West Virginia has been considered for many years as being one of the most scenic and aesthetically pleasing states in the United States.
WV is located in the eastern region of the U.S and is bordered by a total of five other states, Pennsylvania from the north, Maryland, and Virginia from the east, Kentucky from the southwest, and Ohio from the northwest.
The Mountain State undoubtedly lives up to its adopted nickname, with a plethora of stunning mountain ranges and hiking trails to explore and seek adventure in – the most notable being the Appalachian Mountain range. Not only does West Virginia boast incredible scenery, but it also has a deep-rooted history within the nation, dating back hundreds of years.
There is much more to West Virginia than meets the eye, and our list of the most interesting facts of West Virginia has been created to uncover the brilliance of the state and what it really has to offer. We also have a bunch of facts on West Virginia’s ever-growing business and economic climate.
If you want to get straight to the economic and business facts about West Virginia, then feel free to skip straight to this section.
14 Interesting Facts of West Virginia
1. West Virginia is the only state to be completely located within the Appalachian Mountain range, hence the adoption of the famous nickname, Mountain State. Additionally, West Virginia’s motto is “Montani Semper Liberi”, which translates to “Mountaineers are Always Free” and can be seen on the official West Virginia state seal.
2. When people think of West Virginia, one of the first things that spring to mind is the name, and why it is not a part of Virginia. Well, during the Civil war West Virginia formed after successfully managing to break away from the state of Virginia in 1861. Shortly after this on June 20, 1863, West Virginia was admitted to the union under a proclamation issued by President Abraham Lincoln.
3. West Virginia University, which is located in Morgantown, WV, has had 26 students receive Rhodes Scholarships to study at the prestigious Oxford University in England.
4. The capital city of West Virginia is Charleston, and it is also the most populous city too, boasting a population of approximately 48,000.
5. Charles Town, which is ironically considered a city in West Virginia is where slave abolitionist John Brown was convicted of treason, conspiracy, and murder following his famous raid on Harpers Ferry.
6. Another event to take place in the historical Charles Town was the first rural free delivery mail service. In 1896, this mail service began in Charles Town through the Post Office Department’s pilot program to see whether it was achievable to run rural deliveries for the rest of the country.
7. On January 3, 1921, West Virginia’s Capitol building burned to a crisp, forcing a temporary government office building to be made as to the replacement.
8. The New River Gorge Bridge, located in Fayetteville is the longest steel arch bridge in the Western Hemisphere, spanning a whopping 1,700 feet!
9. West Virginia was the first-ever state to introduce sales tax, this came into effect on July 1, 1921.
10. Despite being a fairly young state (35th to enter the union), West Virginia has the 3rd oldest population out of any state, with the median age being 42.7.
Economic and Business Facts About West Virginia
There is plenty to take into consideration when looking at the business and economic interesting facts about West Virginia as the state has several positive business attributes. Many have perceived West Virginia over the years as having a weaker economy and business climate than most. However, this is changing, and quickly.
Over the last few years, West Virginia’s popularity certainly has increased, with business owners, investors, and entrepreneurs all deciding to call the Green Mountain State their new home and subsequent place of business.
When you compare the state GDP, median income, and college education system with the population and the state’s cost of living, West Virginia has an impressive and ever-growing business and economic environment.
Here is our List of Interesting and Fun Facts about West Virginia’s Economy
- West Virginia’s GDP is $78 billion, which is quite high for a state with such a small population.
- West Virginia has a progressive income tax rate ranging between 3% to 6.5%.
- The median income in West Virginia is $24,478 (US News & World Report).
- According to the US News & World Report West Virginia ranks 8th for affordability out of all 50 states.
- Equality is a massive thing in the Mountain State, and this is evident in the state’s score of 6th for this metric (US News & World Report).
- West Virginia’s top three employment sectors include Health care and social assistance, retail trade, and professional, scientific, and technical services.
- The minimum wage in West Virginia is $8.75 per hour.
- The average house price in West Virginia is $112,902, however, this number is seasonally adjusted. To remain updated with the latest house price information, take a look at Zillow’s website.
- Small businesses are rapidly taking the country by storm, and for the better! West Virginia’s number of small businesses is rising each year, there are currently over 113,000 small businesses.
- Small businesses account for over 98% of all West Virginia businesses.
- There are over 269,000 small business employees in West Virginia.
- The number of small business employees makes up over 49% of all employees in the state.
- West Virginia’s sales tax rate is 6%.
- West Virginia’s corporate income tax rate is 6.5%.
All of these economic facts about West Virginia provide many valid reasons why people decide to move to the state to either start a new business or franchise or for work opportunities, and it is difficult to argue with any of them!
Here are the remaining interesting and fun facts about West Virginia
11. Harrisville, West Virginia is the birthplace of America’s oldest dime store, named Berdine’s Five and Dime, which is still in operation and has been since 1908!
12. If you enjoy outdoor activities, such as hiking, camping, or running, there is no shortage of beautiful places to go, with over 75% of the state covered by expansive, luscious green forest.
13. One of the Mountain State’s biggest exports is coal, with around 15% of the total coal used in the U.S. coming from West Virginia. The state is even home to Coal House, which is the only residential home to be entirely made out of coal.
14. Oregon Cave, situated near the city of Ronceverte is the third biggest cave in the United States and is easily the largest in the state of West Virginia.
Thanks for taking a look at our 14+ fun facts about West Virginia! If you have some facts and fun information regarding West Virginia’s past and present that we have not covered, make sure to comment below.