Top 15 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 all get to live in the safest cities -- unless of course you live in Grafton.

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

In all, we analyzed 22 cities in West Virginia with a population of more than 5,000 using the latest FBI crime data.

Here's the list of the safest cities in West Virginia for 2018:

  1. Grafton (Photos | Homes)
  2. Weirton (Photos | Homes)
  3. New Martinsville (Photos | Homes)
  4. Bridgeport (Photos | Homes)
  5. Morgantown (Photos | Homes)
  6. Charles Town (Photos | Homes)
  7. Buckhannon (Photos | Homes)
  8. Fairmont (Photos | Homes)
  9. Oak Hill (Photos | Homes)
  10. Vienna (Photos | Homes)
  11. Moundsville (Photos | Homes)
  12. Dunbar (Homes)
  13. Nitro (Photos | Homes)
  14. Bluefield (Photos | Homes)
  15. Wheeling (Photos | Homes)

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

How we calculated the safest cities in West Virginia

Safest Cities in West Virginia Graph

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) in West Virginia.

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)
10 Worst Places To Live In West Virginia

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 0.0016 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 of the biggest cities in West Virginia to rank.

We ranked each city 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 our criteria, is Grafton. The most dangerous city in West Virginia? Charleston, where residents had a 1 in 10 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.

1. Grafton

Grafton, WV

Population: 5,145
Rank Last Year: 2 (Up 1)
Violent Crimes Per 100k: 58 (1st safest)
Property Crimes Per 100k: 97 (1st safest)
More on Grafton: PhotosReal Estate | Data

Grafton is a city in - and the county seat of - Taylor County, West Virginia, USA. The population was 5,164 at the 2010 census. Both of West Virginia's national cemeteries are located in Grafton. Mother's Day was founded in Grafton on May 10, 1908 and the city is home to the International Mother's Day Shrine. Grafton was one of the first places to observe Memorial Day in the United States. Grafton originally developed as a junction point for the Baltimore and Ohio Railroad, serving numerous branches vital to the local coal industry.

2. Weirton

Weirton, WV

Population: 19,067
Rank Last Year: 3 (Up 1)
Violent Crimes Per 100k: 115 (2nd safest)
Property Crimes Per 100k: 1,096 (3rd safest)
More on Weirton: PhotosReal Estate | Data

Weirton is a city in Brooke and Hancock counties in the U.S. state of West Virginia. Located primarily in Hancock County, the city lies in the northern portions of the state's Northern Panhandle region. As of the 2010 census, the city's population was 19,746. It is a principal city within the Weirton-Steubenville Metropolitan Area, which had a population of 124,454 residents, and by extension part of the Pittsburgh Metropolitan Area.

3. New Martinsville

New Martinsville, WV

Population: 5,190
Rank Last Year: -
Violent Crimes Per 100k: 115 (3rd safest)
Property Crimes Per 100k: 462 (2nd safest)
More on New Martinsville: PhotosReal Estate | Data

New Martinsville is a city in Wetzel County, West Virginia, United States, along the Ohio River. The population was 5,366 at the 2010 census. It is the county seat of Wetzel County.

4. Bridgeport

Bridgeport, WV

Population: 8,402
Rank Last Year: 8 (Up 4)
Violent Crimes Per 100k: 190 (6th safest)
Property Crimes Per 100k: 2,606 (9th safest)
More on Bridgeport: PhotosReal Estate | Data

Bridgeport is a city in Harrison County, West Virginia, USA. The population was 8,149 at the 2010 census.

5. Morgantown

Morgantown, WV
Source: Public domain

Population: 31,109
Rank Last Year: 9 (Up 4)
Violent Crimes Per 100k: 286 (10th safest)
Property Crimes Per 100k: 2,166 (6th safest)
More on Morgantown: PhotosReal Estate | Data

Morgantown is a city in and the county seat of Monongalia County, West Virginia, situated along the banks of the Monongahela River. With a permanent population of 31,073 per the 2015 U.S. Census estimates, Morgantown is the largest city in North-Central West Virginia. The Morgantown metropolitan area has a population of 138,176, and is the 3rd largest in West Virginia. West Virginia University adds several thousand seasonal residents to the city and surrounding area from September through May. Morgantown is best known as the home of West Virginia University and the Morgantown Personal Rapid Transit system.

6. Charles Town

Charles Town, WV

Population: 6,030
Rank Last Year: 1 (Down 4)
Violent Crimes Per 100k: 265 (9th safest)
Property Crimes Per 100k: 2,338 (7th safest)
More on Charles Town: PhotosReal Estate | Data

Charles Town, officially the City of Charles Town, is a city in Jefferson County, West Virginia, and is also the county seat. The population was 5,259 at the 2010 United States Census.

7. Buckhannon

Buckhannon, WV

Population: 5,662
Rank Last Year: 6 (Down 1)
Violent Crimes Per 100k: 176 (4th safest)
Property Crimes Per 100k: 3,867 (14th safest)
More on Buckhannon: PhotosReal Estate | Data

Buckhannon is the only incorporated city in, and the county seat of, Upshur County, West Virginia, United States, and is located along the Buckhannon River. The population was 5,639 at the 2010 census. Buckhannon is home to West Virginia Wesleyan College and the West Virginia Strawberry Festival, held annually on the third week of May. The city is located 115 miles northeast from the capital city of Charleston and 140 miles south of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.

8. Fairmont

Fairmont, WV

Population: 18,733
Rank Last Year: 5 (Down 2)
Violent Crimes Per 100k: 421 (14th safest)
Property Crimes Per 100k: 1,756 (4th safest)
More on Fairmont: PhotosReal Estate | Data

Fairmont is a city in Marion County, West Virginia, United States. The population was 18,704 at the 2010 census. It is the county seat of Marion County.

9. Oak Hill

Oak Hill, WV

Population: 8,104
Rank Last Year: 7 (Down 2)
Violent Crimes Per 100k: 209 (7th safest)
Property Crimes Per 100k: 3,566 (12th safest)
More on Oak Hill: PhotosReal Estate | Data

Oak Hill is a city in Fayette County, West Virginia, United States and is the primary city within the Oak Hill, WV Micropolitan Statistical Area. The micropolitan area is also included in the Beckley-Oak Hill, WV Combined Statistical Area. The population was 7,730 at the 2010 census. Country singer Hank Williams was discovered to be dead while the car in which he was a passenger was stopped in Oak Hill, and Oak Hill is generally accepted to be his place of death.

10. Vienna

Vienna, WV

Population: 10,537
Rank Last Year: 4 (Down 6)
Violent Crimes Per 100k: 189 (5th safest)
Property Crimes Per 100k: 4,242 (15th safest)
More on Vienna: PhotosReal Estate | Data

11. Moundsville

Moundsville, WV

Population: 8,644
Rank Last Year: 12 (Up 1)
Violent Crimes Per 100k: 347 (11th safest)
Property Crimes Per 100k: 3,563 (11th safest)
More on Moundsville: PhotosReal Estate | Data

Moundsville is a city in Marshall County, West Virginia, along the Ohio River. It is part of the Wheeling, West Virginia metropolitan area. The population was 9,318 at the 2010 census. It is the county seat of Marshall County. The city was named for the nearby ancient Grave Creek Mound, constructed 250 to 100 BC by indigenous people of the Adena culture. Moundsville was settled in 1771 by English colonists Samuel and James Tomlinson. Fostoria Glass Company was headquartered in Moundsville from 1891 to 1986. The retired West Virginia State Penitentiary operated in Moundsville from 1867 to 1995.

12. Dunbar

Population: 7,612
Rank Last Year: 14 (Up 2)
Violent Crimes Per 100k: 394 (13th safest)
Property Crimes Per 100k: 3,074 (10th safest)
More on Dunbar: Real Estate | Data

Dunbar is a city in Kanawha County, West Virginia, along the Kanawha River. The population was 7,907 at the 2010 census.

13. Nitro

Nitro, WV

Population: 6,729
Rank Last Year: 16 (Up 3)
Violent Crimes Per 100k: 252 (8th safest)
Property Crimes Per 100k: 4,354 (16th safest)
More on Nitro: PhotosReal Estate | Data

14. Bluefield

Bluefield, WV

Population: 10,298
Rank Last Year: 11 (Down 3)
Violent Crimes Per 100k: 1,097 (20th safest)
Property Crimes Per 100k: 2,019 (5th safest)
More on Bluefield: PhotosReal Estate | Data

Bluefield is a city in Mercer County, West Virginia, United States. The population was 10,447 at the 2010 census. It is the core city of the Bluefield WV-VA micropolitan area, which has a population of 107,342.

15. Wheeling

Wheeling, WV

Population: 27,486
Rank Last Year: 13 (Down 2)
Violent Crimes Per 100k: 967 (19th safest)
Property Crimes Per 100k: 2,433 (8th safest)
More on Wheeling: PhotosReal Estate | Data

Wheeling is a city in Ohio and Marshall counties in the U.S. state of West Virginia. Located almost entirely in Ohio County, of which it is the county seat, it lies along the Ohio River in the foothills of the Appalachian Mountains. Wheeling was originally a settlement in the British colony of Virginia and later an important city in the Commonwealth of Virginia. Wheeling was the first state capital of West Virginia. Due to its location along major transportation routes, including the Ohio River, National Road, and the B&O Railroad, Wheeling became a manufacturing center in the late nineteenth century. After experiencing the closing of factories and substantial population loss following World War II, Wheeling's major industries now include healthcare, education, law and legal services, entertainment and tourism, and energy.

There You Have It - The Safest Cities In The Mountain State

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.

Here's a look at the most dangerous cities in West Virginia according to the data:

  1. Charleston
  2. Beckley
  3. South Charleston
For more reading, check out:

List Of Safest Cities In West Virginia For 2018

Rank City Population Violent Crimes Per 100k Property Crimes Per 100k
1 Grafton, WV 5,145 58 97
2 Weirton, WV 19,067 115 1,096
3 New Martinsville, WV 5,190 115 462
4 Bridgeport, WV 8,402 190 2,606
5 Morgantown, WV 31,109 286 2,166
6 Charles Town, WV 6,030 265 2,338
7 Buckhannon, WV 5,662 176 3,867
8 Fairmont, WV 18,733 421 1,756
9 Oak Hill, WV 8,104 209 3,566
10 Vienna, WV 10,537 189 4,242
11 Moundsville, WV 8,644 347 3,563
12 Dunbar, WV 7,612 394 3,074
13 Nitro, WV 6,729 252 4,354
14 Bluefield, WV 10,298 1,097 2,019
15 Wheeling, WV 27,486 967 2,433
16 Princeton, WV 6,017 698 3,573
17 St. Albans, WV 10,635 347 4,569
18 Parkersburg, WV 30,913 666 4,441
19 Martinsburg, WV 17,789 455 4,958
20 South Charleston, WV 12,957 702 7,054
21 Beckley, WV 16,940 1,263 7,544
22 Charleston, WV 49,429 1,551 7,969

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