The sesquicentennial of West Virginia on Thursday is a celebration of the breech birth of the state during the Civil War.
After 150 years of statehood, we have come to this:
- West Virginia is No. 1 in home ownership. Negative people will say we're last in rentals.
- The state is No. 7 in military veterans. You're welcome, America.
- West Virginia ranks No. 17 in days of sun per year with an average of 230 sunny days annually. God indeed smiles upon Almost Heaven.
- The state is No. 9 in personal freedom as ranked by the libertarian Mercatus Center. Mountaineers are always free.
- West Virginia is No. 26 in homicides. So much for our low crime rate.
- The state is No. 9 in bars per capita, with one for every 4,051 residents.
- Virginia is last, with one bar for every 64,773 residents - or roughly the population of Charleston and South Charleston. No wonder we left.
- Speaking of the Bar, the state ranks No. 25 in lawyers per capita. Who said we rank at the top of every list of bad things?
- West Virginia is well below the national average in birth defects. So much for the myths about inbreeding.
- The state is No. 3 in grandparents who are responsible for their grandchildren. We could call ourselves The Granny State.
- West Virginia is No. 45 in the use of marijuana and No. 1 in drug overdoses. More pot, less meth?
- The most popular baby names in the state last year were Mason for boys and Emma for girls. Be different. Try Don or Donna.
- West Virginia is No. 4 in percentage of white people in the state. The Vanilla State.
- West Virginia is No. 27 in doctors per capita. Hawaii is No. 11. We need an ocean.
- Gallup ranks West Virginia as the unhealthiest state and Hawaii as the healthiest. Definitely, we need an ocean.
- West Virginia is last in mental health spending per capita. Maybe that's because we're not as crazy as everyone else.
- The state is No. 2 in percent of adults with a serious mental disease. Maybe we should spend a little more.
- West Virginia is No. 13 in state taxes per capita. Democrats won't be happy until we're No. 1.
- The state is No. 49 in personal income per capita. Republicans won't be happy until we are No. 1.
- West Virginia is No. 2 in state expenditures per capita. The Mountain State? Try the Government State.
- The state had 22,669 coal miners in 1995 and 22,757 in 2012. Pretty stable.
- The state had 128,287 people working in retail trade in 1995 and 86,788 in 2012. And they all work along Corridor G.
- State government employed 127,923 West Virginians in 1995 and 143,310 in 2012. Like I said, the Government State.
- Famous West Virginians include baseball manager Charlie Manuel, who was born in Northfork in a car when his mother, June, visited her mother. Small wonder they called him
Mr. Clutch when he was a player.
- West Virginia is 75 percent forest. Only Maine and New Hampshire are more forested. All those trees explain why we have so many nuts in the Legislature.
Finally, West Virginia is the only state with a middle name - By God.
Surber's email is donsur...@dailymail.com.