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West Virginia Information and Facts

"West Virginia State Travel and Visitor Information."

West Virginia Information



Official Website: http://www.state.wv.us/

Income

The population of West Virginia in 2002 was 1,804,884. Its rank was 37th in the nation. (The District of Columbia is included for ranking purposes.)

Per Capita Personal Income

In 2002 West Virginia had a per capita personal income of $23,794. This per capita personal income ranked 49th in the United States and was 77 percent of the national average, $30,906. The 2002 per capita personal income reflected an increase of 3.1 percent from 2001. The 2001-2002 national change was 1.2 percent. In 1992 the per capita personal income of West Virginia was $16,112 and ranked 50th in the United States. The 1992-2002 average annual growth rate of per capita personal income was 4.0 percent. The average annual growth rate for the nation was 4.0 percent.

Total Personal Income

In 2002 West Virginia had a total personal income of $42,945,413. This total personal income ranked 39th in the United States. In 1992 the total personal income of West Virginia was $29,105,079 and ranked 37th in the United States. The 2002 total personal income reflected an increase of 3.3 percent from 2001. The 2001-2002 national change was 2.3 percent. The 1992-2002 average annual growth rate of total personal income was 4.0 percent. The average annual growth rate for the nation was 5.2 percent.

Components of Personal Income

Total personal income includes net earnings by place of residence; dividends, interest, and rent; and total personal current transfer receipts received by the residents of West Virginia. In 2002 net earnings accounted for 59.3 percent of total personal income (compared with 59.5 in 1992); dividends, interest, and rent were 15.7 percent (compared with 16.6 in 1992); and personal current transfer receipts were 25.0 percent (compared with 23.9 in 1992). From 2001 to 2002 net earnings increased 2.5 percent; dividends, interest, and rent increased 0.5 percent; and personal current transfer receipts increased 7.2 percent. From 1992 to 2002 net earnings increased on average 3.9 percent each year; dividends, interest, and rent increased on average 3.4 percent; and personal current transfer receipts increased on average 4.4 percent.

Employment Earnings

Earnings of persons employed in West Virginia increased from $28,189,598 in 2001 to $28,907,300 in 2002, an increase of 2.5 percent. The 2001-2002 national change was 1.5 percent. The average annual growth rate from the 1992 estimate of $19,980,544 to the 2002 estimate was 3.8 percent. The average annual growth rate for the nation was 5.3 percent.

Area - West Virginia ranks 41st in size among the states, with a total area of 62,761 sq km (24,232 sq mi), including 376 sq km (145 sq mi) of inland water. The maximum distance from north to south is 380 km (236 mi); the maximum extent from east to west is 425 km (264 mi). Its mean elevation of 460 m (1500 ft) above sea level makes West Virginia the highest state east of the Mississippi River. Elevations range from 73 m (240 ft), along the Potomac River in the northeast, to 1482 m (4863 ft), atop Spruce Knob in the east. Much of the land is mountainous. Flatlands are scarce, located mainly along the major river valleys.

Climate - The climate of West Virginia is characterized by warm humid summers and cold humid winters. However, the weather is subject to sudden changes at all seasons. Average January temperatures range from less than -2 C (28 F) near the Cheat River to more than 3 C (38 F) along sections of the border with Kentucky. July averages range from less than 20 C (68 F) along the North Branch of the Potomac to more than 24 C (76 F) in the western part of the state. It is cooler in the mountains than in the lowlands. Annual precipitation ranges from less than 810 mm (32 in) in the eastern lowlands to more than 1400 mm (56 in) in higher parts of the Allegheny Front. Slightly more than half the rainfall occurs from April to September. Dense fogs are common in many valleys of the Kanawha section, especially the Tygart Valley. Snow usually lasts only a few days in the lowlands but may persist for weeks in the higher mountain areas. An average of about 810 mm (about 32 in) of snow falls annually in Charleston, although during the winter of 1995-1996 more than three times that amount fell as several cities in the state established new records for snowfall.

West Virginia State Flag
State Flag
West Virginia State Flower
State Flower - Rhododendron


State Capitol - Charleston
West Virginia's first constitution was adopted in 1863, at the time of statehood. A second constitution went into effect in 1872. Amendments to the constitution may be proposed in either house of the state legislature and must initially be approved by two-thirds of the membership of each house. To be adopted, they must then be approved by a majority of those voting on the amendments at a special election or the next general election. The legislature, with the approval of the electorate, may call conventions to make extensive revisions of the constitution. All of the revisions proposed by such conventions are subject to ratification by the people.

Famous People

Chuck Yeager test pilot and Air Force general, Myra
Cyrus Vance government official, Clarksburg
Don Knotts actor, Morgantown
Eleanor Steber soprano, Wheeling
George Brett baseball player, Glendale
Joanne Dru actress, Logan
John S. Knight publisher, Bluefield
Kathy Mattea country music, South Charleston
Lewis L. Strauss naval officer and scientist, Charleston
Mary Lou Retton gymnast, Fairmont
Pearl S. Buck author, Hillsboro
Peter Marshall TV host, Huntington
Phyllis Curtin soprano, Clarksburg
Steve Yeager baseball player, Huntington
Thomas Stonewall Jackson Confederate general, Clarksburg
Walter Reuther labor leader, Wheeling

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