West Virginia, one of the South Atlantic states of the United States. Unlike other states of the South Atlantic group, West Virginia does not border the Atlantic Ocean. The state is bounded (reading clockwise from the north) by Pennsylvania, Maryland, Virginia, Kentucky, and Ohio. West Virginia is the 41st state in size. Its area is 24,231 square miles (62,759 km2).

West Virginia is shaped like an oval from which extend two panhandles, or arms. The Northern Panhandle runs northwest between Ohio and Pennsylvania; the Eastern Panhandle extends eastward between Maryland and Virginia.

West Virginia'sWest Virginia's state bird is the cardinal.
West Virginia in brief
General information
Statehood: June 20, 1863, the 35th state.
State abbreviations: W. Va. (traditional); WV (postal).
State capital: Charleston, since 1885 and from 1870 to 1875. Wheeling was the state capital from 1863 to 1870 and from 1875 to 1885.
State motto: Montani Semper Liberi (Mountaineers Are Always Free).
Popular name: The Mountain State.
State song: "The West Virginia Hills." Words by Ellen King; music by H. E. Engle (one of three state songs).
Symbols of West Virginia
State bird: Cardinal.
State flower: Rhododendron.
State tree: Sugar maple.
State flag and seal: West Virginia's state flag, adopted in 1929, has the state coat of arms on a white background with a blue border. The state seal, adopted in 1863, incorporates the coat of arms. The design on the front includes a miner and a farmer. The rock between them shows the date of West Virginia's statehood. In the foreground, rifles symbolize the willingness to fight for freedom. The landscape on the back of the seal includes an oil derrick, a log cabin, sheep and cattle, a factory, a railroad, and wooded mountains.
Land and climate
Area: 24,231 mi2 (62,759 km2), including 145 mi2 (375 km2) of inland water.
Elevation: Highest--Spruce Knob, 4,861 ft (1,482 m) above sea level. Lowest--240 ft (73 m) above sea level along the Potomac River in Jefferson County.
Record high temperature: 112 °F (44 °C) at Martinsburg on July 10, 1936, and at Moorefield on Aug. 4, 1930.
Record low temperature: –37 °F (–38 °C) at Lewisburg on Dec. 30, 1917.
Average July temperature: 72 °F (22 C).
Average January temperature: 32 °F (0 °C).
Average yearly precipitation: 44 in (112 cm).
People
Population: 1,808,344.
Rank among the states: 37th.
Density: 75 per mi2 (29 per km2), U.S. average 78 per mi2 (30 per km2).
Distribution: 54 percent rural, 46 percent urban.
Largest cities in West Virginia: Charleston (53,421); Huntington (51,475); Parkersburg (33,099); Wheeling (31,419); Morgantown (26,809); Weirton (20,411).
Economy
Chief products
Agriculture: beef cattle, broilers, eggs, hay, milk, nursery products, turkeys.
Manufacturing: chemicals; fabricated metal products; primary metals; stone, clay, and glass products; transportation equipment; wood products.
Mining: coal, natural gas.
Government
State government
Governor: 4-year term.
State senators: 34; 4-year terms.
State delegates: 100; 2-year terms.
Counties: 55.
Federal government
United States senators: 2.
United States representatives: 3.
Electoral votes: 5.
Sources of information
For information about tourism, write to: West Virginia Division of Tourism and Parks, 90 MacCorkle Avenue SW, South Charleston, WV 25303. The Web site at http://www.wvtourism.com also provides information.
For information on the economy, write to: West Virginia Development Office, Capitol Complex, Building 6, Room 553, 1900 Washington Street E., Charleston, WV 25305-0311.
The state's official Web site at http://www.wv.gov provides much data on West Virginia’s economy and government. The site of the Division of Culture and History, http://www.wvculture.org, shows information on the state's historical sites and resources.