These Are The 10 Best Counties To Live In West Virginia For 2018


Using science and data, we can tell you which counties in West Virginia have the most for people looking to make the move to West Virginia.

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Some of you might be asking yourself, at this very moment: is West Virginia a good place?

The answer is unequivocally yes… if you know where to locate the best places to live in West Virginia.

Lucky for you, we’re here to help you identify the best counties to live in the Mountain State based on the most recently available data from the Census. And this isn’t our first rodeo — we’ve been helping people find the best places to live in America for years.

So, the question becomes, if you wanted to relocate to the best pat of West Virginia, where would you go? To answer that we looked at crime, cost of living, and demographic data for all 29 counties in the state.

After the analytic dust settled, we identified the 10 best counties to live in Mountain State for 2018:

  1. Putnam County (Photos)
  2. Brooke County (Photos)
  3. Ohio County (Photos)
  4. Jackson County (Photos)
  5. Marshall County (Photos)
  6. Taylor County (Photos)
  7. Pleasants County
  8. Monongalia County (Photos)
  9. Marion County (Photos)
  10. Lewis County (Photos)

Putnam County is the county to be when it comes to living the good life in West Virginia. And you might want to avoid Mingo County if you can — at least according to the data.

So if you’re thinking of making the move West Virginia, we’ve got you covered. Keep on reading for a detailed methodology.

Or, check out the best places to live in West Virginia and the best places to raise a family in West Virginia.

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How do you determine which West Virginia county is the best?

To give you the best county in West Virginia, we have to look at a handful of metrics that signal the quality of a place. To do that, we need to make some assumptions about what’s a ‘best county’ and what isn’t. And, for reference, we are trying to make the kind of argument you’d make at a bar using facts, don’t take this analysis to court.

With that in mind, we went to two of the best sources of data on the internet; the American Community Survey data and FBI Crime data for the most recent time period.

We paid particular attention to:

  • Violent Crime Rates
  • Property Crime Rates
  • Median Home Values
  • Median Income
  • Unemployment Rates
  • Adult Education Levels
  • Health Insurance Coverage
  • Poverty Rates

We then ranked each county in West Virginia across each of the criteria from one to 29, with one being the best.

Taking the average rank across all criteria, we created a quality of life score with the county posting the lowest overall score being the ‘Best County To Live In West Virginia’.

The result is some of the safest, quiet, and best counties to raise a family in the Mountain State.

Read on to see why Putnam County is the best county, while Mingo County is probably in contention for being the worst county in West Virginia.

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1. Putnam County

Hurricane, WV

Biggest Place: Teays Valley
Population: 56,743
Median Income: $56,640 (2nd best)
Median Home Price: $151,800 (16th best)
Unemployment Rate: 3.1% (1st best)
More on Putnam County: PhotosData

2. Brooke County

Weirton, WV

Biggest Place: Weirton
Population: 23,473
Median Income: $46,265 (6th best)
Median Home Price: $89,200 (5th best)
Unemployment Rate: 4.1% (2nd best)
More on Brooke County: PhotosData

3. Ohio County

Wheeling, WV

Biggest Place: Wheeling
Population: 43,257
Median Income: $41,986 (13th best)
Median Home Price: $110,000 (22nd best)
Unemployment Rate: 5.5% (4th best)
More on Ohio County: PhotosData

4. Jackson County

Ravenswood, WV

Source: Public domain

Biggest Place: Ravenswood
Population: 29,199
Median Income: $40,949 (15th best)
Median Home Price: $113,400 (20th best)
Unemployment Rate: 5.4% (3rd best)
More on Jackson County: PhotosData

5. Marshall County

Moundsville, WV

Biggest Place: Wheeling
Population: 32,296
Median Income: $44,464 (9th best)
Median Home Price: $98,100 (2nd best)
Unemployment Rate: 6.0% (5th best)
More on Marshall County: PhotosData

6. Taylor County

Grafton, WV

Biggest Place: Grafton
Population: 16,949
Median Income: $44,371 (10th best)
Median Home Price: $97,800 (3rd best)
Unemployment Rate: 9.1% (26th best)
More on Taylor County: PhotosData

7. Pleasants County

Belmont, WV

Biggest Place: St. Marys
Population: 7,612
Median Income: $45,191 (7th best)
Median Home Price: $104,300 (28th best)
Unemployment Rate: 8.4% (21st best)
More on Pleasants County: Data

8. Monongalia County

Morgantown, WV

Source: Public domain

Biggest Place: Morgantown
Population: 102,827
Median Income: $47,060 (3rd best)
Median Home Price: $170,700 (14th best)
Unemployment Rate: 6.1% (7th best)
More on Monongalia County: PhotosData

9. Marion County

Fairmont, WV

Biggest Place: Fairmont
Population: 56,716
Median Income: $46,430 (5th best)
Median Home Price: $107,100 (25th best)
Unemployment Rate: 6.0% (5th best)
More on Marion County: PhotosData

10. Lewis County

Weston, WV

Source: Public domain

Biggest Place: Weston
Population: 16,422
Median Income: $37,827 (23rd best)
Median Home Price: $93,100 (4th best)
Unemployment Rate: 7.4% (13th best)
More on Lewis County: PhotosData

There You Have It – The Best Counties In West Virginia To Call Home For 2018

It turns out living in West Virginia can vary from one part of the state to the next — who woulda thought?

But now you the know the really good parts and the parts to avoid and that’s why you came here to learn at the end of the day. And for that, you are welcome.

Here’s a look at the worst counties in West Virginia according to the data:

  1. Mingo County
  2. Raleigh County
  3. Fayette County

For more West Virginia reading, check out:

Detailed List Of The Best Counties In West Virginia

County Rank Population Median Income Median Home Price
Putnam County 1 56,743 $56,640 $151,800
Brooke County 2 23,473 $46,265 $89,200
Ohio County 3 43,257 $41,986 $110,000
Jackson County 4 29,199 $40,949 $113,400
Marshall County 5 32,296 $44,464 $98,100
Taylor County 6 16,949 $44,371 $97,800
Pleasants County 7 7,612 $45,191 $104,300
Monongalia County 8 102,827 $47,060 $170,700
Marion County 9 56,716 $46,430 $107,100
Lewis County 10 16,422 $37,827 $93,100
Harrison County 11 68,775 $44,845 $102,900
Berkeley County 12 110,173 $57,148 $163,800
Nicholas County 13 25,743 $39,901 $87,300
Kanawha County 14 189,636 $46,528 $107,100
Ritchie County 15 10,044 $40,850 $80,400
Hampshire County 16 23,455 $32,177 $125,600
Wood County 17 86,262 $43,944 $109,100
Wetzel County 18 15,997 $39,446 $86,500
Hardy County 19 13,942 $39,840 $121,100
Greenbrier County 20 35,580 $40,026 $110,000
Mason County 21 27,060 $37,322 $76,900
Mercer County 22 61,476 $37,255 $87,400
Upshur County 23 24,632 $42,240 $111,200
Cabell County 24 96,623 $37,760 $114,000
Barbour County 25 16,892 $36,733 $99,600
Wayne County 26 41,237 $38,311 $85,000
Fayette County 27 45,192 $37,846 $81,300
Raleigh County 28 78,051 $41,533 $105,500
Mingo County 29 25,549 $32,441 $70,600

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