The state of West Virginia is located in the east of the USA and belongs to the greater Southern States region. Originally, West Virginia belonged to Virginia and is thus also one of the oldest states in the USA. West Virginia is also called the Mountain State, because it is completely located in the Appalachian Mountains. The highest mountain of West Virginia is 1,482 meters high Spruce Knob. A well-known reference to the state of West Virginia is the song Take Me Home, Country Roads by John Denver.
The capital of West Virginia is Charleston. The city is also the largest city in the state with a population of about 49,000. West Virginia is one of the poorer states in the USA, and in no other state is the proportion of university graduates so low. Mining is a major environmental problem, especially in southwestern West Virginia. Until 2001, the New River Gorge Bridge, the largest arch bridge in the world with a length of 924 meters, was located in southern West Virginia.