Virginia, one of the southern states of the United States. It fronts on Chesapeake Bay and the Atlantic Ocean, and is bordered by Maryland, the District of Columbia, North Carolina, Tennessee, Kentucky, and West Virginia. Virginia is roughly triangular in shape and ranks 35th in size in the nation. It is a scenic state with varied terrain, ranging from sandy beaches and tidewater marshes to hazy mountains and verdant valleys.

Virginia was the site of the first permanent settlement and colony in North America. Virginians were prominent among the nation's founding fathers and played major roles in the Revolutionary War. No state contributed more to the Confederate cause during the Civil War; Virginia's capital, Richmond, was also capital of the Confederacy, and a number of the South's greatest generals were Virginians.

Virginia'sVirginia's state bird is the northern cardinal.
Virginia in brief
General information
Statehood: June 25, 1788, the 10th state.
State abbreviations: Va. (traditional); VA (postal).
State capital: Richmond, Virginia's capital since 1780. Earlier capitals were Jamestown (1607-1699) and Williamsburg (1699-1780).
State motto: Sic Semper Tyrannis (Thus Always to Tyrants).
Popular name: Old Dominion.
State song: None. In its 1997 regular session, the legislature retired the state song "Carry Me Back to Old Virginia.
Symbols of Virginia
State bird: Northern cardinal.
State flower: American dogwood.
State tree: American dogwood.
State flag and seal: Virginia officially adopted its state flag in 1861. The flag bears the front of the state seal. The seal of the Commonwealth was adopted on July 5, 1776. The front side shows the Roman goddess Virtus representing the spirit of the Commonwealth, dressed as an Amazon, triumphant over Tyranny. She holds a spear and a sheathed sword. The back of the seal displays the Roman goddesses of eternity, liberty, and fruitfulness.
Land and climate
Area: 40,598 mi2 (105,149 km2), including 1,000 mi2 (2,591 km2) of inland water but excluding 1,728 mi2 (4,476 km2) of coastal water.
Elevation: Highest--Mount Rogers, 5,729 ft (1,746 m) above sea level. Lowest--sea level.
Coastline: 112 mi (180 km).
Record high temperature: 110 degrees F (43 degrees C) at Columbia on July 5, 1900, and at Balcony Falls, near Glasgow, on July 15, 1954.
Record low temperature: –30 degrees F (–34 degrees C) at Mountain Lake Biological Station on Jan. 22, 1985.
Average July temperature: 75 degrees F (24 degrees C).
Average January temperature: 36 degrees F (2 degrees C).
Average yearly precipitation: 43 in (109 cm).
Population: 7,078,515.
Rank among the states: 12th.
Density: 174 per mi2 (67 per km2), U.S. average 78 per mi2 (30 per km2).
Distribution: 73 percent urban, 27 percent rural.
Largest cities in Virginia: Virginia Beach (425,257); Norfolk (234,403); Chesapeake (199,184); Richmond (197,790); Newport News (180,150); Arlington (189,453); Hampton (146,437).
Chief products
Agriculture: broilers (young, tender chickens), beef cattle, corn, hogs, milk, soybeans, tobacco.
Manufacturing: chemicals, computer and electronic products, food products, tobacco products, transportation equipment.
Mining: coal, crushed stone, natural gas.
State government
Governor: 4-year term.
State senators: 40; 4-year terms.
State representatives: 100; 2-year terms.
Counties: 95.
Federal government
United States senators: 2.
United States representatives: 11.
Electoral votes: 13.
Sources of information
For information about tourism or the state's economy, write to: Virginia Tourism Corporation, 901 E. Byrd Street, Richmond, VA 23219. The Web site at also provides tourist information. The state's official Web site at also provides a gateway to much information on Virginia's economy, government, and history.