The 10 Best Places To Retire In West Virginia For 2022


We analyzed over 22 places in West Virginia to identify the ones that offer the most to retirees.

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Editor’s Note: Data has been updated for 2022. This is our ninth time ranking the best places to retire in West Virginia.

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.

The 10 Best Places To Retire In West Virginia For 2022

  1. Moundsville
  2. Weirton
  3. Grafton
  4. Oak Hill
  5. Wheeling
  6. Vienna
  7. Bridgeport
  8. Buckhannon
  9. Princeton
  10. Bluefield

Why did Moundsville take the top spot? And where are Charleston and Huntington?

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 5,000 people, leaving us with 21 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 21 cities on a scale of 1 to 21, 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, Moundsville is the best spot to spend to retire in West Virginia for 2022. 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:

The 10 Best Places To Retire In West Virginia For 2022

Overall SnackAbility

6
/10

Population: 8,356
Rank Last Year: 2 (Up 1)
Median Rent: $567
Distance to Closest Airport: 47 miles
More on Moundsville: Real Estate | Data | Photos

Moundsville, WV

Overall SnackAbility

8
/10

Population: 18,458
Rank Last Year: 7 (Up 5)
Median Rent: $649
Distance to Closest Airport: 18 miles
More on Weirton: Real Estate | Data | Photos

Weirton, WV

Overall SnackAbility

4
/10

Population: 5,035
Rank Last Year: -
Median Rent: $553
Distance to Closest Airport: 80 miles
More on Grafton: Real Estate | Data | Photos

Grafton, WV

Overall SnackAbility

6
/10

Population: 8,249
Rank Last Year: 6 (Up 2)
Median Rent: $532
Distance to Closest Airport: 158 miles
More on Oak Hill: Real Estate | Data | Photos

Oak Hill, WV

Overall SnackAbility

6
/10

Population: 27,046
Rank Last Year: -
Median Rent: $645
Distance to Closest Airport: 37 miles
More on Wheeling: Real Estate | Data | Photos

Wheeling, WV

Overall SnackAbility

6
/10

Population: 10,261
Rank Last Year: -
Median Rent: $633
Distance to Closest Airport: 81 miles
More on Vienna: Real Estate | Data | Photos

Vienna, WV

Overall SnackAbility

7
/10

Population: 8,675
Rank Last Year: -
Median Rent: $1,132
Distance to Closest Airport: 81 miles
More on Bridgeport: Real Estate | Data | Photos

Bridgeport, WV

Overall SnackAbility

5
/10

Population: 5,473
Rank Last Year: -
Median Rent: $689
Distance to Closest Airport: 103 miles
More on Buckhannon: Real Estate | Data | Photos

Buckhannon, WV

Overall SnackAbility

5
/10

Population: 5,740
Rank Last Year: -
Median Rent: $714
Distance to Closest Airport: 149 miles
More on Princeton: Real Estate | Data | Photos

Princeton, WV

Overall SnackAbility

5
/10

Population: 9,776
Rank Last Year: -
Median Rent: $695
Distance to Closest Airport: 142 miles
More on Bluefield: Real Estate | Data | Photos

Bluefield, WV

Methodology: How We Determined The Best Places To Retire In the Mountain State for 2022

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 5,000 people that weren't townships. This left us with 21 places from across the state.

For these 21, we looked at the following criteria taken from the Census, the FBI's Crime Report, National Weather Service, and OpenFlights:

  • 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 21, with the lowest number being the best.

Finally, we took the average rank across these criteria. The place, in this case Moundsville, 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.

Summary: 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 Moundsville.

If you're not ready to hang up your office apparel yet, then these places might be up your alley:

  1. Beckley
  2. Huntington
  3. South Charleston

For more West Virginia reading, check out:

Where Are The Best Places To Retire In West Virginia?

Rank City Population Median Rent
1 Moundsville 8,356 $567
2 Weirton 18,458 $649
3 Grafton 5,035 $553
4 Oak Hill 8,249 $532
5 Wheeling 27,046 $645
6 Vienna 10,261 $633
7 Bridgeport 8,675 $1,132
8 Buckhannon 5,473 $689
9 Princeton 5,740 $714
10 Bluefield 9,776 $695

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.