West Virginia

Overview

West Virginia was part of Virginia from 1609 to 1863 and, as such, shares its history with its "parent" state. West Virginia was formed when Virginia seceded from the Union in 1861. The delegates of 40 western counties who opposed secession formed their own government and stayed within the Union. Unsurprisingly, West Virginia was a key state in the Civil War and saw many battles until the war’s end. Today, the state is a leader in coal production, steel, glass, and aluminum manufacturing, as well as former home to several notable figures including author Pearl S. Buck, Confederate General Thomas "Stonewall" Jackson, and aviator Chuck Yeager. West Virginia is a good place for small businesses with little starting capital or remote markets due to its inexpensive costs.

Industry Stats

  • There are more truck drivers based out of West Virginia than retail salespeople.
  • West Virginian couples spent an average of $1,138 on their wedding dresses in 2015.
  • 7% of the state’s workforce hold jobs in elementary and secondary schools.
  • There are more than three times as many coal miners as there are car salesmen in this state.
  • Couples in West Virginia spent a combined $2.2 million on invitation cards for their weddings last year.
  • There are only 110 barbers in West Virginia for the state’s 1.8 million people. Each barber has over 16 thousand possible heads of hair to cut.

One of West Virginia’s biggest assets is its low cost of living. Living in West Virginia costs around 85% of the national average, which means that startups and small businesses can expand into the area with little overhead.

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