Article Table Of Contents
Thinking of taking the plunge and moving to West Virginia?
Well, today we'll take you on a tour of some of the places you should place highly on your list if you want to live the good life in West Virginia.
West Virginia is 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?
We took a dive into the data for the fifth time to see what has changed over the past year. After researching over 26 places in West Virginia, we were left with this set of top ten based on data from the FBI and Census on quality of life indicators.
Here are the 10 best places to live in West Virginia for 2019:
- Bridgeport (Photos | Homes For Sale)
- Hurricane (Photos | Homes For Sale)
- Vienna (Photos | Homes For Sale)
- Dunbar (Homes For Sale)
- Morgantown (Photos | Homes For Sale)
- Nitro (Photos | Homes For Sale)
- South Charleston (Photos | Homes For Sale)
- New Martinsville (Photos | Homes For Sale)
- Weirton (Photos | Homes For Sale)
- Elkins (Photos | Homes For Sale)
What's the best place to live in West Virginia according to the data? The best place to live on our list of West Viriginia's cream of the crop is Bridgeport.
A lot of the towns in the top ten have low crime, affordable housing, and good schools. We think that any of them would be a great place to put down roots as a family in West Virginia.
And now you'll have to excuse us, after reading up about so much West Virginia culture, we really need to try a pepperoni roll.
For more West Virginia reading, check out:
- These Are The 10 Best Counties To Live In West Virginia
- 10 Cheapest Places To Live In West Virginia
- 10 Best Places To Raise A Family In West Virginia
The 10 Best Places To Live In West Virginia For 2019
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.
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 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.
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.
We think the motto in Morgantown should be "Everything is greater in Morgantown," and that seems to be pretty close to the truth.
Morgantown has some of the highest home values in West Virginia, and they're going up fast. Additionally, Morgantown only has 3530.0% of its residents living in poverty.
Crime is also well below the state average, making Morgantown a solid option for people who value safety. At least those who can afford it.
The Town of Nitro might be a bit of a surprise to some in terms of how well it ranks according to science.
The crime rate in Nitro isn't amazing, but it's far below the state average. The homes are valued at $96,400 here, and the schools get some of the most funding in West Virginia.
If Nitro can get some more of their residents to work, things will look even rosier here. The unemployment rate (2.2% is the highest in the state.
South Charleston is feeling the love as it ranks as the 7th best city to live in West Virginia for 2019.
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.
In New Martinsville, everyone loves to call New Martinsville home! The median home value is the 18th highest in West Virginia.
Additionally, the unemployment rate is the 12th lowest in the state. and the crime rates are some of the lowest in Mountain State.
New Martinsville should consider renaming to Paradise Valley in our humble opinion.
Weirton broke into the top ten best places to live in West Virginia on the back of a low unemployment and a quality schools system.
It placed 5th overall for its low unemployment rate and the 10th highest median income of any place in our analysis.
However, it only has the 22nd shortest average commute time of any place in West Virginia.
Who doesn't want to live in Elkins? Because, according to the data, most everyone should want to.
Crime is lower than the state average, and the unemployment rate sits at only 7.9%. The school systems are generally well funded, meaning lots of personal attention for area kids.
Expect to see more of Elkins in the news in the coming months.
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'.
You can see those two top tens at the bottom of the post.
How We Calculated The Best Cities 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
- Education Levels
- Health Insurance Coverage
- Poverty rates
After the dust settled, what was the best place to live in West Virginia? That would be Bridgeport.
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.
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 the best place to live in West Virginia for 2019.
Best Towns To Live In West Virginia
- Bethany (Pop. 1,029)
- Washington (Pop. 1,245)
- Winfield (Pop. 2,300)
- Cassville (Pop. 1,111)
- Pleasant Valley (Pop. 3,181)
- Mineralwells (Pop. 1,482)
- Bethlehem (Pop. 2,489)
- Bolivar (Pop. 1,225)
- Tornado (Pop. 1,294)
- Barrackville (Pop. 1,221)
Best Small Towns To Live In West Virginia
- St. George (Pop. 50)
- Mitchell Heights (Pop. 496)
- North Hills (Pop. 920)
- Belva (Pop. 138)
- Brandonville (Pop. 125)
- Hedgesville (Pop. 322)
- White Hall (Pop. 647)
- Clearview (Pop. 534)
- Charlton Heights (Pop. 432)
- Pratt (Pop. 469)
If you're curious enough, here are the worst places to live in West Virginia according to the data:
- Parkersburg (Pop. 30,962)
- Princeton (Pop. 6,056)
- Martinsburg (Pop. 17,613)
For more West Virginia reading, check out:
- These Are The 10 Best Places To Retire In West Virginia
- These Are The 10 Richest Cities In West Virginia
- 10 Safest Places In West Virginia
- 10 Worst Places To Live In West Virginia