Moving to West Virginia? Relocation Guide for 2022

This is a complete guide for Moving to West Virginia.
Get all the information you need to know about moving to West Virginia.

If you enjoy hiking, biking, mountain climbing and great tasty pepperoni rolls, moving to West Virginia isn’t a bad idea.

Homes are affordable in West Virginia, more affordable than the United States average. The cost of living in West Virginia is low, and crime rates are lower than national average.

Even more, West Virginia boasts of the most remarkable autumn on the planet and you can enjoy all four seasons in the state.

If you’d love to live in a state where you can enjoy lots of outdoor activities and your kids can grow around very friendly neighbors, moving to West Virginia isn’t a bad idea.

To help you make the right decision about moving to West Virginia, we’ve compiled all the key information you need to know about the state.

Let’s jump right in!

facts of West Virginia

Quick facts to know before moving to West Virginia

  • About 22.7% of West Virginians are renters
  • The cost of living in West Virginia is 78.1 Lower than the US average of 100
  • West Virginia median home value is $110,544
  • West Virginia average one-way commute time tales 25.7 minutes
  • Job opportunities in West Virginia has increased by 0.5% over the past year
  • The average annual pay for the average job in West Virginia is $106,927
  • West Virginia’s median age is 41.6. The U.S. median age is 37.4
  • West Virginia Income tax is 3% - 6.5%

What’s the population of West Virginia?

West Virginia has a population of 1,836,843 living in 55 different counties. Here’s a simple breakdown of the state’s population since you’re considering moving to West Virginia:

  • West Virginia’s median age is 41.6. The U.S. median age is 37.4
  • West Virginia has 2.4 people per household. U.S. average is 2.6
  • West Virginia population density is 76 people per square mile
  • 50.6% of West Virginians are female, while 49.4% are males

How is the weather like in West Virginia?

Moving to West Virginia means you’ll enjoy all four seasons in a year. To determine if the climate and weather in West Virginia is suitable for you or not, take a look at the simple breakdown below and compare it to your current state.

  • On average, West Virginia gets 45 inches of rain per year. U.S. average is 38 inches
  • On average, West Virginia gets 33 inches of snow per year. U.S. average is 28 inches
  • West Virginia averages 164 sunny days per year. U.S. average is 205 sunny days
  • West Virginia averages 33 inches of snow in a year
  • West Virginia summer high in July is around 83 degrees
  • West Virginia winter low in January is around 21 degrees
  • West Virginia averages 45 inches of rain a year
move to west Virginia

10 Reasons to move to West Virginia

Is moving to West Virginia right for you or not? Lots of people move to West Virginia every year for several reasons. Here we’ve listed the ten reasons why people are moving here

  • Affordable homes

    West Virginia is extremely cheaper to own a house. The median home value is $110,544 which is almost half the national median home value. Similarly, renting a home is also cheaper. The average rent for a studio apartment in West Virginia is $556 while a 4-bedroom home or apartment can be rented for $1,135.

  • Low cost of living

    The cost of living is extremely cheaper than the neighboring states. This means groceries, transportation, housing, healthcare, and education are affordable in West Virginia.

  • Low crime rates

    West Virginia enjoys one of the lowest crime rates in the US, 9% lower than the national average. Both property crimes and gun violence are much lower than in the neighboring states.

  • Home to several hip cities

    West Virginia is full of many hip cities packed with spectacular locales, amazing views, history, great people, and fun things to see and do.

    Here’s a list of some of the best towns to explore.

    • Hinton
    • Lewisburg
    • Buckhannon
    • Elkins
    • Shepherdstown
    • Thomas
    • Davis
    • Morgantown
    • Cheat Lake

  • Enjoy all four seasons

    West Virginia experiences all 4 seasons. Summers are humid and hot, with temperatures averaging 85 degrees. Spring and fall are cooler, with temperatures ranging from 67 to 80 degrees. Winters see heavy snowfall and are typically cold, with temperatures dropping into the 20s. West Virginia experiences sporadic showers and occasional thunderstorms throughout the year.

  • West Virginians are friendly people

    West Virginia people are probably the best on the planet. The residents there have a strong sense of community and are the friendliest neighbors. They are never in a hurry and always maintain simplicity.

  • Enjoy lots of exciting outdoor activities

    The natural landscape in West Virginia is the ultimate playground for outdoor enthusiasts. From the steep cliffs to plush forests, or moody rivers that serve up raging waters on one end and tranquil waterways to float on the other – West Virginia has no shortage of fun outdoors.

    Some of the exciting activities you can try in West Adventure include:

    • Bridge walk
    • Rock climbing
    • Whitewater rafting
    • Ziplining
    • Falconry
    • Caving
    • Fishing

  • West Virginians know how to party

    Lights, thrills, action – the Mountain state knows how to party and there is no place like West Virginia to have an epic adventure full of fun, and bonding.

  • If you love adventure, you’d love West Virginia

    West Virginia is an adventure hub and there are more than 1,000 named mountains, 35 state parks, nine state forests, and three rail trails to explore here.

    To help you, we’ve compiled a list of 10 adventure activities in West Virginia

    • Explore a West Virginia State Park
    • Visit the New River Gorge Bridge
    • Trek your way to the pinnacle of Seneca Rocks
    • Enjoy the views at Cooper's Rock State Forest
    • Visit the waterfalls at Blackwater Falls State Park
    • Walk through the historical district of Harpers Ferry
    • Hike the West Virginia portion of the Appalachian Trail
    • Drive or ride on the Highland Scenic Highway
    • Hike or bike the North Bend Rail Trail
    • Walk through the award-winning gardens at Oglebay Park

  • Autumn is breathtaking in West Virginia

    The plentiful outdoor spaces, mountainous regions, and perfect fall weather conditions make West Virginia a place where the fall colors just feel a bit more vibrant than anywhere else.

    Here is the list of best places in West Virginia to savor the breathtaking foliage vistas.

    • Coopers Rock
    • Blackwater Falls
    • Plum Orchard Lake
    • Highland Scenic Highway
    • Seneca Rocks
    • Germany Valley
    • Spruce Knob
    • Pipestem Resort State Park

pros and cons of West Virginia

Pros & Cons of moving to West Virginia

Take a look at the upside and downside of moving to Virginia. Then weigh your options carefully before making up your mind about moving to Virginia:

The pros The cons
The cost of living in West Virginia is lower than the national averageThe unemployment rate in West Virginia is higher than the national average
You’ll enjoy tons of outdoor activities in West VirginiaSome cities seem to discourage people from living there
Crime rates in West Virginia is lower than the national averageWest Virginia is a long way from a larger modern city
West Virginia big cities are relatively smallHeroin addiction is a key problem in West Virginia
Experience living where the bluegrass genre beganSome people apply to some ugly stereotypes in West Virginia
You’ll enjoy all four seasons in West VirginiaSome communities find it hard to welcome newcomers
You’ll love West Virginia if you love rainfall
West Virginians are friendly people

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palce to live in west Virginia

Where are the best places to live in West Virginia?

If you’re moving to West Virginia, you’d most likely be interested in the best places to live in the state. So, we’ve compiled a list of the ten best cities in West Virginia including their population, unemployment rate, and home values. Check out the list below:

Rank City Population Unemployment Rate Home Value
1Hurricane16,4824.2%$151,600
2Vienna10,3483.7%$134,900
3Bridgeport8,5561.8%$222,800
4South Charleston12,4754.8%$130,700
5Morgantown30,7129.7%$210,300
6Wheeling270626.6%$110,100
7Dunbar7,3335.0%$98,400
8Elkins7,0726.4%$122,800
9St. Albans10,2706.9%$113,300
10New Martinsville5,1626.8%$96,000
cost of living in Virginia

What’s the cost of living in West Virginia?

The cost of living in Virginia is 103.7. Based on a national average of 100, the cost of living in Virginia is slightly higher than the United States average.The cost of living in West Virginia is 78.1. The United States average is 100. This means the average cost of living in West Virginia is lower than the national average. If you’re considering living in a state with a low cost of living, moving to West Virginia could be a great idea.

What’s the rental market like in West Virginia?

Renting a home could be a good idea if you’re moving to West Virginia. About 22.7% of West Virginians are renters. Also, up to 1.9% of homes and apartments in West Virginia are available to rent. Here are the average costs of renting various homes or apartments if you’re moving to West Virginia:

  • Average cost of a studio apartment in West Virginia is $556
  • Average cost of a 1-bedroom home or apartment in West Virginia is $606
  • Average cost of a 2-bedroom home or apartment in West Virginia is $737
  • Average cost of a 3-bedroom home or apartment in West Virginia is $973
  • Average cost of a 4-bedroom home or apartment in West Virginia is $1,135

What’s the median home value in West Virginia?

West Virginia median home value is $110,544. The United States median home value is $231,000. Over the past year, West Virginia home values have increased by 3.4%. The state’s home values are expected to increase by 9.1% in the next year, according to real estate experts.

jobs in Virginia

West Virginia Job Market

How is the job market in West Virginia?

Whether you’re looking to get a job after moving to West Virginia, considering a startup as a business or even an investor, chances are that you’ll be interested in the states job market and economy. We’ve compiled key data about West Virginia’s job market to give you the information you need to make the right decision.

Top industries in West Virginia

West Virginia is home to some of the largest industries in the country. If you’re moving to West Virginia, either as a businessman or an employee, you’ll most likely be interested in the top industries in the state. Here are the top industries in West Virginia:

  • Tourism
  • Aerospace
  • Agriculture
  • Automotive
  • Mining
  • Manufacturing
  • Service industry

The Fastest Growing Jobs In West Virginia

The unemployment rate in West Virginia is higher than the United States average. If you’re moving to West Virginia, you can increase your chances of getting a job faster by considering some of the fastest growing jobs in the state. Here’s a list of the top ten fastest growing jobs in West Virginia:

Rank Job Title Growth % Average Wage Jobs in 2024
1Home Health Aid129.2%$20,0605,880
2Personal Care Assistant125.8%$19,84017,710
3Physical Therapist Assistant121.2%$50,3901,030
4Physical Therapist119.7%$83,3101,520
5Physician Assistant119.6%$99,0901,100
6Marketing Internship119.5%$44,6401,040
7Nurse Practitioner116.5%$92,8901,060
8Medical Receptionist115.2%$29,6701,440
9Industrial Mechanic114.4%$45,9103,330
10Representative113.6%$30,5801,000

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What’s the median salary in West Virginia?

The average annual pay for the average job in West Virginia is $106,927. If you’re considering moving to West Virginia, the average pay is one of the key things to consider. Here’s a simple breakdown of the average pay in West Virginia:

  • The average hourly rate for hourly jobs in West Virginia is $51.41 per hour
  • The average pay for the average hourly jobs per week is $2,056
  • The average monthly pay for hourly jobs is $8,911 per month.
  • Salaries in West Virginia can be as high as $240,291 and as low as $25,269
  • Top earners (90th percentile) making $182,602 annually

What’s the unemployment rate in West Virginia?

West Virginia’s unemployment rate is 4.6%. The national average is 3.7%. The state’s unemployment rate is higher than the national average. Since you’re mulling over moving to West Virginia, this is one of the key things you’ll have to consider.

  • Generally, West Virginia’s job growth has been positive
  • Job opportunities in West Virginia has increased by 0.5% over the past year
  • West Virginia’s future job growth over the next 10 years is predicted to hit 26.0%
  • The U.S. future job growth over the next ten years is 33.51%

The 10 biggest companies in West Virginia

Moving to West Virginia could mean getting the opportunity to work in one of the biggest companies in the state. To give you a head start, here are the 10 biggest companies in West Virginia, including their names, cities, and number of employees.:

Rank Company City Employees
1West Virginia United Health SystemMorgantown7,000
2CAMC Health SystemCharleston6,858
3Brand Energy and Infrastructure ServicesCulloden6,000
4MedExpress Urgent CareMorgantown4,794
5ESMARKWheeling3,740
6Ogden NewspapersWheeling3,500
7Special MetalsHuntington3,188
8OglebayWheeling3,000
9Thomas Memorial HospitalSouth Charleston3,000
10DFS NEWELLNewell3,000

Tip: While moving the home, safety of your belongings is the priority and you need a trustworthy mover at your side. Know the top-rated moving companies in West Virginia.

How fast can you commute to work in West Virginia?

West Virginia average one-way commute time takes 25.7 minutes. The United States average is 26.4 minutes. This means commuting time in West Virginia is shorter than the national average. Spending less time on the road also means dealing with less amount of stress. This is one of the key things to think through before making up your mind about moving to West Virginia.

Here’s a simple stat about how people commute to work in West Virginia:

  • About 82.2% of West Virginians drive their own vehicle alone
  • Up to 9.7% of West Virginians carpool with others
  • About 3.2% of West Virginians work from home
  • Up to 0.9% take mass transit

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How safe is West Virginia?

Safety is one of the key things to consider if you’re moving to West Virginia. You can compare the crime rates in West Virginia to your current state and the entire U.S. using the crime stats below:

  • West Virginia violent crime rate is 2.9 incidents per 1000. U.S. is 3.7 per 1000
  • West Virginia property crime rate is 14.9 incidents per 1000. U.S. is 22.0 per 1000
  • Aggravated assault is the most common violent crime in West Virginia
  • Aggravated assault constitutes 75% of violent crimes in West Virginia
  • 14% of all property crimes in West Virginia safest cities are Burglary
  • 20% of all property crimes in West Virginia is Burglary
  • Larceny-theft is the most common property crime in West Virginia
  • Larceny-theft constitute 73% of violent crimes in West Virginia’s safest cities
  • Violent crimes in West Virginia are rated 20.8. The U.S. average is 22.7
  • Property crime in West Virginia is 28.8. The U.S. average is 35.4

10 Safest Cities In West Virginia For 2022

You will most likely be interested in the safest cities to live in if you’re moving to West Virginia. Here we’ve compiled a list of the ten safest cities in West Virginia considering their population, violent crimes per 100,000 and property crimes per 100,000 to enable you make a fair comparison.

Rank City Population Violent Crimes Per 100k Property Crimes Per 100k
1New Martinsville, WV5,11439273
2Winfield, WV2,3780504
3Oak Hill, WV8,14061171
4Weston, WV3,88710251
5Weirton, WV18,29660480
6Wellsburg, WV2,53139671
7Williamson, WV2,69422274
8White Sulphur Springs, WV2,395208501
9Charles Town, WV6,1711451,215
10Summersville, WV3,292303,250
Virginia taxes

Taxes in Virginia

How are taxes like in West Virginia?

West Virginia has some of the lowest property taxes in the United States. Also, the state’s average effective property tax rate is the ninth-lowest in the entire United States. Here are key tax rates to consider if you’re moving to West Virginia:

  • West Virginia Income tax is 3% - 6.5%
  • West Virginia Sales tax is 6% - 7%
  • West Virginia average effective Property tax rate is 0.57%
  • West Virginia gas tax is 20.50 cents per gallon of regular gasoline & diesel

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Virginia

What is West Virginia most known for?

West Virginia is known for many things. If you’re considering moving to West Virginia you should be aware of the key things the state is known for. West Virginia is known for the following key reasons:

  • Snowshoe Mountain

    The ski resort is situated in the bowl shaped convergence of two mountains, Cheat and Back Allegheny, at the head of the Shavers Fork of the Cheat River. It has skiable terrain across 244 acres (99 ha) and covers a total area of 11,000 acres (44.5 km2) in the Allegheny Mountains. The resort also has extensive mountain biking trails and golfing options.

  • Gauley River National Recreation Area

    Situated near Summersville, it has 25 miles of free-flowing Gauley River and the six miles of the Meadow River pass through scenic gorges and valleys containing a wide variety of natural and cultural features. The 1,000-acre park is also a popular hiking, biking, and boating destination.

  • Blackwater Falls

    Located in the Allegheny Mountains of Tucker County, Blackwater Falls State Park is named for the amber waters of Blackwater Falls, a 57-foot cascade tinted by the tannic acid of fallen hemlock and red spruce needles. The falls is one of the most photographed venues in West Virginia.

  • The Greenbrier State Forest

    The 5,133-acre Greenbrier State Forest is drenched in natural beauty with a wide range of recreational options like fishing, swimming, hiking, and mountain biking. Magnificent views of the surrounding countryside are afforded by the impressive and imposing 3,280 high Kate's Mountain.

  • Coopers Rock State Forest

    The 12,747-acre-Coopers Rock State Park promises majestic views and has numerous hiking and biking trails. It is home to many historic sites and has a lake perfect for reeling in trout and a nearby river for rafting.

  • The Hatfield and McCoy Trail System

    Hatfield and McCoy Trails passes through West Virginia counties of Logan, Kanawha, Wyoming, McDowell, Mercer, Wayne, Lincoln, Mingo, and Boone and is one of the most popular trails in the state. It has 700 miles of trails and there are plans to add several hundred more miles of trails in two more counties.

  • Stonewall Resort

    Stonewall Resort State Park with a collection of luxury and classic cottages offer 19,000-acre outdoor recreation and adventure. There are breathtaking views, water, and lush greens around.

  • New River Gorge National River

    A rugged, whitewater river flowing northward through deep canyons, the New River is among the oldest rivers on the continent. It flows through the 70000-acre New River Gorge National Park and is rich in cultural and natural history. There is also an abundance of scenic and recreational opportunities, including the country’s best whitewater rafting.

  • Whitewater Rafting

    Whitewater rafting has been central to outdoor recreation in West Virginia. Rafting lovers flock to West Virginia to experience the thrill of rapid waters and here are 5 whitewater rafting rivers in West Virginia

    • Upper New River
    • Lower New River
    • Upper Gauley
    • Lower Gauley
    • Shenandoah River

  • Scenery and History at Harpers Ferry

    The historic town of Harpers Ferry in Jefferson County is known for its rich past and scenic beauty. There are picturesque parks, museums, and historic spots to explore. In addition, hiking trails add more charm to the town.

  • Canaan Valley Resort

    Canaan Valley Resorts at Canaan Valley Resort State Park has cabins and cottages amidst scenic beauty. No matter which room you pick, you'll have mountains in your backyard and outdoor adventures to take advantage of year-round.

  • Pipestem State Park

    The 4,050-acre Pipestem Resort Park got its name from pipestem, or narrow leaf meadowsweet, a local shrub. The park can be reached only by an aerial tramway to the bottom of the gorge. There are 26 fully equipped wood cabins, a regular and a par-3 golf course, several restaurants, and other recreational activities, including its stable of horses at the park.

schools and university in Virginia

Best schools and colleges in West Virginia

Whether you have school age kids or not, if you’re interested in moving to West Virginia you should be aware of the best schools in the state. Buying a home in strategic locations such as one in a top-quality school district can be an advantage when you’re ready to sell.

We’ve listed the top-rated colleges, high schools, middle schools and elementary schools in the state since you’re considering moving to West Virginia.

Public Elementary Schools in West Virginia

  • Hometown Elementary School
    Putnam County Schools, Public, PK-5 | 62 students, Rating: 9/10

  • Evans Elementary School
    Jackson County Schools, Public, PK-5 | 183 students, Rating: 9/10

  • Ritchie Elementary School
    Ohio County Schools, Public, PK-5 | 299 students, Rating: 9/10

  • Smithville Elementary School
    Ritchie County Schools, Public, PK-5 | 119 students, Rating: 9/10

  • Criss Elementary School
    Wood County Schools, Public, PK-5 | 272 students, Rating: 9/10

Public middle schools in West Virginia

  • John Adams Middle School
    Kanawha County Schools, Public, 6-8 | 751 students, Rating: 8/10

  • Fairview Middle School
    Marion County Schools, Public, PK-8 | 190 students, Rating: 8/10

  • Suncrest Middle School
    Monongalia County Schools, Public, 6-8 | 494 students, Rating: 8/10

  • Winfield Middle School
    Putnam County Schools, Public, 6-8 | 604 students, Rating: 8/10

  • Edison Junior High School
    Wood County Schools, Public, 6-8 | 624 students, Rating: 8/10

Best high schools in West Virginia

  • Bridgeport High School
    FHarrison County Schools, Public, 9-12 | 790 students, Rating: 8/10

  • Doddridge County High School
    Doddridge County Schools, Public, 9-12 | 305 students, Rating: 8/10

  • Musselman High School
    Berkeley County Schools, Public, 9-12 | 1593 students, Rating: 8/10

  • Frankfort High School
    Mineral County Schools, Public, 9-12 | 518 students, Rating: 8/10

  • Buffalo High School
    Putnam County Schools, Public, 9-12 | 341 students, Rating: 8/10

Top 10 Best Colleges in West Virginia

  • Rank 1. Bethany College, Bethany, WV

  • Rank 2. West Virginia University, Morgantown, WV

  • Rank 3. West Virginia State University, Institute, WV

  • Rank 4. Concord University, Athens, WV

  • Rank 5. Wheeling Jesuit University, Wheeling, WV

  • Rank 6. Alderson Broaddus University, Philippi, WV

  • Rank 7. Davis & Elkins College, Elkins, WV

  • Rank 8. Marshall University, Huntington, WV

  • Rank 9. West Virginia Wesleyan College, Buckhannon, WV

  • Rank 10. University of Charleston, Charleston, WV

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