into 55 counties.

County Inhabitants
1 July, 2007
County Seat Inhabitants
1 July, 2007
Barbour 15.532 Philippi 2775
Berkeley 99.734 Martinsburg 16.450
Boone 25.201 Madison 2590
Braxton 14.639 Sutton 979
Brooke 23.661 Wellsburg 2612
Cabell 94.435 Huntington 48.982
Calhoun 7201 Grantsville 532
Clay 10.120 Clay 565
Doddridge 7262 West Union 784
Fayette 46.334 Fayetteville 2659
Gilmer 6907 Glenville 1465
Grant 11.925 Petersburg 2726
Greenbier 34.586 Lewisburg 3537
Hampshire 22.577 Romney 1933
Hancock 30.189 New Cumberland 1001
Hardy 13.661 Moorefield 2456
Harrison 68.309 Clarksburg 16.341
Jackson 28.223 Ripley 3248
Jefferson 50.832 Charles Town 4130
Kanawha 191.306 Charleston 50.478
Lewis 17.145 Weston 4226
Lincoln 22.322 Hamlin 1097
Logan 35.629 Logan 1505
Marion 56.728 Fairmont 19.096
Marshall 33.148 Moundsville 9232
Mason 25.546 Point Pleasant 4426
McDowell 22.991 Welch 2244
Mercer 61.350 Princeton 6234
Mineral 26.722 Keyser 5254
Mingo 26.755 Williamson 3106
Monongalia 87.516 Morgantown 29.361
Monroe 13.537 Union 552
Morgan 16.351 Berkeley Springs
Nicholas 26.160 Summersville 3313
Ohio 44.398 Wheeling 29.101
Pendleton 7650 Franklin 799
Pleasants 7183 St. Marys 1900
Pocahontas 8571 Marlinton 1206
Preston 30.254 Kingwood 2942
Putnam County 55.001 Winfield 2039
Raleigh 79.170 Beckley 16.830
Randolph 28.292 Elkins 6989
Ritchie 10.371 Harrisville 1827
Roane 15.295 Spencer 2190
Summers 13.202 Hinton 2574
Taylor 16.117 Grafton 5311
Tucker 6868 Parsons 1381
Tyler 8952 Middlebourne 820
Upshur 23.508 Buckhannon 5510
Wayne 41.231 Wayne 1128
Webster 9435 Webster Springs
Wetzel 16.432 New Martinsville 5585
Wirt 5809 Elizabeth 939
Wood 86.088 Parkersburg 31.617
Wyoming 23.674 Pineville 655


The executive branch of the state is headed by a governor, who is directly elected by the voters in the state. Since January 2017, Jim Justice has been the governor of the state of West Virginia. Justice was a member of the Democratic Party at his election, but switched to the Republicans in August 2017.

Until the late 20th century, West Virginia was dominated by the Democratic Party because of the large number of mining workers . However, as a result of the industry’s demise, its influence in the state has dwindled in recent years, and today West Virginia is one of the most Republican states in the country. In the 2016 United States presidential election, Donald Trump won West Virginia with more than 68% of the vote from Hillary Clinton.

The legislature consists of the West Virginia House of Representatives (West Virginia House of Delegates) with 100 members and the West Virginia Senate (West Virginia Senate) with 34 members.

Flag of West Virginia