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The Regions of the United States | Facts & Statistics

West Virginia, the "Mountain State"
Abbreviation:
WV

West Virginia Flag
State Flag
West Virginia Seal
State Seal

In 1861, Virginians in the northwestern part of the state defied Virginia's secession from the United States. The region chose to remain in the Union and form a new state. West Virginia was admitted as the 35th state into the Union in 1863, after conditions requiring the gradual emancipation of slaves had been met. The state motto is "Mountaineers are always free", and West Virginia lives up to its nickname of the "Mountain State". With an average altitude of 1,500 feet above sea level, it's the highest of any state east of the Mississippi River. For a long time, West Virginia was a leading producer of coal in North America, but many people left to pursue better employment opportunities. That trend has turned around, and now the state's economy is in a more stable condition. West Virginia, in the Appalachian Highlands, has some of the most rugged land in the United States. The state has very few large areas of level ground, except for strips of valley land that lie along the larger rivers. Forests of valuable hardwood trees grow on the mountain slopes and vast mineral deposits lie under the ground. Beautiful scenery, mineral springs and a variety of wildlife attracts tourists, campers, hunters and fishing enthusiasts.

1861 schlossen sich die Einwohner im nord-westlichen Teil Virginias nicht der Sezession von den Vereinigten Staaten an. Die Region entschied sich in der Union zu bleiben und einen neuen Bundesstaat zu gründen. West Virginia wurde 1863 als 35. Staat aufgenommen, nachdem Voraussetzungen für die schrittweise Emanzipation der Sklaven getroffen worden waren. Das Motto des Staates lautet "Mountaineers are always free" (Bergbewohner sind immer frei) und West Virginia macht seinem Spitznamen "Moutain State" (Bergstaat) alle Ehre. Mit einer durchschnittlichen Höhe von 1.500 Fuß über dem Meeresspiegel, ist es der am höchsten gelegene Staat östlich des Mississippi. Lange war West Virginia der führende Kohleproduzent Nordamerikas, aber viele Menschen verließen die Gegend auf der Suche nach besseren Verdienstmöglichkeiten. Dieser Trend hat sich inzwischen umgekehrt, und die Wirtschaft im Bundesstaat hat sich stabilisiert. West Virginia weist mit dem Hochland der Appalachen einen der rauhesten Landstriche der Vereinigten Staaten auf.Mit Ausnahme einiger Tallandschaften entlang der größeren Flüsse gibt es dort nur wenige Gebiete auf Höhe des Meeresspiegels. Auf den Berghängen wachsen Wälder, die wertvolles Hartholz liefern, und die Erde birgt große Mineralvorkommen. Wunderschöne Landschaften, Mineralquellen und eine vielfältige Tierwelt ziehen Touristen, Camper, Jäger und Angler an.

GOVERNMENT
Capital:
Charleston
Governor: Joe Manchin III, D (to Jan. 2009)
Senators: Robert C. Byrd, D (to Jan. 2013); John D. Rockefeller IV, D (to Jan. 2015)
House of Representatives: 3 districts | Search by zip code

STATISTICS
Population (July 2005):
1,817,000; National Rank: 37; Percent change since April 2000: 0.5%
Land Area: 24,087 sq mi. (62,384 sq km); National Rank:
41
10 largest cities (2005 est.):
Charleston, 51,176; Huntington, 49,198; Parkersburg, 32,020; Wheeling, 29,639; Morgantown, 28,292; Weirton, 19,544; Fairmont, 19,049; Beckley, 16,936; Clarksburg, 16,439; Martinsburg, 15,996

ECONOMY
Total Gross State Product 2005 prel. (billions of current dollars): 53.8
Per Capita Personal Income 2005:
$27,215; National Rank: 47
State Exports 2005 (millions of dollars):
3,147; National Rank: 39
Agriculture: Cattle, dairy products, poultry, apples.
Industry: Chemical products, mining, primary metals, stone, clay, and glass products, tourism.

Government
·
State of West Virginia Official Homepage
· Project VoteSmart
· State and Local Government on the Internet

Economy
· West Virginia - Regional Accounts Data

Statistics
· West Virginia Profile - Fedstats
· U.S. Census Bureau: 2000 Data for the State of West Virginia
· U.S. Census Bureau: State Data Centers: West Virginia


Background

· 50States.com
InfoPlease
·
State Profiles (Factmonster.com)
·
Wikipedia: West Virginia


 
 

Travel
· State of West Virginia Tourist Office
· Map
· West Virginia State Parks and Forest

For High School Students
· ClassBrain.com: State Report
· Explore the States
· Stately Knowledge)


Teacher Resources

· ProTeacher: Lessons by State: West Virginia

Links
· GovEngine.com: Federal, State & Local Government Site
· West Virginia (Google)
· West Virginia (Yahoo)

 
Texts are abridged from U.S. State Department IIP publications and other U.S. government materials.
 
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Updated: January 2009