The 10 Safest Cities In West Virginia For 2023

The safest cities in West Virginia are Oak Hill and New Martinsville for 2023.

Safe country roads, take me safely 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 out of state. But for those looking to move to West Virginia, we created a list of the safest places in the Mountain State for 2023.

How did we do it? We consulted the numbers and analyzed 23 cities. We looked at important factors like property and violent crimes per capita for every place with over 5,000 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.

We discovered that West Virginia has many 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 about the safest spots in the Blue Ridge Mountains? Read on.

Table Of Contents: Top Ten | Methodology | Table | References

Here are the 10 safest cities to live in West Virginia for 2023:

  1. Oak Hill (Homes For Sale)
  2. New Martinsville (Homes For Sale)
  3. Weirton (Homes For Sale)
  4. Charles Town (Homes For Sale)
  5. Ranson (Homes For Sale)
  6. Buckhannon (Homes For Sale)
  7. Bridgeport (Homes For Sale)
  8. Princeton (Homes For Sale)
  9. Fairmont (Homes For Sale)
  10. Morgantown (Homes For Sale)

West Virginia is filled with Mountaineers, happy people, and super safe, places to live, but where is the safest place to live in West Virginia? The safest place in West Virginia is Oak Hill.

We are not at all surprised. Oak Hill has excellent schools, great neighborhoods, and outstanding programs in place to make sure your family and the things that matter to you most stay safe.

See the list below for how West Virginia's other safest places faired. And if you don't see your city there, head to the bottom.

For more reading on safe places to live in and around West Virginia, check out:

The 10 Safest Cities In West Virginia For 2023

Oak Hill, WV
Source: Wikipedia User Tim Kiser (w:User:Malepheasant) | CC BY-SA 3.0 us

Population: 7,948
Violent Crimes Per 100k: 50 (second safest)
Property Crimes Per 100k: 176 (second safest)
Murders: 0
Murders Per 100k: 0
More on Oak Hill: Data | Crime | Real Estate

Overall SnackAbility

Slap a fluorescent orange safety jacket on this little village in West Virginia's southern coalfields and call them safe. Our 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.

New Martinsville, WV
Source: Wikipedia User MyName (Bwsmith84 (talk)) | CC BY 3.0

Population: 5,114
Violent Crimes Per 100k: 39 (safest)
Property Crimes Per 100k: 234 (third safest)
Murders: 0
Murders Per 100k: 0
More on New Martinsville: Data | Crime | Real Estate

Overall SnackAbility

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 2 on the list of West Virginia's safest communities.

Over the course of a year, the town reported just 12 property crimes. This includes 4 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 safest pace in West Virginia.

Economically speaking, New Martinsville has a median income of $48147. The median home price is $105000 and the unemployment rate is 6.63%.

Weirton, WV
Source: Wikipedia User Jeremywagg (original), Yassie (derivative work) | CC BY-SA 3.0

Population: 18,544
Violent Crimes Per 100k: 91 (fourth safest)
Property Crimes Per 100k: 377 (fifth safest)
Murders: 0
Murders Per 100k: 0
More on Weirton: Data | Crime | Real Estate

Overall SnackAbility

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 third 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."

Charles Town, WV
Source: Wikipedia User Acroterion | CC BY-SA 3.0

Population: 6,098
Violent Crimes Per 100k: 147 (fifth safest)
Property Crimes Per 100k: 934 (sixth safest)
Murders: 0
Murders Per 100k: 0
More on Charles Town: Data | Crime | Real Estate

Overall SnackAbility

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 fourthsafest city in West Virginia 2023.

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 2023.

5. Ranson
Ranson, WV
Source: Wikipedia User Acroterion | CC BY-SA 3.0

Population: 5,288
Violent Crimes Per 100k: 151 (sixth safest)
Property Crimes Per 100k: 1,267 (eighth safest)
Murders: 0
Murders Per 100k: 0
More on Ranson: Real Estate

No one is going to hold you for a ransom in Ranson, West Virginia. In fact, it's the fifth safest place in the state. Ranson had the eighth safest incidence of property crime in West Virginia in 2022, with a rate about four times lower than the national average. That's good news for folks heading home with a pocket full of winnings after a day at Hollywood Casino. If Ranson can get its slightly less impressive violent crime rate down over the next year, expect it to jump even higher up this list.

Ranson is located in Jefferson County in the eastern part of the state.

Buckhannon, WV
Source: Wikipedia User Tim Kiser (w:User:Malepheasant) | CC BY-SA 2.5

Population: 5,243
Violent Crimes Per 100k: 57 (third safest)
Property Crimes Per 100k: 1,640 (11th safest)
Murders: 0
Murders Per 100k: 0
More on Buckhannon: Data | Crime | Real Estate

Overall SnackAbility

In Buckhannon they love their wide open spaces, their parks, their safe neighborhoods, and they take pride in their Wesleyan College Bobcats. Home to West Virginia's Strawberry Festival, this city is our sixth safest city. It's a place where work and play meet at the corner of Upshur County and the foothills of the Allegheny Mountains.

Buckhannon is so safe, that the only crime, here, is a bad haircut or a terrible outfit. Its small town charm delivers big opportunities to all that are searching for a safe place to call home.

Bridgeport, WV
Source: Wikipedia User JERRYE & ROY KLOTZ M.D. | CC BY-SA 4.0

Population: 9,206
Violent Crimes Per 100k: 271 (ninth safest)
Property Crimes Per 100k: 1,129 (seventh safest)
Murders: 0
Murders Per 100k: 0
More on Bridgeport: Data | Crime | Real Estate

Overall SnackAbility

Bridgeport is next in our safest cities in West Virginia list, at number 7. They crushed our snackability scale with a 7/10 safety ranking and an 8.5/10 affordability score.

Bridgeport's town motto is "Opportunity Lives Here". And we can't deny the numbers. This city scored a 9/10 job rating, the highest on our list, and a 9/10 education rating. Nothing says safe like a bunch of smart people with jobs.

Princeton, WV
Source: Wikipedia User Tim Kiser (w:User:Malepheasant) | CC BY-SA 2.5

Population: 5,551
Violent Crimes Per 100k: 414 (13th safest)
Property Crimes Per 100k: 360 (fourth safest)
Murders: 0
Murders Per 100k: 0
More on Princeton: Data | Crime | Real Estate

Overall SnackAbility

Princeton, located in Mercer County, West Virginia, holds the title of the eighth safest city in the state. The town's violent crime rate at 414/100k people and more notably its murder rate at 0.0 secures its position as the 13th safest in violent crime statewide. It also ranks #seventh safest for murder rate and achieves a rank of #4 in property crime in West Virginia.

Fairmont, WV
Source: Wikipedia User Tim Kiser (w:User:Malepheasant) | CC BY-SA 2.5

Population: 18,121
Violent Crimes Per 100k: 391 (12th safest)
Property Crimes Per 100k: 1,385 (tenth safest)
Murders: 1
Murders Per 100k: 5
More on Fairmont: Data | Crime | Real Estate

Overall SnackAbility

Welcome to our ninth safest city in West Virginia, Fairmont. This town in Marion County should be called the 'Three Rivers City'. The Tygart Valley River, West Fork River, and Monongahela River meet in this town whose motto is 'Spend a day, spend a lifetime'. We don't know about you, but we think a city with three rivers sounds like a place we could definitely spend a long, safe afternoon; let alone, a lifetime.

More importantly, the term SAFE takes on a new meaning in Fairmont. It's a family friendly town in northwestern West Virginia where the treets re or veryone. The people here are super welcoming and there are a ton of safe, family friendly parks and activities.

And kudos to Fairmont, their snackability rating is off the charts: a whopping 6/10! Their number of amenities scored an 8.5/10 and their education rating an 8/10! There's a reason Fairmont's motto is the "Friendly City." It's like Barney Fife's Mayberry in northern WV.

Morgantown, WV
Source: Public domain

Population: 29,279
Violent Crimes Per 100k: 286 (tenth safest)
Property Crimes Per 100k: 2,442 (13th safest)
Murders: 6
Murders Per 100k: 20
More on Morgantown: Data | Crime | Real Estate

Overall SnackAbility

Morgantown, situated along the banks of the Monongahela River, is our tenth safest city in West Virginia. This little town is super family-friendly and virtually crime-free. It is one of the safest places to call home on our list.

Morgantown's overall HomeSnacks snackability score was a 7/10. It's unsurprising, considering their safety rating is 7/10, and the percentage of educated residents is 8.5/10. Home to the West Virginia University Mountaineers, you've got nothing to fear when you wear the blue and gold in Monongalia County.

Methodology: How we calculated the safest cities in West Virginia for 2023

Safest Cities in West Virginia Graph

While there are surveys and public polls on what cities in West Virginia are the safest, we wanted to rely on something other than speculation and opinion. Instead, we looked at the hard numbers from the FBI's most recent crime report in West Virginia.

Specifically, we used Saturday Night Science to analyze the FBI's Uniform Crime Report, which summarizes the number of property and violent crimes in each city annually. We used two criteria:

  • Violent crimes per capita (murders, assaults, rapes, armed robberies)
  • Property crimes per capita (thefts, burglaries, motor vehicle thefts)

For example, there were 18 crimes committed in Oak Hill, with a reported population of 7,948. That means the number of crimes per capita is 0.0023, which translates into a 1 in 441 chance of being the victim of a crime.

We only looked at West Virginia cities that have populations of more than 5,000. This filter left us with 23 of the biggest cities in West Virginia to rank.

We ranked each city for each criterion from 1 to 23 where 1 in any particular category is the safest.

Next, we averaged each place's 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.

The safest city in West Virginia, based on our criteria, is Oak Hill. The most dangerous city in West Virginia? Beckley, where residents had a 1 in 11 chance of being the victim of a crime.

This article has been update for 2023. This report marks our tenth time ranking the safest places to live in West Virginia. All the data comes from the FBI's Crime In The USA 2022 report.

Best Places To Buy A House In West Virginia

Summary: The Safest Cities In The Mountain State

Looking at the data, you can tell that Oak Hill is as safe as they come in West Virginia, 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:

  1. Beckley
  2. Charleston
  3. South Charleston
For more reading, check out:

Where Are The 10 Safest Cities In West Virginia For 2023?

Rank City Population Violent Crimes Per 100k Property Crimes Per 100k Murders Per 100k Murders
1 Oak Hill, WV 7,948 50 176 0 0
2 New Martinsville, WV 5,114 39 234 0 0
3 Weirton, WV 18,544 91 377 0 0
4 Charles Town, WV 6,098 147 934 0 0
5 Ranson, WV 5,288 151 1,267 0 0
6 Buckhannon, WV 5,243 57 1,640 0 0
7 Bridgeport, WV 9,206 271 1,129 0 0
8 Princeton, WV 5,551 414 360 0 0
9 Fairmont, WV 18,121 391 1,385 5 1
10 Morgantown, WV 29,279 286 2,442 20 6
11 Moundsville, WV 8,036 435 1,343 12 1
12 Bluefield, WV 9,411 1,391 85 21 2
13 Vienna, WV 10,521 180 3,621 0 0
14 St. Albans, WV 9,646 342 2,892 0 0
15 Nitro, WV 6,444 170 4,019 0 0
16 Huntington, WV 45,547 632 2,797 13 6
17 Parkersburg, WV 29,190 441 3,463 17 5
18 Dunbar, WV 6,868 567 3,043 0 0
19 Wheeling, WV 26,244 1,230 2,411 19 5
20 Clarksburg, WV 15,092 437 3,843 0 0
21 South Charleston, WV 13,138 624 4,643 7 1
22 Charleston, WV 47,350 637 4,103 21 10
23 Beckley, WV 16,843 742 7,700 5 1

Breaking Down Crime In The Safest And Most Dangerous Cities In West Virginia

Safest Cities in West Virginia Breakdown

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.

Safest Cities By State

Enjoy The Snack?

About HomeSnacks

HomeSnacks is based in Durham, NC.

We aim to deliver bite-sized pieces of infotainment about where you live.

We use data, analytics, and a sense of humor to determine quality of life for places across the nation.

© Chasing Chains, LLC. All rights reserved.