West Virginia [westvərdʒiʹnjə], abbreviated WV, state of eastern
United States; 62,760 km2, 1.8 million inhabitants (2018).The capital
West Virginia. State Map.
The western part of West Virginia is occupied by a low-lying plateau
landscape. This is drained to the Ohio River, which is the boundary of the state
of Ohio. Eastern West Virginia is dominated by the Appalachian mountain ridges
and valleys. At its highest is the Allegheny Mountains with West Virginia's
highest peak, Spruce Knob, 1,481 meters above sea level. In the far east, West
Virginia reaches down into the Potomac Valley.
West Virginia. The Potomac River at Harpers Ferry
in eastern West Virginia.
The climate varies greatly with the height above the sea. Charleston in
western West Virginia has an average temperature of 3 °C in January and 25 °C in
July, and an annual average rainfall of 1,150 mm.
The number of inhabitants has varied during the post-war period; Economic
crises sometimes led to significant relocation. After a recovery in the 1970s,
the population declined in 1980-90 and again after 2010. About 94 percent of the
inhabitants are white. The largest cities after Charleston are Huntington and
Parkesburg. West Virginia's northeastern part is now included in Washington DC's
West Virginia is a relatively poor state with one of the lowest average
incomes in the United States. Animal production is predominant in agriculture,
but its importance is diminishing. About 80 per cent of the area is covered by
forest, and the forestry and forest industries are expected to become more
important in the future.
The foundations for West Virginia's economy have been the availability of
coal, which gave rise to the iron and steel industry at an early stage. Now, the
coal is being mined in big mining with high mechanization, and the state is
still the second largest coal producer in the United States. Natural gas and
salt are also extracted.
In the valley of the Kanawha River there are large chemical industries and
glassworks. Otherwise, the industry is primarily located along the Ohio
River. With a business structure dominated by coal and heavy industry, West
Virginia is extremely vulnerable to economic fluctuations and economic crises.
MALACHI JACOBS / SHUTTERSTOCK
West Virginia. Mining at Birch River coal mine in
central West Virginia.
Tourism and gastronomy
West Virginia is off the major tourist routes. Despite this, the tourism
industry is of great importance for employment. For the sports and nature
enthusiasts, skiing, hiking and outdoor recreation in the mountainous regions of
the east attract. To the southeast are two nationally protected river basins:
the bird-rich nature of Bluestone and the canyon landscape of the New River
Gorge. Rafting can be tried in Gautey. Furthermore, West Virginia has an
extensive system of State Parks.
One of the most well-known resorts is White Sulfur Springs, while the main
tourist destination is probably Harpers Ferry National Historic Park on the
border with Virginia and Maryland in the Northeast. Many tourists are attracted
by the lingering rural culture with its rich traditions of music, customs and
Food management is dominated by corn, pork and poultry, but many recipes for
game are also left. Examples are Brunswich stew, a pot of squirrel,
which however is increasingly replaced with chicken, as well as pigeon soup, pigeon
soup with vegetables such as spinach and corn roasts. Ham with apples is
traditional party food, and catfish are fetched from catfish which is breaded in
cornmeal and fried. Coush-coush (fried and crumbled corn bread that is
consumed with cream milk), sweet potatoe pie (sweet potato pie) and the
creamy baked cream bisquits are examples of the range of sweets.
Permanent settlement of Europeans began in the 1730s, when the area formed
part of Virginia. However, the small farmers, who dominated in the west, were
discriminated against by the plantation-owning layer in eastern Virginia,
including in terms of taxation and political representation. When Virginia
joined the South States in 1861 at the outbreak of the Civil War, the Western
Territories instead formed the State of W., which was admitted into the Union in
1863. The W's economy rested on the abundant presence of coal, but since the
coal mining after 1945 became less significant, the state has suffered severely
of unemployment. Politically, Democrats and Republicans have been in the
majority for various periods, but since the 1930s, Democrats have been the