25 Facts About West Virginia

1. West Virginia is a state in the Appalachian, Mid-Atlantic and Southeastern regions of the United States.

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2. West Virginia is the 10th-smallest state by area and ranks as the 12th-least populous state, with a population of 1,793,716 residents.

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3. West Virginia was admitted to the Union on June 20, 1863, and was a key border state during the war.

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4. West Virginia is often included in several US geographical regions, including the Mid-Atlantic, the Upland South, and the Southeastern United States.

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5. Residents of that area became more sharply divided after the planter elite of eastern West Virginia voted to secede from the Union during the Civil War.

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6. West Virginia abolished slavery by a gradual process and temporarily disenfranchised men who had held Confederate office or fought for the Confederacy.

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7. West Virginia was the only state in the Union to separate from a Confederate state during the Civil War.

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8. The Virginia General Assembly repealed the act of secession and in 1866 brought suit against West Virginia asking the court to declare the counties part of Virginia, which would have made West Virginia's admission as a state unconstitutional.

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9. The issue was finally settled in 1915, when the Supreme Court of the United States ruled that West Virginia owed Virginia $12,393,929.50.

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10. Original charters for Maryland and West Virginia were silent as to which branch of the upper Potomac was the boundary.

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11. Nevertheless, when West Virginia seceded from Virginia, Maryland claimed West Virginia land north of the South Branch.

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12. In 1889, in the southern part of the state, along the Norfolk and Western rail lines, the important coal center of Bluefield, West Virginia, was founded.

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13. West Virginia is located entirely within the Appalachian Region, and the state is almost entirely mountainous, giving the reason for the nickname The Mountain State and the motto Montani Semper Liberi.

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14. The average elevation of West Virginia is approximately 1,500 feet above sea level, which is the highest of any US state east of the Mississippi River.

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15. Climate of West Virginia is generally a humid subtropical climate with warm to hot, humid summers and chilly winters, increasing in severity with elevation.

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16. West Virginia is one of the cloudiest states in the nation, with the cities of Elkins and Beckley ranking 9th and 10th in the US respectively for the number of cloudy days per year.

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17. The center of population of West Virginia is located in Braxton County, in the town of Gassaway.

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18. Survey conducted in 2015 by the Pew Research Center found that West Virginia was the seventh most "highly religious" state in the United States.

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19. West Virginia was one of only ten states in 2009 that grew economically.

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20. West Virginia ranked last in the Gallup Economic Index for the fourth year running.

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21. Wisconsin Population Health Institute annual "Health Rankings" for 2012 showed West Virginia spends $9,671 per capita on health care annually.

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22. In 2014, males in West Virginia lived an average of 73.6 years compared to a national average of 76.7 years and females lived an average of 77.5 years compared to a national average of 81.5 years.

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23. The Supreme Court of Appeals of West Virginia is the busiest appellate court of its type in the United States.

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24. Recreational transportation opportunities abound in West Virginia, including hiking trails, rail trails, ATV off-road trails, white water rafting rivers, and two tourist railroads, the Cass Scenic Railroad and the Potomac Eagle Scenic Railroad.

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25. West Virginia is home to college sports teams from two schools—West Virginia and Marshall—that play in NCAA DivisionI.

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