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.
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)
So there you have our list of the best places to live in West Virginia with Bridgeport taking the top spot.
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.
Morgantown is another gem in Mountain State. The unemployment rate here is 20th lowest in the entire state at 8.6%. Other factors that make Morgantown so desirable is the solid education and home prices.
Homes are valued at $178,500, and parents earn a combined $35,502 a year
There’s nothing like the American dream.
Nitro takes 6th place on our list of best places in West Virginia for 2019 thanks to a strong showing in unemployment rate (1st overall) and things to do.
Nitro is no stranger to top ten lists, being named one of the best places to live in the country by multiple outlets over the past ten years. And that tends to happen when home prices hit $96,400 at the median.
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.
Known for its low unemployment rates and great education, New Martinsville is a wonderful place to live in this state.
The relatively stable household incomes and below average crime rates don’t hurt either!
While it may not be as great as some other places on this list, New Martinsville still holds its own in in West Virginia.
Weirton is a short drive from everything, but who would want to leave the 9th best place in West Virginia?
Homes are priced around $87,400 and residents have the 22nd shortest commute in West Virginia.
Elkins is by far one of the best places to live in West Virginia: the math proves it! This city has the 15th lowest unemployment rate and the 11th highest median income in all of West Virginia.
Plus, the median home values are the 11th highest in the state. And if all of that isn’t enough to convince you, then check this out: their crime rate is the 14th lowest in the state, making Elkins a safe and great place to live.
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