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


We looked at over 380 places in West Virginia to determine the best of the best.

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This article is an opinion based on facts and is meant as infotainment. Don’t freak out that we updated it for 2018.

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West Virginia, home to amazingly awesome pepperoni rolls, fried ravioli, and, of course, great places to live.

But what city or town holds the distinction of being the best place to live in West Virginia? Is it simply the biggest? Or the one with the lowest crime rate?

After researching over 380 places in West Virginia, we were left with this set of top ten:

  1. Bridgeport (Photos | Homes For Sale)
  2. Hurricane (Photos | Homes For Sale)
  3. Vienna (Photos | Homes For Sale)
  4. Dunbar (Homes For Sale)
  5. Morgantown (Photos | Homes For Sale)
  6. Nitro (Photos | Homes For Sale)
  7. South Charleston (Photos | Homes For Sale)
  8. New Martinsville (Photos | Homes For Sale)
  9. Weirton (Photos | Homes For Sale)
  10. Elkins (Photos | Homes For Sale)

Well, it looks like you should check out Bridgeport if you’re thinking of moving to West Virginia — it’s the best the Mountain State has to offer according to the data.

Follow along as we provide more insight into how we reached our overall best places to live in West Virginia.

If you’re looking for something more national, check out the best states in America or the best places to live in America.

For more West Virginia reading, check out:

Mapping The Best And Worst Places To Live in West Virginia

The Pressing Question: Size

Before we even started to collect data, we had to answer a tough question: Is it fair to pit Charleston with a population of 50,210 against places with a population of 18?

We firmly decided no, that just isn’t fair.

So to create our ranking, we broke places to live into three tiers:

  • Cities — Populations over 5,000
  • Towns — Populations between 1,000 and 5,000
  • Small Towns — Populations below 1,000

This left us with 26 cities, 127 towns, and 176 small towns.

We then decided, no matter how much anyone loves their town, the best places have more of everything and therefore you need to have over 5,000 people to truly be ‘the best’.

Now we also realize that city living might not be your cup of tea, so we ran the following analysis on towns and then again for small towns.

You can see those two top tens at the bottom of the post.

How We Calculated The Best Place To Live In West Virginia

Now that we had our set of cities, it was time to rank them.

We ranked each place in West Virginia across a number of criteria from one to 26, with one being the best.

We then took the average rank across all criteria, with the city posting the lowest overall score being crowned the winner of the title “Best Place To Live In West Virginia”.

The criteria we looked at were:

  • Median Home Values
  • Median Income
  • Population Density (Higher better)
  • Unemployment Rate
  • Commute Time
  • Crime
  • Education Levels
  • Health Insurance Coverage
  • Poverty rates

Sources of criteria include the New Census Data and FBI Crime Data.

If your city or town isn’t among the top 10, jump down to the bottom of the post to see a detailed chart of the best places in West Virginia.

Otherwise, buckle up for a ride down good living lane with Bridgeport at the end of the cul-de-sac.

Bridgeport, WV

Overall SnackAbility

7
/10

Population: 8,364
Rank Last Year: 5 (Up 4)
Median Home Value: $199,000 (1st best)
Unemployment Rate: 4.1% (4th best)
More on Bridgeport: Real Estate | Data | Photos

When you’re looking at the best places you could live in West Virginia, Bridgeport came in 1st. Let’s see why.

It has a low unemployment rate and high incomes.

Plus, Bridgeport has an impressive history for a place of just over 8,000 people. Originally charted in 1816, Bridgeport has continued to grow and prosper throughout the centuries. It is now home to several aerospace companies and many oil and gas companies.

Hurricane, WV

Overall SnackAbility

6
/10

Population: 6,460
Rank Last Year: 2 (No Change)
Median Home Value: $149,500 (4th best)
Unemployment Rate: 3.2% (2nd best)
More on Hurricane: Real Estate | Data | Photos

While Hurricane got its name sake from the Hurricane Creek, it no longer conjures up the sense of furry its name implies. Instead, get ready to take a stroll through Hurricane Norris Walking Trail or hang out with the locals at The Wine Valley.

The city boasts an unemployment rate of 3.2% and has the 22nd shortest commute times.

Vienna, WV

Overall SnackAbility

6
/10

Population: 10,566
Rank Last Year: 1 (Down 1)
Median Home Value: $122,500 (7th best)
Unemployment Rate: 4.6% (6th best)
More on Vienna: Real Estate | Data | Photos

Vienna ranked impressively high for its crime rate (18th overall) and its short commute times (4th).

If you come into town be sure to check out CJ’s Italian Kitchen and order the ravioli, a specialty.

Overall SnackAbility

7
/10

Population: 7,714
Rank Last Year: 15 (Up 11)
Median Home Value: $91,300 (18th best)
Unemployment Rate: 5.1% (7th best)
More on Dunbar: Real Estate | Data

Dunbar offers an impressive amount to do while maintaining a small town’s charm.

The unemployment rate sits as the 7th lowest in West Virginia and incomes are the 8th highest.

When you come into town be sure to check out Shawnee Park and Ridge View BBQ.

Morgantown, WV

Source: Public domain
Overall SnackAbility

7
/10

Population: 30,364
Rank Last Year: 9 (Up 4)
Median Home Value: $178,500 (2nd best)
Unemployment Rate: 8.6% (20th best)
More on Morgantown: Real Estate | Data | Photos

If you want to live in West Virginia, you can’t go wrong if you decide to make the Morgantown area your home. However, everyone and their mother wants to live here.

Can you blame them? It’s a beautiful place with really low crime, where a majority of residents are wealthy (a $35,502 median income will do that).

Plus, the residents are really involved with helping to make Morgantown as great as possible. You can’t get it much better than in Morgantown.

Nitro, WV

Overall SnackAbility

8
/10

Population: 6,505
Rank Last Year: 13 (Up 7)
Median Home Value: $96,400 (15th best)
Unemployment Rate: 2.2% (1st best)
More on Nitro: Real Estate | Data | Photos

The Nitro has the 1st lowest unemployment rate in West Virginia. The population growth here has been 8% over the last 15 years, meaning a lot of people want to live here. If they can afford it; the cost of living in Nitro is higher than the national average and households make $48,212 per year.

We’d move to Nitro if we could in a heart beat.

South Charleston, WV

Source: Public domain
Overall SnackAbility

7
/10

Population: 13,182
Rank Last Year: 14 (Up 7)
Median Home Value: $111,900 (9th best)
Unemployment Rate: 4.1% (4th best)
More on South Charleston: Real Estate | Data | Photos

South Charleston is feeling the love as it ranks as the 7th best city to live in West Virginia for 2016.

It ranked highly because of its high incomes (4th overall) and low crime (23rd overall and one of the best in the top ten).

Oh and don’t be fooled by the name, the city is actually northwest, not south, of the city of Charleston.

New Martinsville, WV

Overall SnackAbility

8
/10

Population: 5,255
Rank Last Year: 22 (Up 14)
Median Home Value: $91,300 (18th best)
Unemployment Rate: 6.9% (12th best)
More on New Martinsville: Real Estate | Data | Photos

Let’s take a look at why New Martinsville is a great place to call home for 2018.

There’s low crime in New Martinsville, and the residents here are gainfully employed (6.9% unemployment rate).

You can make New Martinsville your home for only $91,300 which won’t be too hard on a $40,173 household salary.

Weirton, WV

Overall SnackAbility

8
/10

Population: 19,307
Rank Last Year: 17 (Up 8)
Median Home Value: $87,400 (20th best)
Unemployment Rate: 4.4% (5th best)
More on Weirton: Real Estate | Data | Photos

Well, I guess technically 4.4% of Weirton residents who want to have a job can’t find one, so not everyone has a job, but it’s the 5th closest of any city in West Virginia.

You can tell they take business seriously as they have by far the coolest Chamber of Commerce website we came across in our research.

In addition to its incredibly low unemployment rate, Weirton also ranked well for crime (4th) and median income ($39,328).

Elkins, WV

Overall SnackAbility

6
/10

Population: 7,232
Rank Last Year: 29 (Up 19)
Median Home Value: $104,500 (11th best)
Unemployment Rate: 7.9% (15th best)
More on Elkins: Real Estate | Data | Photos

Elkins has some of the most employed as well as the highest earning residents in the entire state of West Virginia. Factor in a very low crime rate, and this Elkins is a real gem.

With high incomes comes a high cost of living, which can been seen in the home prices. Additionally, the commute time for Elkins residents to work is significantly higher than average.

Wrapping Up The Best Places When It Comes To Living In West Virginia

If you’re looking at areas in West Virginia with the best economic situations, where there’s lower than average crime, and a lot to do, this is an accurate list.

Bridgeport made a strong showing to take in the overall number one spot for 2018.

Best Towns To Live In West Virginia

  1. Bethany (Pop. 1,029)
  2. Washington (Pop. 1,245)
  3. Winfield (Pop. 2,300)
  4. Cassville (Pop. 1,111)
  5. Pleasant Valley (Pop. 3,181)
  6. Mineralwells (Pop. 1,482)
  7. Bethlehem (Pop. 2,489)
  8. Bolivar (Pop. 1,225)
  9. Tornado (Pop. 1,294)
  10. Barrackville (Pop. 1,221)

Best Small Towns To Live In West Virginia

  1. St. George (Pop. 50)
  2. Mitchell Heights (Pop. 496)
  3. North Hills (Pop. 920)
  4. Belva (Pop. 138)
  5. Brandonville (Pop. 125)
  6. Hedgesville (Pop. 322)
  7. White Hall (Pop. 647)
  8. Clearview (Pop. 534)
  9. Charlton Heights (Pop. 432)
  10. Pratt (Pop. 469)

If you’re curious enough, here are the worst places to live in West Virginia according to the data:

  1. Parkersburg (Pop. 30,962)
  2. Princeton (Pop. 6,056)
  3. Martinsburg (Pop. 17,613)

For more West Virginia reading, check out:

Detailed List Of The Best Places To Live In West Virginia

Rank City Population Unemployment Rate Home Value
1 Bridgeport 8,364 4.1% $199,000
2 Hurricane 6,460 3.2% $149,500
3 Vienna 10,566 4.6% $122,500
4 Dunbar 7,714 5.1% $91,300
5 Morgantown 30,364 8.6% $178,500
6 Nitro 6,505 2.2% $96,400
7 South Charleston 13,182 4.1% $111,900
8 New Martinsville 5,255 6.9% $91,300
9 Weirton 19,307 4.4% $87,400
10 Elkins 7,232 7.9% $104,500
11 Wheeling 27,758 5.7% $99,300
12 St. Albans 10,788 6.2% $108,200
13 Fairmont 18,699 6.6% $103,600
14 Charleston 50,210 6.9% $150,300
15 Buckhannon 5,645 7.8% $126,300
16 Clarksburg 16,226 8.2% $81,000
17 Bluefield 10,366 6.0% $77,100
18 Moundsville 8,858 9.5% $81,500
19 Beckley 17,348 8.5% $115,300
20 Oak Hill 8,722 10.4% $89,100
21 Keyser 5,261 14.4% $98,200
22 Huntington 48,735 8.5% $92,300
23 Grafton 5,156 13.7% $74,300
24 Parkersburg 30,962 9.6% $86,100
25 Princeton 6,056 8.2% $87,000
26 Martinsburg 17,613 13.4% $142,500

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10 thoughts on “These Are The 10 Best Places To Live In West Virginia For 2018

  1. They should include whether a town has a city-manager form of government or a strong mayorial form…Generally there are less politics in a town with a stronger city-manager…more fairness…more appealing to business franchises and development, and more citizen oriented.

  2. This list is laughable: Pea Ridge is indeed a geographic location near Barboursville , however most of it carries a Huntington zip code (no PO on Pea Ridge Road). Christophers Eats that was mentioned- well that’s in Barboursville. So the city of Huntington was on the ‘Worst’ list, but a road where most residents use a Huntington address is on the best list?! Not very scientific now are we??

    1. Lol..when I saw Pea Ridge on the list, I was thinking “isn’t that a shopping center or a strip mall, or something?”…

  3. I lived in Charleston for the first 21 years of my life. St Albans for the next 5 years and Beckley for the next 9 years. I visited several other towns in the valley area regularly. The only negative issue with any of the valley towns are the big chemical companies killing the air and water along the beautiful Kanawha River! Charleston is a river town nestled in the hills with lots to do! Beckley with its high altitude has plenty of fresh air with amazing overlook areas and ski resorts close by. And St Albans is a lazy town with charm as well and lots of activity along the Coal River. Our children were mostly educated in Beckley. When we moved to Charlotte they were at least 1/2 year ahead of the public school education in Charlotte. The only problem with the towns mentioned was the lack of beautifying the areas with flowering trees and flower borders in the towns surrounding roadways and streets. I miss each of the wonderful towns, but love the climate in Charlotte better.

  4. This is the biggest joke for 2015. As noted in other comments, these list really cause one to question anything in the media. Any true West Virginian knows the density and pollution are the areas true Mountaineers run from.

  5. Also, Clarksburg has the absolute BEST peperoni rolls in the entire country (Tomaro’s bakery), yet this somehow doesn’t play into your “scientific calculations” .

    again, go fuck yasef

  6. Most of these are not towns. Do you care if there is a downtown? How far do you have to drive to shop? Can you walk anyplace? This list makes no sense.

  7. Any pepperoni roll not make in North Central WV is not a genuine pepperoni roll… period.

    Also, the Morgantown area has the lowest crime rate for any significant city in our state, and has far more to do than any other 2 cities combined.

  8. Personally, I think a town or city’s location in relation to the slaw line should be a most important consideration.

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