Some of you might be asking yourself, at this very moment, is West Virginia a good place?
The answer is unequivocally yes… if you know where to locate the best counties to live in West Virginia.
Lucky for you, we’re here to help you identify the best counties to live in the Mountain State based on the most recently available data from the Census. And this isn’t our first rodeo — we’ve been using Saturday Night Science to rank places for years.
The question becomes if you wanted to relocate to the best part of West Virginia, where would you go? To answer that, we looked at crime, cost of living, and demographic data for all 55 counties in the state.
After the analytic dust settled, we identified the 10 best counties to live in Mountain State for 2023.
Putnam County is the county to be when it comes to living the good life in West Virginia. And you should avoid Logan County if you can — at least according to the data.
Now you know exactly where to move in West Virginia. Keep on reading for more about the top ten and a detailed methodology.
Or, check out the best places to live in West Virginia and the cheapest places to live in West Virginia.
Table Of Contents: Top Ten | Methodology | Summary | Table
The Best Counties To Live In West Virginia For 2023
Source: Wikipedia User Tim Kiser (w:User:Malepheasant) | CC BY-SA 2.5
Biggest Place: Teays Valley
Median Income: $68,740 (2nd best)
Median Home Price: $176,300 (5th best)
Unemployment Rate: 3.6% (5th best)
More on Putnam County: Data
Source: Wikipedia User Acroterion | CC BY-SA 3.0
Biggest Place: Charles Town
Median Income: $86,711 (best)
Median Home Price: $276,700 (best)
Unemployment Rate: 5.7% (2best)
More on Jefferson County: Data
Source: Wikipedia User Alainmoscoso | CC BY-SA 3.0
Biggest Place: Keyser
Median Income: $57,345 (6th best)
Median Home Price: $151,700 (7th best)
Unemployment Rate: 6.2% (24th best)
More on Mineral County: Data
Source: Wikipedia User Howcheng | Attribution
Biggest Place: Martinsburg
Median Income: $68,101 (3rd best)
Median Home Price: $196,700 (3rd best)
Unemployment Rate: 4.8% (9th best)
More on Berkeley County: Data
Source: Wikipedia User Brandon W. Holmes | CC BY-SA 3.0
Biggest Place: Wheeling
Median Income: $51,516 (16th best)
Median Home Price: $135,300 (14th best)
Unemployment Rate: 5.4% (15th best)
More on Ohio County: Data
Source: Public domain
Biggest Place: Morgantown
Median Income: $56,466 (8th best)
Median Home Price: $221,600 (2nd best)
Unemployment Rate: 6.2% (23rd best)
More on Monongalia County: Data
Biggest Place: Bath (Berkeley Springs)
Median Income: $56,616 (7th best)
Median Home Price: $190,900 (4th best)
Unemployment Rate: 7.2% (32nd best)
More on Morgan County: Data
Source: Wikipedia User Jeremywagg (original), Yassie (derivative work) | CC BY-SA 3.0
Biggest Place: Weirton
Median Income: $51,210 (17th best)
Median Home Price: $93,500 (45th best)
Unemployment Rate: 4.9% (10th best)
More on Brooke County: Data
Biggest Place: West Union
Median Income: $58,750 (4th best)
Median Home Price: $135,900 (12th best)
Unemployment Rate: 4.9% (11th best)
More on Doddridge County: Data
Source: Public domain
Biggest Place: Parkersburg
Median Income: $50,231 (22nd best)
Median Home Price: $129,600 (18th best)
Unemployment Rate: 5.3% (13th best)
More on Wood County: Data
Methodology: How do you determine which West Virginia county is the best?
To give you the best county in West Virginia, we have to look at a handful of metrics that signal the quality of a place. To do that, we made assumptions about what’s in a “best county” and what isn’t. For reference, we are trying to make the kind of argument you’d make at a bar using facts, Saturday Night Science.
With that in mind, we went to two of the best data sources on the internet. Namely, the American Community Survey data and FBI Crime data for the most recent period.
We paid particular attention to:
- Violent Crime Rates
- Property Crime Rates
- Median Home Values
- Median Income
- Unemployment Rates
- Adult Education Levels
- Health Insurance Coverage
- Poverty Rates
We then ranked each county in West Virginia across each of the criteria from one to 55, with one being the best.
Taking the average rank across all criteria, we created a quality of life score with the county posting the lowest overall score being the “Best County To Live In West Virginia.”
The result is some of the safest, quietest, and best counties to raise a family in the Mountain State.
We updated this article for 2023. This report is our tenth time ranking the best counties to live in West Virginia.
Read on to see why Putnam County is the best county, while Logan County is probably in contention for being the worst county in West Virginia.
Summary: The Best Counties In West Virginia To Call Home For 2023
Living in West Virginia can vary from one part of the state to the next — who woulda thought?
But now you know the outstanding parts and the parts to avoid, and that’s why you came here to learn at the end of the day.
You are welcome.
Here’s a look at the worst counties in West Virginia according to the data:
- Logan County
- Mingo County
- Mcdowell County
For more West Virginia reading, check out:
Detailed List Of The Best Counties In West Virginia