FACTOID # 13: New York has America's lowest percentage of residents who are veterans.
 Home   Encyclopedia   Statistics   States A-Z   Flags   Maps   FAQ   About 
Which countries have the most:
More Top Stats »


FACTS & STATISTICS    Advanced view

Search encyclopedia, statistics and forums:



(* = Graphable)



The South > West Virginia


Facts and figures


A landlocked and mountainous state in Appalachia, West Virginia is relatively isolated and straddles the regions of the Midwest, the Northeast and the South. The Ohio and Potomac rivers form part of the state's boundaries. Nearly every corner of the state is mountainous, thus developing a climate similar to that of the New England states. West Virginia enjoys rich biodiversity and scenic beauty, with New River Gorge National River a popular natural attraction. Harper's Ferry, a historic town at the confluence of the Potomac and Shenandoah rivers, was the site of a U.S. Armory which was the target for John Brown's famous raid in 1859. West Virginia was originally part of the state of Virginia until the outbreak of the Civil War, where residents in the West Virginian region overwhelmingly voted to stay with the Union. A break with Virginia then became inevitable, and on June 20th, 1863, it became the 35th state to join the nation.


Arguably the most isolated state east of the Mississippi River, West Virginia has the lowest percentage of the population born in a foreign country. Most West Virginians identify themselves as being from American ancestry, though there are large numbers of people with German and Irish heritage. Health is one area where West Virginia consistently lags behind the rest of the nation, with a relatively high death rate from heart disease, diabetes, and cancer. Coal mining is still a major industry in the state, the largest exporter in the nation, although its dominance has waned in recent years. The economy of West Virginia is considered one of the weakest in the Union, with one of the lowest per capita incomes and one of the highest percentages of residents below the poverty level. Traditionally a Democratic stronghold from its long history of unionization, West Virginia has recently given its 5 electoral votes to George W. Bush by relatively wide margins in both 2000 and 2004.


Pennsylvania, Maryland, Virginia, Kentucky, Ohio



GDP per capita:

$27,395.68 per capita

Capital with population:

Charleston - 53,421

Largest city with population:

Charleston - 53,421

Top Rankings

Bottom Rankings


Maps of West Virginia

West Virginia (reference map)
West Virginia (reference map)
West Virginia (base map)
West Virginia (base map)
Wheeling, West Virginia 1920
Wheeling, West Virginia 1920
West Virginia (outline map)
West Virginia (outline map)
(View West Virginia maps)


zach smith
20th November 2012
Hi, if you take the trouble to do some research you'll see that only the counties in the northwestern portion of the state actually voted to leave virginia, in fact if you take your research back to 1861 the southern counties voted to leave the union with virginia, the county that I live in voted to leave the union with virginia, and DID NOT even vote in the election to rejion the union. The federal government decided what counties formed west virginia, not any election. Historically "the south" was south of the mason dixion line so geographaically west virginia is a southern state. Futhermore, in a common way of speaking when one says "the south" they are usually refering to the cotton states.

To further my arguments, where I'm from there was the mcdonald plantation, and two other slave plantations in the county. So there you go.
Lee (Charleston)
20th April 2011
I believe that West Virginia was very divided at the time of the Civil War and remains so today. I travel the state with my job and find that people of northern West Virginia identify with the north, while those of southern West Virginia consider themselves southern.

Historically, West Virginia was part of the south, the old south and today is in many ways culturally more traditionally southern than states in the deep south. I have lived my life in southern West Virginia where we identify with Virginia and Kentucky.

Ths separation of West Virginia from Virginia was technically illegal. Most legal voters were away fighting the war and separationists took advantage of this fact. Union soldiers were stationed at polling places and it has been suggested that outsiders from northern states were allowed to vote.

It is interesting to note that within five years of the Civil War's end former confederates had regained control of West Virignia's government. Attempts to rejoin Virginia were thwarted by the Supreme Court. The Capitol ultimately relocated to Charleston, a more central location, importantly in southern West Virginia.

All West Virigniains should take pride in their heritage and the diversity of their mountain culture, including the areas history as Virginia... the first colony and one of the original 13 states.
15th February 2011
What an ignorant post...many West Virginians are highly successful and educated. Those who have visited the state know the stereotypes are NOT true.
Anon (Wheeling, WV)
19th January 2011
It is not part of the South. I am not a Southerner. We broke away from Virginia specifically to join the North.

It's also not friendly or welcoming. It's horrible, and full of trash, and poor as dirt.
10th August 2010
West Virgina IS in the south!
I've never been to a place better than WV
Joyce Church (Greenbrier County)
2nd August 2008
While West Virginia was formed during the Civil War, West Virginians fought for both the North and the South. Some were also deserters stating that this was not their war.

Greenbrier County is the home of the beautiful Greenbrier Hotel which was known as the White House of the South at one point in its history.

West Virginia known as Little Switzerland is beautiful, the people friendly and welcoming.

Billy Bob (Harpers Ferry, WV)
22nd June 2008
Hey Erich... I may be from WV but at least I know how to correctly spell seceded
Chip (West Virginia)
18th April 2008
You can go to West Virginia and find

1. Southern Hospitality
2. Southern Climate
3. Southern Dialect
4. We're part of the Bible Belt (Which is traditionally Southern)
5. Historically 1/2 to 3/4 of soldiers from West Virginia fought for the Confederacy and it's been proven that a large amount of Western Virginians were not fairly represented when it was decided that we would become a state....

By the way, it depends a lot on what part of the state you're from. I'm from the southern end and consider myself a Southerner. However there would probably be a difference of opinion for someone from the northern end of the state. Kentucky, which is also a border state, has many southern attributes to it, and is usually considered southern, however, Northern Kentucky has more of an affinity towards the North and MidWest. That doesn't mean that state is any more or less southern, same for West Virginia.....
Bud Thoman (Ball, Louisiana)
27th January 2008
West Virginia is not a Southern state !!!! Please resume taking your medicine....People from West Virginia are yankees.
Rick (Wilmington DE)
7th June 2006
These are US Census Bureau geographic designations. They have the same breakdown for census taking and statistics gathering. It is not a statement of culture or history Erich, simply a way of organizing states. My state is part of the 'South' on this site and the Census Bureau as well, but we certainly lack a traditional Southern culture!

To say that West Virginia is or is not part of the 'South' is NOT a fact.
Erich Hempelman (Wheeling, WV)
6th June 2006
West Virginia is not part of the South. West Virginia susceeded from the state of Virginia during Civil War, to stay a part of the Union(the North). Please get your facts right.

Thank You,
Erich Hempelman
There are 5 more (non-authoritative) comments on this page

Share your thoughts, questions and commentary here
Your name
Your comments

Want to know more?
Search encyclopedia, statistics and forums:


Press Releases |  Feeds | Contact
© Copyright StateMaster.com 2003-2021. All Rights Reserved. Usage implies agreement with terms, 1022, m