Most Americans have never been to West Virginia. However, as the people who live there know, West Virginia is an awesome state.
But is it all roses? Definitely not. Just like any other state, West Virginia has its trouble spots. This article aims to determine, using science, the absolute worst small towns to live in the Mountain State. Don’t shoot the messenger, this is all using data.
After analyzing more than 172 of West Virginia’s smallest cities, we came up with this list as the 10 worst small towns in West Virginia where you’d never want to live:
- Red Jacket
Of course, many of these cities would rank highly if they were in other states, since West Virginia has its stuff figured out.
Read on below to see how we crunched the numbers, or scroll to the bottom to see how your town ranked.
How do you decide if a place is lousy or not?
In order to rank the worst small towns to live in West Virginia, we had to determine what criteria people like or dislike about a place. It isn’t a stretch to assume that people like low crime, solid education, things to do and a stable economy.
So we scraped the internet for those criteria, and it spit out the answer. Like magic.
How we crunched the numbers
We threw a lot of criteria at this one in order to get the best, most complete results possible. Using FBI crime data, the Census’s 2010-2014 American Community Survey, and the Bureau of Labor Statistics, this is the criteria we used:
- Population Density (The lower the worse)
- Highest Unemployment Rates
- Low housing costs (meaning there’s no demand)
- Adjusted Median Income (Median income adjusted for the cost of living)
- Education (Number of high school dropouts)
- High Crime
We looked at cities with populations between 100 and 1,000 people, of which, there were a lot – 172 to be exact.
Additional note: We get the crime numbers from the FBI, which gets its crime numbers from the cities themselves. Dropout numbers are based on the adult population, not just the current graduation rates of teenagers.
Population: 259 Median Income: $24,375
Median Home Value: $28,200
Population: 162 Median Income: $22,500
Median Home Value: $24,700
Population: 271 Median Income: $25,000
Median Home Value: $37,000
Population: 765 Median Income: $24,228
Median Home Value: $64,200
Population: 822 Median Income: $24,500
Median Home Value: $52,500
6. Red Jacket
Population: 558 Median Income: $21,700
Median Home Value: $63,100
Population: 150 Median Income: $20,972
Median Home Value: $45,000
Population: 173 Median Income: $18,214
Median Home Value: $58,900
Population: 129 Median Income: $32,500
Median Home Value: $32,300
Population: 535 Median Income: $13,477
Median Home Value: $82,200
There You Have It – The Worst Small Towns In West Virginia
If you’re analyzing teeny places in the Mountain State with the worst economic situations, where there’s high crime and there’s not a lot to do, this is an accurate list.
If you’re curious enough, here are the best small towns to live in West Virginia, according to science.
- Best: Mitchell Heights
- 2nd Best: North Hills
- 3rd Best: Hedgesville
For more reading, check out:
Ranking Of The 100 Worst Small Towns In West Virginia
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