State of West Virginia

West Virginia Geostatistics

  • Land area:
    (land)24,078 sq. miles
    (water) 145 sq. miles
    (TOTAL) 24,223 sq. miles
  • Land area: (all states)
  • Horizontal Width: 193 miles from Parkersburg directly east to Martinsburg
  • Vertical Length: 221 miles from Weirton, immediately south to Bluefield on the Virginia borderNote: Maximum lengths and widths are two-point, straight-line measurements from the Mercator map projection and will vary some uses of other map projections
  • Border States: (5) Virginia, Kentucky, Ohio, Pennsylvania, and Maryland
  • Districts: (55) map
  • County: (largest in population) Kanawha 199,287
  • Geographic Center: Located approximately 4 miles east of Sutton in Braxton County
  • Tallest Item: Stylish Knob, at 4,861 feet.
  • Lowest Point: Potomac River, 240 feet.
  • Latitude and longitude
  • Average Elevation: 1,511 ft.

West Virginia Lat / long


  • Latitude/Longitude: (Absolute Locations)
    Charleston: (capital) 38º 36′ N, 81º 63′ W
    Bluefield: 37º 26′ N, 81º 22′ W
    Martinsburg: 39º 46′ N, 77º 95′ W
  • Latitudes and Longitudes: (specific details)
  • Find any Latitude & Longitude
  • Relative locations: (specific details)

West Virginia is positioned in both the northern and western hemispheres. As part of North America, West Virginia is located in the South Atlantic region of the United States. It is limited to the states of Virginia, Kentucky, Ohio, Pennsylvania and Maryland.

West Virginia is a state in the South Atlantic States, located in the eastern United States. Area 62.8 thousand km 2. Population 1.8 million (2004). The administrative center is Charleston. Major cities: Huntington, Wheeling, Morgantown. See counties in West Virginia.

West Virginia borders Pennsylvania to the north, Maryland and Virginia to the east, and Kentucky and Ohio to the west.

West Virginia is located in the Appalachian mountain system (the highest point of Spruce Knob), mountainous relief prevails (called the “mountain state”). Most of the territory is occupied by forests. Major rivers: Kanawha River, Potomac, Monongahela River.

The climate is continental, moderately humid. Frequent floods.

Significant reserves of coal, natural gas, oil, salt and other minerals. The mining industry is developed, concentrated mainly in the Monongahila River valley and south of the Canova River valley, the chemical industry (processing of minerals, the production of plastics, mineral fertilizers), and metallurgy.

  • AbbreviationFinder: Introduction to the state of West Virginia, covering commonly used acronyms and the list of main cities and town in West Virginia.

Two-thirds of all residents are employed in agriculture (livestock, poultry, apples, peaches, corn, tobacco). Tourism. State University in Morgantown (there is an arboretum), the University of Huntington. Symphony orchestra, major medical centers, Jesuit College – in Wheeling.

In the north of the state, ancient burial mounds have been preserved; these earthen structures were made by representatives of the Indian culture of Aden. The first settlement of Bunker Hill was founded in 1726 by a native of Wales, M. Morgan. In 1727, German settlers founded the settlement of New Mecklenburg (now Shepherdstown) on the right bank of the Potomac River. The Germans from Pennsylvania became the true pioneers in the development of the region, a little later they were joined by immigrants from Northern Ireland. At the end of the 18th century, the cities of Wheeling (1769), Point Pleasant (Point Pleasant, 1774), Parkersburg (Parkersburg, 1785), Charleston (1788, founded as Fort Lee) appeared. For a long time, West Virginia was part of the Virginia colony. Residents appealed to Congress to give them the right to secede from Virginia. By the beginning of the 19th century, the need for such a division became obvious: the east gravitated toward the southern slave states, while the west shared the ideas of the North. In 1862, the people of western Virginia voted to secede, elected a governor, and named their state Kanawha. In 1863, Canova became part of the United States under the name of West Virginia. Wheeling had the status of capital in 1862-1870 and in 1875-1885, in 1870 Charleston became the capital.

The intensive industrial development of West Virginia is associated with the development of mineral deposits and the construction of railroads, which began in the 1890s. From the beginning of the 20th century, mining becomes the leading industry (in the Monongahila River valley and south of the Canova River valley). 1940-1960s – the most intensive period of development of the coal industry (first place in the United States in coal production). In the mid-1980s, an economic recession occurred, which led to the highest unemployment rate in the country (16%). In the 1990s, the state’s economy began to recover due to the growing role of coal as an energy carrier.

A native of the state is J. D. Rockefeller, the fourth, elected to the Senate in 1984.

Attractions include: State Independence Hall (West Virginia Independence Hall), Hippodrome (Wheeling), Suspension Bridge (Wheeling, 1849).

State of West Virginia