West Virginia Education and State Information

Nicknamed the Mountain State, West Virginia features a landscape dominated by the Appalachian Mountains. There are more than 50 nonprofit colleges and universities in West Virginia, including West Virginia and Marshall universities.

Information about West Virginia

In 2015, West Virginia had a population of about 1.84 million, based on U.S. Census Bureau estimates. Nearly 94 percent of residents identified themselves as white, while only 3.6 percent identified as black or African American and just 1.5 percent as Hispanic or Latino.

West Virginia's mountainous terrain provides ample opportunity for such outdoor activities as skiing, hiking, backpacking and mountain biking. Other popular activities include whitewater rafting, fishing and hunting. For those more suited to being spectators, West Virginia is home to several college and minor league sports teams, including the Bluefield Blue Jays and Princeton Rays of baseball's Appalachian League.

West Virginia Educational Opportunities

West Virginia University in Morgantown is the largest postsecondary school in the state, with a student population of more than 29,000 students as of Fall 2014. This included nearly 23,000 undergraduate students.

West Virginia also is home to Wheeling Jesuit University and West Virginia Wesleyan College in Buckhannon, ranked the 11th and 14th best regional colleges in the South, respectively, by U.S. News & World Report in 2016. Other schools ranked among the top 50 regional colleges and universities in the South by U.S. News include Alderson Broaddus University in Philippi, Concord University in Athens, Marshall University in Huntington, and the University of Charleston.

Two-year schools in West Virginia number just over a dozen and include Blue Ridge Community and Technical College in Martinsburg, Pierpont Community and Technical College in Fairmont and New River Community and Technical College in Beckley, among others.

West Virginia Economy

West Virginia is the nation's second largest producer of coal, as well as a top producer of natural gas. Logging is also an important industry, with oak and pine trees among those harvested. Popular tourist attractions, including The Greenbrier resort near White Sulphur Springs, the New River Gorge Bridge near Fayetteville and Harpers Ferry National Historical Park, also have made tourism a prominent factor in the state's economy.

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