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West Virginia

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State of West Virginia
Flag of West Virginia State seal of West Virginia
Flag of West Virginia Seal
Nickname(s): Mountain State
Motto(s): Montani semper liberi
Map of the United States with West Virginia highlighted
Capital Charleston
Largest city Charleston
Area Ranked 41st
 - Total 24,244 sq mi
(62,809 km2)
 - Width 130 miles (210 km)
 - Length 240 miles (385 km)
 - % water 0.6
 - Latitude 37°10'N to 40°40'N
 - Longitude 77°40'W to 82°40'W
Number of people Ranked 37th
 - Total 1,808,344
 - Density 75.1/sq mi  (29.0/km2)
Ranked 27th
 - Average income $32,589 (50th)
Height above sea level
 - Highest point Spruce Knob[1]
4,863 ft (1,427 m)
 - Average 1,500 ft  (460 m)
 - Lowest point Potomac River[1]
240 ft (73 m)
Became part of the U.S. June 20, 1863 (35th)
Governor Earl Ray Tomblin (D)
U.S. Senators Joe Manchin (D)
Jay Rockefeller (D)
Time zone Eastern: UTC-5/-4
Abbreviations WV, US-WV

West Virginia is a state in the United States. Its capital and largest city is Charleston. It is often abbreviated W. Va. or simply WV.

West Virginia is bordered by Pennsylvania to the north, by Ohio to the north and west, by Kentucky to the west, by Maryland to the north and east, and by Virginia to the east and south. The Ohio and Potomac Rivers form parts of the boundaries.


West Virginia became a state in 1863.

West Virginia was once a part of Virginia. At the beginning of the American Civil War, Virginia and the other southern states seceded from the United States, which means they chose to not be a part of it anymore. The people in the western part of the state felt that they had very little power in the state's affairs, including its decision to secede. They seceded from Virginia and formed their own state, West Virginia. After the war, the United States was brought back together, but West Virginia never rejoined Virginia.


West Virginia is often called the "Mountain State" because it is entirely within the Appalachian Mountain Range, and there are many hills and mountains throughout the state. The highest one is Spruce Knob, which is 4,863 feet above sea level. There are many rivers, including the Ohio, the Potomac, the Kanawha, and the Monongahela.

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