Reasons not to move to West Virginia

Thinking of relocating to the US, there are several states you might want to try. But not all of them are good for you. West Virginia is one of those states. So, why shouldn’t you move to West Virginia?

There are many reasons not to move to West Virginia. They include the cold and snowy winters, remote and sparse population, high crime rate, limited economic growth and jobs, poor government services, drug abuse, limited diversity, and lack of modern cities. All these make it undesirable to live in.

Regardless of the several reasons not to move here, the state has some things going for it like the low cost of living, a great place for outdoor activities, etc. Here, we discuss why you shouldn’t move to West Virginia.

1.      Cold and Snowy Winters

If you’re planning to live in West Virginia, you should be ready for the winter. The state has a humid continental climate, making for wet and humid summers. But the winter is when you have to worry about. The temperature here can drop as low as 33 °F (1 °C) in January, the coldest month. 

Snowfall makes up for 8% of the precipitation here, with the average snowfall being less than 20 inches (510 mm) in the southwest. But the snowfall in the eastern mountains can go as high as 64 inches (1,620 mm).

2.      Remote And Sparse Population

The state has one of the most rural populations in the country. About two-thirds of its population lives in rural areas. The state has lost the most population in percentage, dropping from 1.85 million in 2020 to 1.79 million in 2020. The declining population here means that most places are sparsely populated.

3.      High Crime Rate

The crime rate here is more than what most people will prefer. This applies to both property crimes and violent crime rates. Overall, it ranks 31 of the states with the highest crime rate. While that’s fair, some parts of the state are far more dangerous. Beckley has the highest crime rates here. You should also make sure you have insurance on your car and property when you live here.

4.      Limited Economic Growth and Jobs

The economy is one of the things you’ll be considering when moving. In West Virginia, that’s one of the major problems. The top companies here are coal industries and aren’t what they used to be. This means that job opportunities are very limited. Despite having a very low cost of living, the poverty rate is 15.8%. The median household income is $48,037, while the per capita income is 27,346.

The state is one of the poorest in the country. Of course, other industries include healthcare, aerospace, alternative energy, and chemicals. Even though most jobs are low paying, you may still find a few high-paying jobs here. But they’re too few to make everyone stay. This has led to many young people leaving the state and only a few moving in. The state has a shrinking population. Regarding poverty rates, some parts of the state are worse than others. Monongalia County has a poverty rate of 25%.

5.      Poor Government Services

The poor economy in the state affects everything, including government funding. This, coupled with the shrinking population, has led to lower revenue from rates and taxes. The result is that states have less money to spend. The poverty rate also means the private establishments aren’t doing much better.

The educational system in West Virginia is below par, and so is the academic performance. If you want to raise a family, this might not be the state to come. You’ll have trouble finding a good school for your kids.

The road conditions here are also not that good. Although it has great interstate highways that connect it with major cities, that’s all there is to the state. The state roads and back roads are in bad condition. These roads may not have good signage, striping, or guardrails. They also lack proper maintenance after bad weather. Beyond the safety concerns, there are still issues with potholes that make them very uncomfortable.

Healthcare options here are also pretty poor. It’s one of the states with the poorest health care services. This is in terms of healthcare access, outcomes, and costs.


6.      Drug Abuse

Another reason you shouldn’t live here is the risk of drug abuse. West Virginia has a drug abuse problem. So, if you have kids in their formative years or anyone prone to addiction, you should think twice about moving them here. Illegal drug use, overdose rates, and drug addictions are issues here. Some areas particularly have serious issues with opioids, meth, and heroin. So, if this could be an issue, you should do your best to avoid moving to West Virginia.

7.      Limited Diversity

You might feel odd living in West Virginia if you’re not white. The diversity here is very low, with only 1.6% of the residents being foreign-born. Although most residents are open and will welcome you, not everyone is friendly. Over 90% of those living here are white, one of the country’s highest. The median age in the city is high, and so is the percentage of people above 65.

So, it might be discouraging to live here if you’re of a different ethnicity or race and you’re young. Fewer people move to the state, and even those who move are mostly in the same demographics as those currently living there. So, it’s unlikely there’ll be any change to the demographics anytime soon.

8.      No Modern Cities

The state is also lacking when it comes to large and modern cities. Charleston is the closest thing you’ll find to a major city here, with a population of over 50,000. The absence of modern cities is a big issue, especially if you’re young and trying to have fun. The chances of finding a big entertainment scene are very limited here.

Depending on where you live, you’ll have to drive to Washington DC, Pittsburg, or Cincinnati to have the entertainment scene you desire. That could mean being on the road for a few hours. Not always worth it.

In Conclusion

There are several reasons not to move to West Virginia, which are mostly valid. But knowing them isn’t only to discourage you. It is to make you consider your options before deciding on moving. Even with all these issues, you might still find the state okay.