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1790 - 55,873

1800 - 78,592

1810 - 105,469

1820 - 136,808

1830 - 176,924

1840 - 224,537

1850 - 302,313

1860 - 376,688

1870 - 442,014

1880 - 618,457

1890 - 762,794

1900 - 958,800

1910 - 1,221,119

1920 - 1,463,701

1930 - 1,729,205

1940 - 1,901,974

1950 - 2,005,552

1960 - 1,860,421

1970 - 1,744,237

1980 - 1,949,644

1990 - 1,793,477

1998 - 1,826,700

2000 - 1,808,344

2005 - 1,816,856

West Virginia has 55 counties

Population Density
2000 - 75.1 persons per square mile

West Virginia has two major geographic areas - the ridges of the Appalachian Mountains in the east and the hills and hollows in the western portion of the state as part of the Allegheny Plateau.

Highest Point: 4,861 ft. above sea level at Spruce Knob, Pendleton County
Lowest Point: 240 ft. above sea level at the Potomac River
Mean Elevation - 1,500 feet above sea level

Total area - 24,244 square miles
Total land area - 24,078 square miles

width - 130 miles
length - 240 miles

Latitude 37°10'N to 40°40'N
Longitude 77°40'W to 82°40'W

Time Zone: Eastern

Two major portions of the economy are made up of agriculture and livestock. The bluegrass area of the state in the southeast has most of the livestock, including beef and dairy herds. The main fruit region in the state is in the eastern panhandle. Some of the state crops are tobacco, peaches, corn, apples and hay. Natural resources abound in West Virginia aiding its industrial growth.

Mound builders and later, Indian tribes were the early inhabitants of the West Virginia area. Because of the mountainous area and the Shawnee Indians, the state was not settlement until the early 1700's. Governor Alexander Spotswood of Virginia brought an expedition into the West Virginia area in 1716. Their glowing reports about the land and surroundings was all that it took for the settlers to begin coming. The first permanent settler is purported to have been Morgan Morgan who moved to Bunker Hill near what is now Charles Town. Many pioneers from Pennsylvania and Maryland began to come to the state.

In the mid-1700's land disputes brought about the French and Indian War. After the British had made their victory, six of the Indian tribes sold out, but the rest became even more resistant to the settlement. This ended in 1774 with Lord Dunmore's War. Chief Cornstalk's warriors were defeated by the Virginia militia at the Battle of Point Pleasant. It is often referred to as the first engagement of the Revolutionary War. The last battle of the Revolution also took place here on September 11, 1782 when Fort Henry fought back a British and Indian attack.

Eastern and Western Virginia were taking divergent paths as time went along. The western portion had few slaves, while the eastern portion had much more political voice and clout because the population counted in the numerous slaves in that part of the state. Talk of secession began as early as 1820. When Virginia seceded from the Union, 26 western counties met in 1861 to declare the secession void. A popular vote echoed the voice of the counties to separate from the state of Virginia. West Virginia finally joined the Union as the 35th state on June 20, 1863.

Per capita - $16,477 (1999)
Median Household - $32,967 (2003)

Did you Know?

West Virginia was the first state to have a sales tax. It became effective July 1, 1921.

One of the first suspension bridges in the world was completed in Wheeling in November 1849

Chester Merriman of Romney was the youngest soldier of World War I, having enlisted at the age of 14

Mother’s Day was first observed at Andrews Church in Grafton on May 10, 1908.




Official State of West Virginia Website

West Virginia Division of Natural Resources



West Virginia Genealogy



Southern West Virginia Convention & Visitors Bureau
P.O. Box 1799
Beckley, WV 25802-1799
Toll-free: 800-VISIT-WV
Phone: 304-252-2244

Southern West Virginia includes the following counties: Raleigh, Summers, Fayette, Greenbrier, Nicholas, Wyoming, Mercer, McDowell and Monroe

Wheeling Convention & Visitor's Bureau
1401 Main Street
Wheeling, WV 26003
Toll-free: 1-800-828-3097

West Virginia Chamber of Commerce
Morgantown Area Chamber of Commerce
Berkeley County Chamber of Commerce

The Charleston Area Alliance

West Virginia Public Libraries
West Virginia Library Association



West Virginia State Parks
Call toll-free for information about each of the state parks - 1-800-CALL WVA

West Virginia On-line
Information about West Virginia

West Virginia Tourism

West Virginia Independence Hall Civil War Historic Site & Museum 1528 Market Street,
Wheeling, WV 26003...
Phone: 304-238-1300

The Kruger Street Toy & Train Museum
144 Kruger Street
Wheeling, WV 26003
Phone: (304) 242-8133
Toll Free: (877) 242-8133

The Official Marx Toy Museum
915 Second St.
Moundsville, WV 26041
Phone: (304) 845-6022

Oglebay Institute Mansion Museum and Gardens
Oglebay Resort
Wheeling, WV 26003
Phone: 304-242-7272

West Virginia State Fair
75 years in 1999
P.O. Drawer 986
Lewisburg, West Virginia 24901
1 mile south of Lewisburg on Rt. 219
Information: 304.645.1090
Fax: 304-645-6660
Tickets: 304.647.3247

Fostoria Glass Museum
6th St. at Tomlinson
Moundsville, WV 26041
(304) 845-9188

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This page was last updated 25 September 2006 at 6:09 pm

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