West Virginia is a state located in the Appalachian region of the Southern United States. It is bordered by Virginia to the southeast, Kentucky to the southwest, Ohio to the northwest, Pennsylvania to the north (and, slightly, east), and Maryland to the northeast. West Virginia is the 41st largest by area, the 38th most populous, and has the second lowest household income of the 50 United States.
The capital and largest city is Charleston. West Virginia became a state following the Wheeling Conventions of 1861, in which delegates from some Unionist counties of northwestern Virginia decided to break away from Virginia during the American Civil War, although they included many secessionist counties in the new state. West Virginia was admitted to the Union on June 20, 1863, and was a key Civil War border state. West Virginia was the only state to form by separating from a Confederate state, the first to separate from any state since Maine separated from Massachusetts, and was one of two states formed during the American Civil War (the other being Nevada).
The Census Bureau and the Association of American Geographers classify West Virginia as part of the Southern United States. The northern panhandle extends adjacent to Pennsylvania and Ohio, with the West Virginia cities of Wheeling and Weirton just across the border from the Pittsburgh metropolitan area, while Bluefield is less than 70 miles (110 km) from North Carolina. Huntington in the southwest is close to the states of Ohio and Kentucky, while Martinsburg and Harpers Ferry in the Eastern Panhandle region are considered part of the Washington metropolitan area, in between the states of Maryland and Virginia. The unique position of West Virginia means that it is often included in several geographical regions, including the Mid-Atlantic, the Upland South, and the Southeastern United States.