Fast Facts

Charleston; 51,702
24,230 square miles (62,755 square kilometers)
Per Capita Income:
U.S. $23,628
Date Statehood Achieved:
June 20, 1863
Illustration: West Virginia Flag

Bituminous coal, oil, natural gas, and silica underlie this rugged Appalachian state. Only Wyoming produces more coal. Declines in steel and chemical manufacturing prompted corporate tax incentives to diversify the economy; as a result the service sector is burgeoning. Hardwoods cover three-fourths of the state and feed lumber mills, but forests also shelter wildlife—including an endangered species of flying squirrel.


  • Industry: Coal mining, chemicals, metal manufacturing, forest products, stone, clay, oil, glass products
  • Agriculture: Poultry and eggs, cattle, dairy products, apples

—Text From National Geographic Atlas of the World, Eighth Edition

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