Safe country roads.take me safely home...to one of the safest places in West Virginia...
Now, John Denver did not have to worry about the safest places in West Virginia, because he lived in the crazy safe Aspen, Colorado; but, that's not realistic for the majority of us, and that's why HomeSnacks created a list of the safest places in the Mountain State for 2021
How did we do it? We consulted the numbers. In total, we analyzed 19 cities. We looked at important factors like property crimes and violent crimes per capita for every place with over 2,000 residents.
While there are some dangerous places in this Appalachian state, West Virginia does have a lot of safe places to be proud of as well; and lucky for you, HomeSnacks is here to tell you where the safest places in West Virginia are located for 2021.
We also discovered that West Virginia has a ton of safe places for every stage of life and for every budget. For instance, Morgantown is safe for singles, Bridgeport is safe for families, and Grafton is safe for people looking to retire.
Want to know more? We suggest you grab a plate of fried chicken 'n cornbread, a bottle of moonshine, find a sunny spot in the Blue Ridge Mountains, and read on.
Yes, West Virginia is filled with happy Mountaineers, happy people, and super safe, happy places to live, but there can be only one number one safest place to live in West Virginia, and that would be New Martinsville.
We are not at all surprised. New Martinsville has great schools, great neighborhoods, and great programs in place to make sure your family, and the things that matter to you most, stay safe.
If you want to see how West Virginia's other amazing safe places faired, take a look at the list below. And if you don't see your favorite there, head to the bottom.
For more reading on safe places to live in and around West Virginia, check out:
Rank Last Year: -
Violent Crimes Per 100k: 39 (third safest)
Property Crimes Per 100k: 273 (fourth safest)
More on New Martinsville: Photos | Search Homes For Sale | Data
Built along the Ohio River, across the water from Ohio, New Martinsville sits in a rural region in the northwest part of West Virginia. It may look like your stereotypical small town, with a population of just 5,114 residents. However, New Martinsville has a special distinction: it ranks number 1 on the list of West Virginia's safest communities.
Over the course of a year, the town reported just 14 property crimes. This includes 5 burglaries. Violence is almost unheard of in New Martinsville. The area saw just 2 violent crimes in a year. That leads to a per-capita rate of 39/100k people, the third safest pace in West Virginia.
Economically speaking, New Martinsville has a median income of $43953. The median home price is $96000 and the unemployment rate is 6.84%.
Rank Last Year: -
Violent Crimes Per 100k: 0 (safest)
Property Crimes Per 100k: 504 (seventh safest)
More on Winfield: Photos | Search Homes For Sale | Data
Winfield, West Virginia, was named after a famous general - Mexican-American War hero Winfield Scott. Despite this connection to a bloody armed conflict, though, the town is far from a violent place. In fact, it's the number 2 safest location in West Virginia.
Officially incorporated in 1868, Winfield retains some of its historic charm. Visitors can check in at the James W. Hoge House to get a look at life in the area during the 19th century. These days, though, safety represents the key draw. The town had just 12 property crimes and 0 violent crimes during a year. In a population of 2,378, these figures equate to a total crime rate of 504/100k people.
Winfield is located along the Kanawha River, about a half hour's drive from the state capital of Charleston. Its median income comes in at $45964 and its median home price hovers at $127155.
Rank Last Year: 10 (Up 7)
Violent Crimes Per 100k: 61 (sixth safest)
Property Crimes Per 100k: 171 (third safest)
More on Oak Hill: Photos | Search Homes For Sale | Data | Detailed Crime Report
Slap a fluorescent orange safety jacket on this little village in West Virginia's southern coalfields and call them safe. Our third safest city, Oak Hill, is known for its scenic location, low taxes, and job opportunities. after all, it is the home to West Virginia's booming coal mining industry.
'The Hill' is a family friendly, safe Fayette County town just North of the Summit Bechtel Reserve that boasts convenient restaurants and stores and an occasional summer festival or two. It's a great place to raise a family. Word on the street is that young professionals are starting to take notice and move their direction. So don't wait, because the word is out.
Rank Last Year: 6 (Up 2)
Violent Crimes Per 100k: 102 (eighth safest)
Property Crimes Per 100k: 51 (safest)
More on Weston: Photos | Search Homes For Sale | Data | Detailed Crime Report
Located in central Lewis County, Weston ranks as the fourth safest city in West Virginia. Weston is a bit of an oddity in terms of safety; the city actually had more violent crimes than property crimes in 2019. Weston had a property crime rate about 15 times lower than the national average, giving the city the safest rate in West Virginia. With a property crime rate so low, it's unlikely that anyone will pull a heist at the the Museum of American Glass in Weston.
Rank Last Year: 2 (Down 3)
Violent Crimes Per 100k: 60 (fifth safest)
Property Crimes Per 100k: 480 (fifth safest)
More on Weirton: Photos | Search Homes For Sale | Data | Detailed Crime Report
Weirton is the ideal destination when you're trying find that true West Virginia feel with small city vibes. This is definitely one of the reasons it has held strong from last year to be our fifth safest city in "the WV".
It might not be Beverly Hills, but this little town with a vibrant downtown scene, unforgettable summer festivals, and year-round fun is just as notable and just as safe. Probably why it's one of the most populous towns in West Virginia's northern panhandle region. This city, on the Ohio River, is known for its low crime and A+ education rating. There is a sense of true community in this little village in Hancock County.
Weirton is the kind of place where packages from Amazon won't get stolen from your front porch when you're not home. But, hey, what do you expect from this safe city that is "The Gateway to the Valley."
Rank Last Year: 1 (Down 5)
Violent Crimes Per 100k: 39 (fourth safest)
Property Crimes Per 100k: 671 (eighth safest)
More on Wellsburg: Photos | Search Homes For Sale | Data | Detailed Crime Report
Located in the northern part of the state, just across the Ohio River from Ohio, Wellsburg ranks as the sixth safest place in the Mountain State. Wellsburg had just one violent crime in 2019, giving the city a violent crime rate ten times lower than the national average. So you don't need to take self-defense classes before going for a jog at Brooke Hills Park.
Wellsburg also had the eighth safest rate of property crime in the state, with only 22 instances occurring all year. Wellsburg also got solid scores on our snackability scale for affordability, jobs, and amenities, making it an all-around sweet place to call home.
Rank Last Year: 20 (Up 13)
Violent Crimes Per 100k: 222 (13th safest)
Property Crimes Per 100k: 74 (second safest)
More on Williamson: Photos | Search Homes For Sale | Data | Detailed Crime Report
Williamson, West Virginia, is a coal and railroad town. In fact, the town's most famous building is the Coal House, a structure made of 65 tons of coal.
The community has other benefits as well, ones far more important than a building made of fossil fuel. Williamson stands as the number 7 safest population center in West Virginia.
There were only 2 property crimes during a year. Given the area's population of 2,694, that leads to a per-capita rate of 74/100k people. Violent crime is almost as rare. Williamson suffered just 6 such violations in a year.
Sitting along the Tug Fork River, on the border with Kentucky, Williamson has a median income of $45964 and an unemployment rate of 7.65%.
Rank Last Year: -
Violent Crimes Per 100k: 208 (11th safest)
Property Crimes Per 100k: 501 (sixth safest)
More on White Sulphur Springs: Photos | Search Homes For Sale | Data
No points for guessing how White Sulphur Springs, West Virginia, originally drew tourists. That's right: it's water. And the area's famous springs eventually led to the building of The Greenbriar, a luxury resort and well-known golf destination.
And when big shots arrive to hit the links, they can walk around town sure that their wallets are safe. White Sulphur Springs stands as the number 8 safest communities in West Virginia. The town had 12 property crimes in a year, including just 3 burglaries.
As far as violence is concerned, the safety record as even better. A year saw just 5 such events. In a population of 2,395, that equates to a per-capita rate of 208/100k people.
White Sulphur Springs has a median income of $45964. The median home price sits at $127155.
Rank Last Year: 3 (Down 6)
Violent Crimes Per 100k: 145 (ninth safest)
Property Crimes Per 100k: 1,215 (ninth safest)
More on Charles Town: Photos | Search Homes For Sale | Data | Detailed Crime Report
Where West Virginia State Road 9 meets West Virginia State Road 340 is Charles Town. This town, known for its bootlegging stories from the late 1800s, is our ninth safest city in West Virginia 2021.
All bootlegging aside, Charles Town is also known for its safe, family friendly atmosphere. There is a ton of stuff to do in this little town of 6,000 residents in the tiny tip of Jefferson County. They have a boat load of places to shop and dine, and their immaculate parks provide the backdrop for safe, friendly games of basketball, volleyball, and tennis for all ages.
So grab the fam, pack up the pick-up, and get moving so you don't miss out on any of their safe, family friendly, activities scheduled for 2021.
Rank Last Year: 13 (Up 3)
Violent Crimes Per 100k: 30 (second safest)
Property Crimes Per 100k: 3,250 (16th safest)
More on Summersville: Photos | Search Homes For Sale | Data | Detailed Crime Report
Summersville, West Virginia, suffered a devastating fire during the Civil War, the result of arson set by a Confederate agent. Don't worry, though. Those kinds of acts aren't an issue in modern-day Summersville. In fact, it ranks as the number 10 safest places to live in West Virginia.
The town saw 107 property crimes during a year. Given the area's population of 3,292, this leads to a per-capita rate of 3,250/100k people, the 16th safest healthiest pace in the state.
Situated in the center of the state, Summerville has other charming attractions as well. It boasts abundant outdoor activities at the Summersville Lake State Wildlife Area and hosts an annual Potato Festival.
While there are surveys and public polls on what cities in a state are the safest, we didn't want to rely on speculation and opinion. Instead, we looked at the hard numbers from the FBI's most recent report of crime (Published Sept 2020) in West Virginia.Specifically, we analyzed the FBI's Uniform Crime Report which summarizes the number of property crimes and violent crimes in each city per year. We used two criteria:
For example, there were a total of 16 crimes committed in New Martinsville which had a reported population of 5,114. That means the number of crimes per capita is 0.0031 which translates into a 1 in 319 chance of being the victim of a crime.
We only looked at cities that have populations of more than 2,000 people reported to the FBI in 2019, the last reporting year. This left us with a total of 19 of the biggest cities in West Virginia to rank.
We ranked each city for each criteria from 1 to 19 where 1 in any particular category is the safest.
Next, we averaged each places two criteria to create a Safety Index. We crowned the place with the lowest overall Safety Score "The Safest Place In West Virginia" with any ties going to the bigger city. You can download the data here.
The safest city in West Virginia, based on our criteria, is New Martinsville. The most dangerous city in West Virginia? Moorefield, where residents had a 1 in 13 chance of being the victim of a crime.
Note: This report is not an analysis of the effectiveness of local police departments, nor does it reflect the fact that people from out of town may come into a community and cause a crime. It simply looks at where crimes occurred most frequently, based on a city's population.
Looking at the data, you can tell that New Martinsville is as safe as they come, according to science and data.
But as most West Virginia residents would agree, almost every place here has its safe and not safe parts. So just make sure you're informed ahead of time.
Here's a look at the most dangerous cities in West Virginia according to the data:
|Rank||City||Population||Violent Crimes Per 100k||Property Crimes Per 100k|
|1||New Martinsville, WV||5,114||39||273|
|3||Oak Hill, WV||8,140||61||171|
|8||White Sulphur Springs, WV||2,395||208||501|
|9||Charles Town, WV||6,171||145||1,215|
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.
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HomeSnacks is based in Durham, NC.
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