The 10 Best Counties To Live In West Virginia For 2021


Using science and data, we can tell you which counties in West Virginia have the most for people looking to make the move to West Virginia.

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

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 places 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 helping people find the best places to live in America for years.

So, 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 2021.

Putnam County is the county to be when it comes to living the good life in West Virginia. And you might want to avoid Mcdowell County if you can -- at least according to the data.

So if you're thinking of making the move West Virginia, we've got you covered. Keep on reading for a detailed methodology.

Or, check out the best places to live in West Virginia and the cheapest places to live in West Virginia.

The Best Counties To Live In West Virginia For 2021

1. Putnam County

Hurricane, WV

Biggest Place: Teays Valley

Population: 56,610
Median Income: $60,097 (3rd best)
Median Home Price: $167,300.0 (5th best)
Unemployment Rate: 373.9% (3rd best)
More on Putnam County: PhotosData

2. Jefferson County

Charles Town, WV

Biggest Place: Charles Town

Population: 56,506
Median Income: $80,430 (best)
Median Home Price: $252,300.0 (best)
Unemployment Rate: 602.6% (25th best)
More on Jefferson County: PhotosData

3. Ohio County

Wheeling, WV

Biggest Place: Wheeling

Population: 42,143
Median Income: $50,584 (10th best)
Median Home Price: $123,900.0 (14th best)
Unemployment Rate: 601.0% (24th best)
More on Ohio County: PhotosData

4. Brooke County

Weirton, WV

Biggest Place: Weirton

Population: 22,459
Median Income: $51,496 (9th best)
Median Home Price: $93,200.0 (4best)
Unemployment Rate: 379.4% (4th best)
More on Brooke County: PhotosData

5. Berkeley County

Martinsburg, WV

Source: Public domain

Biggest Place: Martinsburg

Population: 115,329
Median Income: $62,515 (2nd best)
Median Home Price: $182,200.0 (4th best)
Unemployment Rate: 595.0% (2best)
More on Berkeley County: PhotosData

6. Monongalia County

Morgantown, WV

Source: Public domain

Biggest Place: Morgantown

Population: 105,474
Median Income: $52,455 (6th best)
Median Home Price: $204,400.0 (2nd best)
Unemployment Rate: 639.2% (29th best)
More on Monongalia County: PhotosData

7. Tucker County

Biggest Place: Parsons

Population: 6,982
Median Income: $49,118 (13th best)
Median Home Price: $121,600.0 (17th best)
Unemployment Rate: 615.6% (26th best)
More on Tucker County: Data

8. Mineral County

Keyser, WV

Biggest Place: Keyser

Population: 27,167
Median Income: $49,936 (12th best)
Median Home Price: $148,200.0 (7th best)
Unemployment Rate: 560.8% (16th best)
More on Mineral County: PhotosData

9. Hardy County

Moorefield, WV

Source: Public domain

Biggest Place: Moorefield

Population: 13,805
Median Income: $47,438 (18th best)
Median Home Price: $137,700.0 (9th best)
Unemployment Rate: 322.2% (best)
More on Hardy County: PhotosData

10. Marshall County

Moundsville, WV

Biggest Place: Wheeling

Population: 31,308
Median Income: $48,557 (15th best)
Median Home Price: $109,300.0 (26th best)
Unemployment Rate: 425.5% (7th best)
More on Marshall County: PhotosData

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 need to make some assumptions about what's a "best county" and what isn't. And, for reference, we are trying to make the kind of argument you'd make at a bar using facts, don't take this analysis to court.

With that in mind, we went to two of the best sources of data on the internet; the American Community Survey data and FBI Crime data for the most recent time 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, quiet, and best counties to raise a family in the Mountain State.

Read on to see why Putnam County is the best county, while Mcdowell County is probably in contention for being the worst county in West Virginia.

There You Have It - The Best Counties In West Virginia To Call Home For 2018

It turns out living in West Virginia can vary from one part of the state to the next -- who woulda thought?

But now you the know the really good parts and the parts to avoid and that's why you came here to learn at the end of the day. And for that, you are welcome.

Here's a look at the worst counties in West Virginia according to the data:

  1. Mcdowell County
  2. Logan County
  3. Webster County

For more West Virginia reading, check out:

Detailed List Of The Best Counties In West Virginia

County Rank Population Median Income Median Home Price
Putnam County 1 56,610 $60,097 $167,300.0
Jefferson County 2 56,506 $80,430 $252,300.0
Ohio County 3 42,143 $50,584 $123,900.0
Brooke County 4 22,459 $51,496 $93,200.0
Berkeley County 5 115,329 $62,515 $182,200.0
Monongalia County 6 105,474 $52,455 $204,400.0
Tucker County 7 6,982 $49,118 $121,600.0
Mineral County 8 27,167 $49,936 $148,200.0
Hardy County 9 13,805 $47,438 $137,700.0
Marshall County 10 31,308 $48,557 $109,300.0
Wood County 11 84,960 $47,321 $124,200.0
Harrison County 12 67,908 $53,022 $117,900.0
Jackson County 13 28,907 $47,837 $130,600.0
Marion County 14 56,355 $50,305 $116,800.0
Morgan County 15 17,709 $51,745 $183,200.0
Greenbrier County 16 35,155 $40,200 $124,000.0
Pleasants County 17 7,482 $56,838 $106,600.0
Kanawha County 18 183,279 $46,639 $112,500.0
Pendleton County 19 7,001 $42,312 $122,800.0
Mason County 20 26,820 $46,078 $87,600.0
Preston County 21 33,683 $51,888 $115,300.0
Wirt County 22 5,798 $46,048 $95,800.0
Wetzel County 23 15,436 $43,107 $103,600.0
Hampshire County 24 23,309 $47,857 $153,100.0
Nicholas County 25 25,078 $40,086 $95,100.0
Taylor County 26 16,864 $48,578 $107,000.0
Doddridge County 27 8,560 $45,545 $117,300.0
Cabell County 28 94,339 $40,028 $124,500.0
Pocahontas County 29 8,450 $41,882 $121,700.0
Lewis County 30 16,166 $39,908 $104,200.0
Hancock County 31 29,383 $45,763 $93,000.0
Grant County 32 11,616 $42,216 $140,000.0
Tyler County 33 8,811 $43,087 $96,300.0
Fayette County 34 43,576 $41,394 $91,300.0
Randolph County 35 28,930 $43,320 $110,300.0
Barbour County 36 16,633 $38,459 $110,300.0
Raleigh County 37 75,252 $43,748 $108,700.0
Ritchie County 38 9,844 $43,577 $96,700.0
Upshur County 39 24,502 $40,322 $119,000.0
Mingo County 40 24,290 $32,764 $78,100.0
Summers County 41 12,848 $38,187 $92,200.0
Mercer County 42 59,919 $40,784 $96,700.0
Lincoln County 43 20,850 $42,345 $84,200.0
Monroe County 44 13,401 $38,540 $107,900.0
Roane County 45 14,020 $37,373 $98,900.0
Gilmer County 46 8,041 $42,636 $93,300.0
Clay County 47 8,709 $35,024 $80,200.0
Boone County 48 22,368 $40,739 $71,500.0
Braxton County 49 14,190 $41,466 $86,400.0
Wyoming County 50 21,281 $42,332 $71,500.0
Wayne County 51 40,303 $37,988 $99,100.0
Calhoun County 52 7,295 $38,382 $83,500.0
Webster County 53 8,386 $34,927 $69,500.0
Logan County 54 33,154 $36,168 $89,100.0
Mcdowell County 55 18,661 $27,682 $35,000.0

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.

One thought on “The 10 Best Counties To Live In West Virginia For 2021

  1. Your methods for choosing the best cities and counties in WV are clearly dysfunctional. Ask anyone who really knows WV about where the best place to live is and they will tell you without hesitation that Lewisburg in Greenbrier County is the best, not only in WV, but damn near anywhere at all.

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