Is being in an area that’s growing quickly a good thing or a bad thing?
Depends on who you ask. Some want bigger, more exciting cities like Charleston and Huntington, while others want peace and quiet like in Grafton and New Martinsville, thank you very much.
But today we’re going to put opinions aside and just look at the cold hard facts — over the past five years, which cities in West Virginia have the grown the fastest.
After getting knee deep in the Census’s American Community Survey, we emerged with this set of cities in the Mountain State that have people climbing over each other to get in.
These are the 10 fastest growing cities in West Virginia for 2018 according to the most recent census data:
- Oak Hill (Photos | Homes For Sale)
- Charles Town (Photos | Homes For Sale)
- Bridgeport (Photos | Homes For Sale)
- Morgantown (Photos | Homes For Sale)
- Hurricane (Photos | Homes For Sale)
- Martinsburg (Photos | Homes For Sale)
- Elkins (Photos | Homes For Sale)
- Buckhannon (Photos | Homes For Sale)
- Fairmont (Photos | Homes For Sale)
- Beckley (Photos | Homes For Sale)
If you happen to be a resident of Oak Hill, you’re probably not too surprised to find it on our list.
If you’re surprised–and you’re wondering why these places are kind of a big deal–keep reading. We’ll tell you what makes each of these 10 places in West Virginia are growing like weeds–but first, a bit about our methodology.
How We Measured The Fastest Growing Cities In Mountain State
To figure out which cities are growing the most, we simply had to look at the growth rates for cities sine the begining of the decade, according to the American Community Survey put out by the census every year. Specifically:
- Population in 2016
- Population in 2010
- Growth rate from 2010 to 2016 (The latest available data which came out in Dec 2017)
We ranked all 27 West Virginia cities with a population over 5,000 people from highest growth rate to lowest.
The city with the highest growth rate during this time was crowned the fastest growing city in the Mountain State.
And for those of you who are a little rusty with their statistics, you can calculate the growth rate by the following formula:
[Population 2016 – Population 2010] / [Population 2010]
1. Oak Hill
Population: 8,722 Population 2010: 7,659
Growth Rate: 13.88%
Absolute Growth: 1,063
More on Oak Hill: Homes For Sale | 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.
2. Charles Town
Population: 5,682 Population 2010: 5,074
Growth Rate: 11.98%
Absolute Growth: 608
More on Charles Town: Homes For Sale | 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.
Population: 8,364 Population 2010: 7,978
Growth Rate: 4.84%
Absolute Growth: 386
More on Bridgeport: Homes For Sale | Data
Bridgeport is a city in Harrison County, West Virginia, USA. The population was 8,149 at the 2010 census.
Population: 30,364 Population 2010: 29,076
Growth Rate: 4.43%
Absolute Growth: 1,288
More on Morgantown: Homes For Sale | 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: 6,460 Population 2010: 6,264
Growth Rate: 3.13%
Absolute Growth: 196
More on Hurricane: Homes For Sale | Data
Hurricane /hrkn/ is a city in Putnam County, West Virginia, in the United States. The population was 6,284 at the 2010 census.
Population: 17,613 Population 2010: 17,133
Growth Rate: 2.8%
Absolute Growth: 480
More on Martinsburg: Homes For Sale | Data
Martinsburg is a city in and the county seat of Berkeley County, West Virginia, United States, in the tip of the state’s Eastern Panhandle region. Its population was 17,687 in the 2016 census estimate, making it the largest city in the Eastern Panhandle and the ninth-largest municipality in the state. Martinsburg is part of the Hagerstown-Martinsburg, MD-WV Metropolitan Statistical Area.
Population: 7,232 Population 2010: 7,144
Growth Rate: 1.23%
Absolute Growth: 88
More on Elkins: Homes For Sale | Data
Elkins is a city in Randolph County, West Virginia, USA. The community was incorporated in 1890 and named in honor of Stephen Benton Elkins (1841–1911), a U.S. Senator from West Virginia. The population was 7,094 at the 2010 census. It is the county seat of Randolph County. Elkins is home to Davis and Elkins College and to the Mountain State Forest Festival, held in early October every year.[not verified in body]
Population: 5,645 Population 2010: 5,628
Growth Rate: 0.3%
Absolute Growth: 17
More on Buckhannon: Homes For Sale | 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.
Population: 18,699 Population 2010: 18,865
Growth Rate: -0.88%
Absolute Growth: -166
More on Fairmont: Homes For Sale | 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.
Population: 17,348 Population 2010: 17,503
Growth Rate: -0.89%
Absolute Growth: -155
More on Beckley: Homes For Sale | Data
Beckley is a city in and the county seat of Raleigh County, West Virginia, United States. It was founded on April 4, 1838. Beckley was named in honor of John James Beckley, who was the first Clerk of the House of Representatives and the first Librarian of Congress. It was founded by his son Alfred Beckley (US Army general and Confederate militia commander, born in Washington, D.C.). The current mayor is Rob Rappold
These Places Grew Up So Fast, You Know?
So there you have it, the fastest growing cities in West Virginia are led by Oak Hill which has been growing at a blistering pace this decade relative to other cities and towns around the state.
It’ll be interesting to see if these places can keep growing at the same rate over the next couple of years. We’ll be here to let you know!
For more West Virginia reading, check out:
- 10 Most Diverse Cities In West Virginia
- These Are The 10 Best Counties To Live In West Virginia
- 10 Safest Places In West Virginia
Detailed List Of Fastest Growing Places In West Virginia