The county in West Virginia with the lowest cost of living is Jefferson County. The average living wage in Jefferson County is $101,469 according to MIT data. Jefferson County has the lowest cost of living because it has relatively less expensive childcare and housing costs compared to West Virginia as a whole. Childcare costs $28,262 a year in Jefferson County for two children compared to the West Virginia average of $17,259. Housing costs, defined as a blend of the average rent and average mortgage payment, are $11,184 per year in Jefferson County compared to $9,229 on average in West Virginia.
The average home value in Jefferson County is $261,500 and the average income is $82,551 per year. Part of the reason this county has the lowest cost of living in West Virginia is a relatively high level of poverty for West Virginia and higher than average crime rates. These factors make a place less desirable to live, but also push down the cost of living.
No, West Virginia is not a dangerous state as it ranks as the #12 safest state in the United States based on our analysis of the latest FBI Crime Data. The violent crime rate in West Virginia ranks 28th most dangerous in the United States -- 3.76% better than US average violent crime rate. The property crime rate in the Mountain State ranks 42nd most dangerous in the United States -- 28.4% better than US average property crime rate. The latest reporting year from the FBI was 2022.
Yes, Charleston is a dangerous city. Charleston ranks as the #117 most dangerous out of 1433 major cities over 30,000 people in the United States based on our analysis of the latest FBI Crime Data. Keep in mind that are always safe and dangerous parts of any city, so even though Charleston might be considered dangerous you still need to be aware of where you are.
Compared to other big cities, the violent crime rate in Charleston ranks 226th highest in America -- 70.5% worse than US average violent crime rate. The property crime rate in the ranks 116th highest in the United States -- 89.69% worse than US average property crime rate. Note the latest reporting year from the FBI was 2022 and that no city in America is "dangerous". Despite the uptick in murders, it's nothing like you'd see in Tijuana or Caracas where the murder rate is 2x any American city.
The cost of living in West Virginia is 3.4% lower than the US average. According to MIT, the required living wage for a family of four with two working parents in West Virginia is $86,704 vs the national average for a family of four with two working parents of $89,744. The median income of a West Virginia household is $48,037.
The cheapest housing market in West Virginia is Grafton. The average home value in Grafton is $77,500, the lowest in the state. The average home value in West Virginia is $123,200, almost 1.6 times higher than Grafton.