The 10 Best Places To Raise A Family In West Virginia For 2021


We used science and data to determine which cities in West Virginia have the best set up for children: a lot to do, good schools, and no crime.

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Editor’s Note: We updated this article for 2021. This is our seventh time ranking the best cities for families in West Virginia.

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West Virginia isn't just any Appalachian state, it's actually one of the safest, most family friendly states in America.

Ask any West Virginian and they will tell you that there are a ton of family friendly activities everywhere you turn. The Mountain State is just one big playground for little and big kids alike. If you're looking for a state with affordable, family friendly staycations, West Virginia is your place. There are 37 State Parks and four National Parks that dot West Virginia's landscape. Amusement parks like Jaydee's Family Fun Center in Inwood and Ace Adventure Park in Oak Hill will keep your family entertained for an entire weekend. And if museums and zoos are more your family's style, check out the Oglebay Good Zoo in Wheeling, and/or the Youth Museum in Beckley.

In all family, friendly seriousness, West Virginia has some of the best schools in the country. Blue Ribbon elementary schools, gold star high schools, and colleges like West Virginia University in Morgantown have been delivering the next generation to work at major West Virginia companies like American Public Education Inc in Charles Town.

To take a closer look at the top ten family friendly places in West Virginia for 2021, grab your family, a hot apple dumplin', and head to a sunny spot on the Shenandoah River and read on.

The 10 Best Cities To Raise A Family In West Virginia For 2021

  1. Oak Hill
  2. Wellsburg
  3. Weston
  4. Williamson
  5. Weirton
  6. Lewisburg
  7. Moorefield
  8. Morgantown
  9. Moundsville
  10. Summersville

To narrow down the most family friendly cities in West Virginia, we looked at several factors: crime, education, family friendly activities and percent of households that currently have children. The cities also had to have a population of at least 2,000.

We ended up with 12 family friendly West Virginia places. Needless to say, it was quite difficult to narrow down the most family friendly place in West Virginia for 2021.

Drum roll... kudos to Oak Hill for taking the number one spot.

More importantly, if you care about your family living where crime is low, schools are awesome, great jobs are plentiful, and there's a ton of stuff to do, look below at West Virginia's top ten. And if you don't find your favorite there, head to the bottom.

Check out some more reading about West Virginia and the best places for families in the country:

The 10 Best Places To Raise A Family In West Virginia For 2021

Oak Hill, WV

Overall SnackAbility

6
/10

Population: 8,336
Family Friendly Amenities Score: 61
Closest Major City: Winston-Salem
Households with kids: 30.8%
More on Oak Hill: PhotosHomes For Sale | Data

Wellsburg, WV

Source: Public domain
Overall SnackAbility

8
/10

Population: 2,595
Family Friendly Amenities Score: 65
Closest Major City: Pittsburgh
Households with kids: 18.9%
More on Wellsburg: PhotosHomes For Sale | Data

Weston, WV

Source: Public domain
Overall SnackAbility

4
/10

Population: 3,946
Family Friendly Amenities Score: 48
Closest Major City: Pittsburgh
Households with kids: 25.8%
More on Weston: PhotosHomes For Sale | Data

Williamson, WV

Overall SnackAbility

4
/10

Population: 2,803
Family Friendly Amenities Score: 33
Closest Major City: Lexington
Households with kids: 30.2%
More on Williamson: PhotosHomes For Sale | Data

Weirton, WV

Overall SnackAbility

8
/10

Population: 18,670
Family Friendly Amenities Score: 55
Closest Major City: Pittsburgh
Households with kids: 23.8%
More on Weirton: PhotosHomes For Sale | Data

Overall SnackAbility

6
/10

Population: 3,886
Family Friendly Amenities Score: 54
Closest Major City: Winston-Salem
Households with kids: 19.3%
More on Lewisburg: Homes For Sale | Data

Moorefield, WV

Source: Public domain
Overall SnackAbility

4
/10

Population: 3,280
Family Friendly Amenities Score: 44
Closest Major City: Arlington
Households with kids: 26.0%
More on Moorefield: PhotosHomes For Sale | Data

Morgantown, WV

Source: Public domain
Overall SnackAbility

7
/10

Population: 30,712
Family Friendly Amenities Score: 64
Closest Major City: Pittsburgh
Households with kids: 17.0%
More on Morgantown: PhotosHomes For Sale | Data

Moundsville, WV

Overall SnackAbility

6
/10

Population: 8,486
Family Friendly Amenities Score: 36
Closest Major City: Pittsburgh
Households with kids: 17.7%
More on Moundsville: PhotosHomes For Sale | Data

Summersville, WV

Overall SnackAbility

8
/10

Population: 3,368
Family Friendly Amenities Score: 45
Closest Major City: Winston-Salem
Households with kids: 15.4%
More on Summersville: PhotosHomes For Sale | Data

How do you determine which place is best for families in West Virginia anyways?

To give you the places in West Virginia which are best for families, we have to look at a handful of metrics. Of course, we want to measure the type of people who live in each city, and make some assumptions about what's family-friendly and what isn't.

So we researched the internet for a database that contains all that information.

How we crunched the family friendly numbers for the Mountain State

We threw a lot of criteria at this one in order to get the best, most complete results possible. Using U.S. Census data produced for the state of West Virginia, we looked at every single city in the state. We paid particular attention to:

  • Crime (Both violent and property)
  • Quality of local schools
  • Distance to a major city without necessarily being in it
  • % of households with children
  • Family-friendly amenities nearby (museums, libraries and colleges)

We then gave each city a Family Score.

The higher the score, the better the city is for families. We also limited our results to cities with populations over 2,000 people. For West Virginia, that meant a total of 12 cities. You can download the data here.

There You Have It - The Best Places To Raise A Family In West Virginia

If you're looking for a breakdown of cities in West Virginia ranked by criteria that most would agree make a place a great spot for families, this is an accurate list.

Here's a look at the best cities for singles West Virginia according to the data:

  1. St. Albans
  2. Nitro
  3. Summersville

For more West Virginia reading, check out:

Where Are The Best Places For Families In West Virginia?

Rank City Population Amenities Score
1 Oak Hill, WV 8,336 68
2 Wellsburg, WV 2,595 43
3 Weston, WV 3,946 53
4 Williamson, WV 2,803 60
5 Weirton, WV 18,670 55
6 Lewisburg, WV 3,886 38
7 Moorefield, WV 3,280 46
8 Morgantown, WV 30,712 69
9 Moundsville, WV 8,486 64
10 Summersville, WV 3,368 60

How Is The Area In ?

About Chris Kolmar

Chris Kolmar has been in the real estate business for almost ten years now. He originally worked for Movoto Real Estate as the director of marketing before founding HomeSnacks.

He believes the key to finding the right place to live comes down to looking at the data, reading about things to do, and, most importantly, checking it out yourself before you move.

If you've been looking for a place to live in the past several years, you've probably stumbled upon his writing already.

You can find out more about him on LinkedIn or his website.