These Are The 10 Safest Cities In West Virginia

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 live in the safest state, either. West Virginia is somewhere in the middle.

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

After analyzing 18 places in West Virginia with a population of more than 5,000, we came up with this list as the safest places here:

  1. Grafton
  2. Parkersburg
  3. Weirton
  4. Vienna
  5. Fairmont
  6. Buckhannon
  7. Dunbar
  8. Morgantown
  9. Bridgeport
  10. Bluefield

Read on below to see how we crunched the numbers and how your town ranked.

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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 (2014). 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 three criteria:

  • Violent crimes per capita (murders, assaults, rapes, armed robberies)
  • Property crimes per capita (thefts, burglaries, motor vehicle thefts)
  • Total crimes per capita
These Are The 10 Dumbest Cities In West Virginia

For example, there were a total of 28 crimes committed in Grafton which had a reported population of 5,189. That means the number of crimes per capita is 0.0054 which translates into a 1 in 185 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 2014. This left us with a total of 18 places in West Virginia to rank.

We ranked each place for each criteria from 1 to 18 where 1 in any particular category is the safest.

Next, we averaged each places three 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 population, is Grafton. The most dangerous? Beckley, where residents had a 1 in 154 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.

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1. Grafton

Grafton - Safest Places In West Virginia
Source: Wikipedia

Population: 5,189
Property Crime Rank: 11
Violent Crime Rank: 17

2. Parkersburg

Parkersburg - Safest Places In West Virginia
Source: Wikipedia

Population: 31,139
Property Crime Rank: 7
Violent Crime Rank: 43

3. Weirton

Weirton - Safest Places In West Virginia
Source: Wikipedia

Population: 19,476
Property Crime Rank: 30
Violent Crime Rank: 26

4. Vienna

Vienna - Safest Places In West Virginia
Source: Wikipedia

Population: 10,603
Property Crime Rank: 37
Violent Crime Rank: 20

5. Fairmont

Fairmont - Safest Places In West Virginia
Source: Wikipedia

Population: 18,835
Property Crime Rank: 31
Violent Crime Rank: 35

6. Buckhannon

Buckhannon - Safest Places In West Virginia
Source: Wikipedia

Population: 5,695
Property Crime Rank: 45
Violent Crime Rank: 23

7. Dunbar

Dunbar - Safest Places In West Virginia
Source: Wikipedia

Population: 7,821
Property Crime Rank: 39
Violent Crime Rank: 36

8. Morgantown

Morgantown - Safest Places In West Virginia
Source: Wikipedia

Population: 31,103
Property Crime Rank: 41
Violent Crime Rank: 41

9. Bridgeport

Bridgeport - Safest Places In West Virginia
Source: Wikipedia

Population: 8,431
Property Crime Rank: 46
Violent Crime Rank: 34

10. Bluefield

Bluefield - Safest Places In West Virginia
Source: Wikipedia

Population: 10,476
Property Crime Rank: 38
Violent Crime Rank: 52

There You Have It

Looking at the data, you can tell that anything within a 15-minute drive of Grafton is the most desirable, according to science and data. But as most West Virginia residents would agree, almost every place here is awesome.

Most dangerous cities in West Virginia:
3rd Most Dangerous: South Charleston
2nd Most Dangerous: Charleston
Most Dangerous: Beckley

Detailed List Of The Safest Places To Live In West Virginia

CityRankPopulationProperty Crime RankViolent Crime Rank
Grafton15,1891117
Parkersburg231,139743
Weirton319,4763026
Vienna410,6033720
Fairmont518,8353135
Buckhannon65,6954523
Dunbar77,8213936
Morgantown831,1034141
Bridgeport98,4314634
Bluefield1010,4763852
Oak Hill118,2614739
Nitro127,1395333
Wheeling1327,8904054
St. Albans1410,9285047
Princeton156,4424853
South Charleston1613,4355556
Charleston1750,6935658
Beckley1817,5955757

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