These Are The 10 Safest Cities In West Virginia For 2018

We used data and science to determine the places in West Virginia where everyone sleeps safe and sound.

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We all want the finer things in life. Love, comfort and safety are at the top of everyone's list. For a lot of people who live in the fine state of West Virginia, safety isn't a problem, but we don't live in the safest state, either. West Virginia is somewhere in the middle.

The purpose of this post is to determine where the safest places to live are in the Mountain State. Those places where crime is usually something you hear about on Facebook, but not in your local paper.

After analyzing 22 places in West Virginia with a population of more than 5,000, we came up with this list as the safest places here:

  1. Grafton (Photos)
  2. Weirton (Photos)
  3. New Martinsville
  4. Bridgeport
  5. Morgantown (Photos)
  6. Charles Town
  7. Buckhannon (Photos)
  8. Fairmont (Photos)
  9. Oak Hill (Photos)
  10. Vienna (Photos)

Read on below to see how we crunched the numbers and how your town ranked. Or for more reading on safe places to read, check out:

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How we calculated the safest cities in West Virginia

While there are surveys and public polls on what cities in a state are the safest, we didn't want to rely on speculation and opinion. Instead, we looked at the hard numbers from the FBI's most recent report of crime (Sept 2017). Specifically, we analyzed the FBI's Uniform Crime Report which summarizes the number of property crimes and violent crimes in each city per year. We used two criteria:

  • Violent crimes per capita (murders, assaults, rapes, armed robberies)
  • Property crimes per capita (thefts, burglaries, motor vehicle thefts)
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For example, there were a total of 8 crimes committed in Grafton which had a reported population of 5,145. That means the number of crimes per capita is 0.00155 which translates into a 1 in 643 chance of being the victim of a crime.

We only looked at cities that have populations of more than 5,000 people reported to the FBI in 2016. This left us with a total of 22 places in West Virginia to rank.

We ranked each place for each criteria from 1 to 22 where 1 in any particular category is the safest.

Next, we averaged each places two criteria to create a Safety Index. We crowned the place with the lowest overall Safety Score "The Safest Place In West Virginia".

The safest city, based on population, is Grafton. The most dangerous? Charleston, where residents had a 1 in 11 chance of being the victim of a crime.

Note: This report is not an analysis of the effectiveness of local police departments, nor does it reflect the fact that people from out of town may come into a community and cause a crime. It simply looks at where crimes occurred most frequently, based on a city's population.

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1. Grafton

Grafton, West Virginia
Source: Wikipedia

Population: 5,145
Rank Last Year: 2 (Up 1)
Violent Crimes Per 100k: 58 (1st safest)
Property Crimes Per 100k: 97 (1st safest)

Taking the crown as the safest city in West Virginia for 2018 is Grafton -- a classic example of everything that makes West Virginia great.

We are talking about only having a 1 in 1029.0 chance of being the victim of a property crime and a 1 in 1,715 chance of being the victim of violent crime.

That's crazy safe. Compare it to Little Rock, AR -- the most dangerous city in the country -- with roughly a 1 in 30 chance of beign the victim of a property crime.

These Are The 10 Most Boring Places In West Virginia

2. Weirton

Weirton, West Virginia
Source: Wikipedia

Population: 19,067
Rank Last Year: 3 (Up 1)
Violent Crimes Per 100k: 115 (2nd safest)
Property Crimes Per 100k: 1,096 (3rd safest)

If you're thinking of moving to West Virginia and safety is a top priority, then you can't do much better than Weirton -- the 2nd safest in the Mountain State.

Weirton is the kind of place that old timers talk about longingly -- where kids can run around during the day without adult supervision and you can leave your front door unlocked.

You only had a 1 in 91.2 chance of being the victim of a property crime in Weirton.

3. New Martinsville

New Martinsville, West Virginia
Source: Wikipedia

Population: 5,190
Rank Last Year: -
Violent Crimes Per 100k: 115 (3rd safest)
Property Crimes Per 100k: 462 (2nd safest)

You might not post on Facebook that much, but now's a time to change that. Be proud that New Martinsville ranks as the 3rd safest city in West Virginia.

Go on. With all the negativity on Facebook all the time now, this is great news for New Martinsville.

We'll wait here safe and sound.

4. Bridgeport

Bridgeport, West Virginia
Source: Wikipedia

Population: 8,402
Rank Last Year: 8 (Up 4)
Violent Crimes Per 100k: 190 (6th safest)
Property Crimes Per 100k: 2,606 (9th safest)

You might be surprised to find Bridgeport this high on the list, but, trust us, no one in Bridgeport is surpised.

This gem of a place in the Mountain State boasts the 9th best property crime rate and 6th best violent crime rate for 2018.

5. Morgantown

Morgantown, West Virginia
Source: Wikipedia

Population: 31,109
Rank Last Year: 9 (Up 4)
Violent Crimes Per 100k: 286 (10th safest)
Property Crimes Per 100k: 2,166 (6th safest)

Finishing just inside the top five is Morgantown, WV.

You get what you pay for in Morgantown -- super low crime rates. A 1 in 349 chance of being the victim of violent crime gives Morgantown residents a well earned feeling of safety.

We'd move to Morgantown in heartbeat.

6. Charles Town

Charles Town, West Virginia
Source: Wikipedia

Population: 6,030
Rank Last Year: 1 (Down 5)
Violent Crimes Per 100k: 265 (9th safest)
Property Crimes Per 100k: 2,338 (7th safest)

Everyone is trying to get in on the quality of life in Charles Town, the 6th safest city in West Virginia.

The town of some 6,030 people will have to try and continue to try and keep Charles Town a secret, lest crime starts going up simply because of people breaking down the doors to get into town.

See what we did there Charles Town?

7. Buckhannon

Buckhannon, West Virginia
Source: Wikipedia

Population: 5,662
Rank Last Year: 6 (Down 1)
Violent Crimes Per 100k: 176 (4th safest)
Property Crimes Per 100k: 3,867 (14th safest)

Buckhannon is a feel good story of safety and comfort in West Virginia.

It has 1 in 25.9 chance of being the victim of a property crime and a 1 in 566 chance of being the victim of violent crime.

That's some of the tops you'll find across the country -- nevermind just in West Virginia.

8. Fairmont

Fairmont, West Virginia
Source: Wikipedia

Population: 18,733
Rank Last Year: 5 (Down 3)
Violent Crimes Per 100k: 421 (14th safest)
Property Crimes Per 100k: 1,756 (4th safest)

The eighth safest city in West Virginia for 2018 goes to Fairmont. Let's see why.

There were only 79 violent crimes here last year -- which is basically 0 for the average citizen. And there were only 329 property crimes to boot.

9. Oak Hill

Oak Hill, West Virginia
Source: Wikipedia

Population: 8,104
Rank Last Year: 7 (Down 2)
Violent Crimes Per 100k: 209 (7th safest)
Property Crimes Per 100k: 3,566 (12th safest)

If you're looking for a safe place to live in West Virginia, may we present Oak Hill as an option.

While it doesn't sit at the very top of the chart for West Virginia, it still has an impressively low crime rate.

289 property crimes occurred here, which nets out to being the 12th best in West Virginia on a rate basis.

10. Vienna

Vienna, West Virginia
Source: Wikipedia

Population: 10,537
Rank Last Year: 4 (Down 6)
Violent Crimes Per 100k: 189 (5th safest)
Property Crimes Per 100k: 4,242 (15th safest)

And just making it into the top ten for 2018 is Vienna.

But we know they don't take this spot for granted -- Vienna residents can attest that their home town deserves to be the on list.

In total, there were 20 violent crimes and 447 property crimes in Vienna; that's really good for a place of 10,537 people and definitely something to be happy about looking forward into 2018.

There You Have It - The Safest In West Virginia

Looking at the data, you can tell that Grafton is as safe as they come, according to science and data.

But as most West Virginia residents would agree, almost every place here has its safe and not safe parts. So just make sure you're informed ahead of time.

Most dangerous cities in West Virginia:
3rd Most Dangerous: South Charleston
2nd Most Dangerous: Beckley
Most Dangerous: Charleston

Detailed List Of The Safest Cities To Live In West Virginia For 2018

City Rank Previous Rank Population Violent Crimes Per Capita Property Crimes Per Capita
Grafton125,1455897
Weirton2319,0671151,096
New Martinsville3 -
Bridgeport488,4021902,606
Morgantown5931,1092862,166
Charles Town616,0302652,338
Buckhannon765,6621763,867
Fairmont8518,7334211,756
Oak Hill978,1042093,566
Vienna10410,5371894,242
Moundsville11128,6443473,563
Dunbar12147,6123943,074
Nitro13166,7292524,354
Bluefield141110,2981,0972,019
Wheeling151327,4869672,433
Princeton16176,0176983,573
St. Albans171510,6353474,569
Parkersburg181030,9136664,441
Martinsburg191817,7894554,958
South Charleston201912,9577027,054
Beckley212116,9401,2637,544
Charleston222049,4291,5517,969

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