These Are The 10 Safest Cities In West Virginia For 2017

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

  1. Charles Town
  2. Grafton
  3. Fairmont
  4. Weirton
  5. Vienna
  6. Oak Hill
  7. Buckhannon
  8. Bridgeport
  9. Morgantown
  10. Bluefield

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

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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 (Sept 2015). 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
10 Small Towns In West Virginia Where You'd Never Want To Live

For example, there were a total of 280 crimes committed in Charles Town which had a reported population of 5,587. That means the number of crimes per capita is 0.0501 which translates into a 1 in 20 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 21 places in West Virginia to rank.

We ranked each place for each criteria from 1 to 21 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 Charles Town. The most dangerous? Beckley, where residents had a 1 in 2 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. Charles Town

Charles Town - Safest Places In West Virginia
Source: Google Maps

Population: 5,587
Property Crime Rank: 61
Violent Crime Rank: 219

2. Grafton

Grafton - Safest Places In West Virginia
Source: Wikipedia

Population: 5,173
Property Crime Rank: 4
Violent Crime Rank: 582

3. Fairmont

Fairmont - Safest Places In West Virginia
Source: Wikipedia

Population: 18,773
Property Crime Rank: 681
Violent Crime Rank: 1,421

4. Weirton

Weirton - Safest Places In West Virginia
Source: Wikipedia

Population: 19,432
Property Crime Rank: 990
Violent Crime Rank: 1,041

5. Vienna

Vienna - Safest Places In West Virginia
Source: Wikipedia

Population: 10,623
Property Crime Rank: 1,394
Violent Crime Rank: 395

6. Oak Hill

Oak Hill - Safest Places In West Virginia
Source: Wikipedia

Population: 8,249
Property Crime Rank: 1,641
Violent Crime Rank: 1,133

7. Buckhannon

Buckhannon - Safest Places In West Virginia
Source: Wikipedia

Population: 5,650
Property Crime Rank: 2,456
Violent Crime Rank: 361

8. Bridgeport

Bridgeport - Safest Places In West Virginia
Source: Wikipedia

Population: 8,338
Property Crime Rank: 2,085
Violent Crime Rank: 1,236

9. Morgantown

Morgantown - Safest Places In West Virginia
Source: Wikipedia

Population: 30,164
Property Crime Rank: 1,710
Violent Crime Rank: 2,143

10. Bluefield

Bluefield - Safest Places In West Virginia
Source: Wikipedia

Population: 10,431
Property Crime Rank: 1,200
Violent Crime Rank: 3,328

There You Have It - The Safest In West Virginia

Looking at the data, you can tell that anything within a 15-minute drive of Charles Town 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 100 Safest Cities To Live In West Virginia

CityRankPopulationProperty Crime RankViolent Crime Rank
Charles Town15,58761219
Grafton25,1734582
Fairmont318,7736811,421
Weirton419,4329901,041
Vienna510,6231,394395
Oak Hill68,2491,6411,133
Buckhannon75,6502,456361
Bridgeport88,3382,0851,236
Morgantown930,1641,7102,143
Bluefield1010,4311,2003,328
Parkersburg1131,1332,6861,913
Wheeling1227,8941,5243,583
Moundsville138,8882,6782,540
Dunbar147,7982,7752,766
St. Albans1510,8823,2012,722
Princeton166,0823,0963,260
Nitro176,7113,5552,566
Martinsburg1817,5643,5293,082
South Charleston1913,2763,7063,553
Charleston2050,5663,7193,756
Beckley2117,3753,8043,776

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