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Take me home, to the place I belong; West Virginia really is almost heaven for retirees. We used data to determine which places have the most to offer retired folks in the Mountain State.
In a compact state with 37 state forests and a National Forest, you'll never be far from nature if you choose to lay down your briefcase in West Virginia. Whether you're hiking the Blue Ridge Mountains or driving the Blue Ridge Parkway, you won't be sorry you retired one of the most scenic spots nationwide. And you couldn't ask for much better smallmouth bass fishing than you can find at the Shenandoah River. And whether you're a Civil War buff or out to spot some peregrine falcons, a trip to Harper's Ferry is surely worth your newfound free time.
Just where are the best of the best spots for retired folks in West Virginia? Well, by and large, they're up in the northern part of the state, with only Bluefield and Oak Hill being south of Charleston. Weirton, Moundsville, and Wheeling are all in West Virginia's northern panhandle super close the Pennsylvania border, so if you've got relatives living in Pittsburgh, they'll be in easy visiting range.
Crank up some Bill Withers and get those biscuits out of the oven, because we're heading to the best places to retire in West Virginia.
No matter where you wind up on this list, you're sure to have a peaceful and well-earned retirement. And if you're worried that West Virginia's too far from the kids, be sure to mention to them that over half of the cities on this list are also among the best places to raise a family in West Virginia. Sounds like a pretty easy pitch to me!
Curious as to how we arrived at these cities as the best of the best for retirees? We looked at cities in West Virginia of at least 1,000 people, leaving us with 19 cities to rank. Then we broke down the data from the Census, the FBI's Crime Report, National Weather Service, and OpenFlights. looking for places that had a higher median age, plenty to do, a low cost of living, and a low crime rate. By ranking each of the 19 cities on a scale of 1 to 19, with lower numbers being better, we arrived at our result.
What city outshined the rest for the best city to retire in? According to the data, Wellsburg is the best spot to spend to retire in West Virginia for 2021. If you're thinking of retiring somewhere in West Virginia that's not listed above, check out the complete list below.
For more West Virginia state reading:
- Best Places To Live In West Virginia
- Cheapest Places To Live In West Virginia
- Best Places To Raise A Family In West Virginia
- Best Places To Retire In America
The 10 Best Places To Retire In West Virginia For 2021
How We Determined The Best Places To Retire In the Mountain State for 2021
To create our list of the best places in West Virginia to retire, we first used Census data to find all places in the Mountain State -- 399 cities and towns.
We then narrowed it down to places with at least 1,000 people that weren't townships. This left us with 19 places from across the state.
- Low cost of living as measured by rent
- Low crime
- Things to do (Museums, Colleges, and Libraries in town)
- Nice weather
- Distance to the closest international airport
- Other retirees (High median age)
We then ranked each of these places for each criteria from one to 19, with the lowest number being the best.
Finally, we took the average rank across these criteria. The place, in this case Wellsburg, with the lowest average rank was crowned the best of the best, a place for you to start your second careers. You can download the data here.
Maybe You're Not Ready To Retire In West Virginia Yet...
So there you have it, the best place to retire in West Virginia goes to Wellsburg.
If you're not ready to hang up your office apparel yet, then these places might be up your alley:
- St. Albans
For more West Virginia reading, check out: