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Last Updated: October 03, 2021

West Virginia - The Mountain State

West Virginia is in eastern America. Charleston is the capital city of West Virginia as well as the largest and most populated city in the state. Located within the Appalachian Mountain range, the state has a predominant rugged, mountainous terrain which is why it is popularly known as the 'Mountain State'. The traditional industries that contributed to the state's economy were coal and forestry. The weather is like the state, temperamental. There are tropical imprints on it as the state experiences humid summers. At some places, the temperature soars extremely high during summer. Winters are not harsh but border on being mild. The state has a population of about 1.8 million which makes it the 38th populous state in America. West Virginia once used to be inhabited by tribes such as the Cherokee, Iroquois, Manahoac, Meherrin, Monacan, Nottaway, Shawnee, Occaneechi, etc. West Virginia was a part of Virginia until it got separated from Virginia in 1861. On June 20, 1863, West Virginia was declared a separate state by the proclamation signed by President Abraham Lincoln.

Major Cities in West Virginia


With a population of over 48,000, Charleston is the biggest city in the state. Founded in 1788 and the city is located in Kanawha County and is the capital of West Virginia. Charleston used to be the major center for the production of coal and most importantly salt. Later the economic sectors diversified to trade, retail, healthcare, and education services. The University of Charleston is situated in this city. Popular places to visit in this city are The West Virginia State Capitol, Governor's Mansion, Holly Grove Mansion, Avampato Discovery Museum, South Charleston Museum, West Virginia State Museum, Sunrise Museum, St. George Orthodox Cathedral, Charleston Civic Center, etc.


This is the second-largest city in West Virginia with a population of around 46,000. It was originally known as Holderby's Landing and was later renamed Huntington to honor Collis P. Huntington who established the town in 1870. The city was a major transportation hub and is now popular for its education, healthcare, and medical services. The famous public institute, Marshall University, is located in this city. Some of the most visited sites in the city are The Huntington Museum of Art, The Museum of Radio and Technology, Cabell County Courthouse, Harris Riverfront Park, Ritter Park, Heritage Farm Museum & Village, etc.


This is one of the best cities in West Virginia. With a population of approximately 31,000, Morgantown is the third-largest city in West Virginia. The city's vibrant atmosphere and low crime rates make it one of the most livable cities here. It was founded in 1772 by Colonel Zackquill Morgan, and incorporated as a city in 1838. The largest and the most reputed university, West Virginia University, is located in this city. Popular tourist attractions include the Art Museum of West Virginia University, Deckers Creek, Core Arboretum, Dorsey's Knob Park and Disc Golf Course, White Park, Morgantown Fun Factory, Metropolitan Theatre, and more.


With a population of over 30,000, Parkersburg is the fourth largest city in this state. It was founded in the 1700s and was named after Alexander Parker who had authority over the land. It was incorporated as a city in the year 1860. The city is known as a major transportation center with its leading sector trading. The most popular sites in this city are Fort Boreman Park, Oil & Gas Museum, Julia-Ann Square Historic District, Ohio River Museum, Campus Martius Museum, Blue Rock State Park, Forked Run State Park, Blennerhassett Museum of Regional History, and so on.

Economy/Job Market

Tuition Fee and Living Cost in West Virginia

The cost of living in the 'MountainState' is extremely low, and a lot cheaper than the national average. Housing costs are the cheapest, whereas healthcare services are costlier than the national average. The most affordable cities to live in in West Virginia are Grafton, Weirton, Clarksburg, Princeton, and New Martinsville. The most expensive cities are Morgantown, Martinsburg, Buckhannon, Charleston, and Huntington. The median household income in West Virginia is around $47,000. Educational costs are moderate in this state. However, it is a lot cheaper for in-state students pursuing higher education in public institutions. There are also various scholarships and grants available that make quality education easily affordable to the people of this state.

List of Few Major Universities/Colleges

Scholarships/Financial Aid for Students


One cannot deny how West Virginia is popular through John Denver's popular track 'Country Roads' that aptly describes the beauty of the state, a place that irrefutably feels like 'home'. This is why West Virginia is one of the best destinations for vacation. It is an ideal place for several exciting outdoor activities such as hiking, mountain biking, skiing, bungee jumping, whitewater rafting, fishing, and camping. Being the third most forested state, the state also offers a lot of greenery for nature lovers. The most popular tourist destinations in the state are Harpers Ferry National Historical Park, Blackwater Falls State Park, Snowshoe Mountain, West Virginia State Penitentiary, Monongahela National Forest and Seneca Rocks, New River Gorge National River, Seneca Caverns, and so much more. Spring is usually the busiest tourist season but it will be best to visit the state during Autumn because of cooler temperatures, the brilliant colors of fall foliage, and of course, Halloween.

Universities & Colleges in West Virginia

University (city) Total StudentsUG (in) / UG (out)G (in) / G (out)
West Virginia University (Morgantown) 28776$8363 / $22999$9409 / $24045
Shepherd University (Shepherdstown) 4523$8363 / $19863$9409 / $13590
Wheeling Jesuit University (Wheeling) 1362$31363 / $31363$10454 / $10454
Appalachian Bible College (Mount Hope) 281$14636 / $14636$2090 / $2090
West Virginia Wesleyan College (Buckhannon) 1366$33454 / $33454$13590 / $13590
Marshall University (Huntington) 16452$9409 / $20908$9409 / $22999
University of Charleston (Charleston) 3579$25090 / $25090$17772 / $17772
Concord University (Athens) 2505$9409 / $19863$10454 / $10454
Bethany College (Bethany) 614$32408 / $32408$10454 / $10454
Bluefield State College (Bluefield) 1486$7318 / $12545$N/A / $N/A
Fairmont State University (Fairmont) 4199$8363 / $17772$9409 / $20908
Alderson Broaddus University (Philippi) 1055$31363 / $31363$31363 / $31363
West Virginia University Institute of Technology (Montgomery) 1263$7318 / $16727$N/A / $N/A
West Virginia State University (Institute) 4745$9409 / $18818$9409 / $20908
West Liberty University (West Liberty) 2341$7318 / $15681$8363 / $12545
Davis & Elkins College (Elkins) 796$29272 / $29272$N/A / $N/A
Glenville State College (Glenville) 1732$8363 / $16727$N/A / $N/A
West Virginia School of Osteopathic Medicine (Lewisburg) 832$N/A / $N/A$N/A / $N/A
American Public University System (Charles Town) 87085$8363 / $8363$8363 / $8363
Ohio Valley University (Vienna) 451$20908 / $20908$7318 / $7318
West Virginia University at Parkersburg (Parkersburg) 2812$4181 / $12545$N/A / $N/A
Potomac State College of West Virginia University (Keyser) 1475$4181 / $11499$N/A / $N/A
Salem International University (Salem) 1473$17772 / $17772$16727 / $16727

*UG - Undergraduate
*G - Graduate
*in - In-state Fees
*out - Out-of-State Fees
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