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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 21 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 2019:
How we calculated the safest cities in West Virginia
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 2018) 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)
For example, there were a total of 8 crimes committed in Grafton which had a reported population of 5,121. That means the number of crimes per capita is 0.0016 which translates into a 1 in 640 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 2017. This left us with a total of 21 of the biggest cities in West Virginia to rank.
We ranked each city for each criteria from 1 to 21 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".
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.
Population: 5,121 Rank Last Year: 1 (No Change) Violent Crimes Per 100k: 0 (1st safest) Property Crimes Per 100k: 156 (1st safest) More on Grafton:Photos | Real 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.
Population: 18,870 Rank Last Year: 2 (No Change) Violent Crimes Per 100k: 111 (4th safest) Property Crimes Per 100k: 996 (2nd safest) More on Weirton:Photos | Real 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.
Population: 31,215 Rank Last Year: 5 (Up 1) Violent Crimes Per 100k: 265 (8th safest) Property Crimes Per 100k: 1,537 (4th safest) More on Morgantown:Photos | Real 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.
Population: 8,490 Rank Last Year: 9 (Up 4) Violent Crimes Per 100k: 176 (5th safest) Property Crimes Per 100k: 2,485 (8th safest) More on Oak Hill:Photos | Real 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.
Population: 5,610 Rank Last Year: 8 (No Change) Violent Crimes Per 100k: 53 (2nd safest) Property Crimes Per 100k: 4,224 (15th safest) More on Buckhannon:Photos | Real 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.