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Facts about West Virginia

History | Symbols | Interesting Facts | Famous People

Demographics
Statehood:  June 20, 1863, the 35th state

Capital:  Charleston

Total Area:  41st among states, 62,758 sq km (24,231 sq mi)

Water Area:  376 sq km (145 sq mi)

Highest Point:  Spruce Knob, 1,482 m (4,861 ft)

Total Population:   37th among states
2010 census -  1,852,994

Population Density in 2010:  77.1 people per sq mi

Distribution in 2000:  46.9% Urban, 53.1% Rural

Economy:  
Gross State Product - $66.6 billion (2010)
Personal income per Capita - $32,219 (2009)

Largest cities in 2010: 
Charleston:  51,400
Huntington:  49,138
Parkersburg:  31,492

  • On July 1, 1921, West Virginia was the first state to have a sales tax.
     

  • The longest block in the world is the 1500 block of Virginia Street.
     

  • The longest steel arch bridge in the world is the New River Gorge Bridge.
     

  • The first brick street in the world was laid in Charleston, West Virginia on October 23, 1870, on Summers Street.
     
  • West Virginia is one of the nation's leading producers of bituminous coal and is also noted for the manufacture of fine glass.
     
  • In 1859 abolitionist John Brown led a raid on a national armory at Harpers Ferry in an attempt to secure weapons for a planned slave rebellion.

  • Adena burial mounds are the largest example of the distinctive constructions created by Native American mound builders.

  • West Virginia was a part of Virginia until that state seceded from the United States in 1861; delegates from 40 counties formed their own government, and statehood was granted them two years later.

  • Nearly 80% of West Virginia is covered with forests.

  • Because of its mountains, West Virginia is sometimes referred to as "the Switzerland of the United States".

  • West Virginia is the second-largest coal producing state in the country.

  • West Virginia has long been famous for its manufacture of fine glass.

  • Motherís Day was first observed at Andrews Church in Grafton on May 10, 1908.