Top 14 of the best counties to live in West Virginia

Lists and Rankings

Brandon W. Holmes // Wikicommons

(STACKER)—What makes a particular county the best? Oftentimes, it’s a good mix of opportunities for fun outdoor activities and cultural attractions. Throw in some historical sites, good schools, job opportunities, and affordable housing, and the county will most likely have happy residents.

Stacker compiled a list of the best counties to live in West Virginia using rankings from Niche. Niche ranks counties by a variety of factors including: public schools, educational attainment, cost of living, and housing.

Many counties on the list are experiencing growth due to their job opportunities, education, or home values. Others are adored for their historic or well-designed value, or devotion to cultural opportunities. Keep reading to see if your county made the list.

w:User:Malepheasant // Wikimedia Commons

#14. Jackson County

– Population: 28,907
– Median home value: $130,600 (77% own)
– Median rent: $650 (23% rent)
– Median household income: $47,837
– Top public schools: Evans Elementary School (A), Fairplain Elementary School (B+), Gilmore Elementary School (B+)
– Top private schools: Heritage Christian Academy (unavailable)
– Top places to live: Ripley (B)

Tim Kiser // Wikimedia Commons

#13. Raleigh County

– Population: 75,252
– Median home value: $108,700 (73% own)
– Median rent: $693 (27% rent)
– Median household income: $43,748
– Top public schools: Crescent Elementary School (A), Hollywood Elementary School (A), Park Middle School (B+)
– Top private schools: Victory Baptist Academy (B), Greater Beckley Christian School (B), Mabscott Christian Academy (C+)
– Top places to live: Shady Spring (B), Beckley (B), Crab Orchard (B)

w:User:Malepheasant // Wikimedia Commons

#12. Mercer County

– Population: 59,919
– Median home value: $96,700 (70% own)
– Median rent: $672 (30% rent)
– Median household income: $40,784
– Top public schools: Sun Valley Elementary School (B), Athens Elementary School (B), Glenwood School (B)
– Top private schools: Mercer Christian Academy (B)
– Top places to live: Athens (A), Bluefield (B), Princeton (B)

Taber Andrew Bain // Wikimedia Commons

#11. Greenbrier County

– Population: 35,155
– Median home value: $124,000 (72% own)
– Median rent: $681 (28% rent)
– Median household income: $40,200
– Top public schools: Rainelle Elementary School (B+), Lewisburg Elementary School (B), Smoot Elementary School (B)
– Top private schools: Lewisburg Baptist Academy (B), Seneca Trail Christian Academy (B), The Greenbrier Community School (unavailable)
– Top places to live: Lewisburg (B+), Ronceverte (B), White Sulphur Springs (B)

w:User:Malepheasant // Wikimedia Commons

#10. Marion County

– Population: 56,355
– Median home value: $116,800 (75% own)
– Median rent: $765 (25% rent)
– Median household income: $50,305
– Top public schools: Fairview Middle School (A), Pleasant Valley Elementary School (B+), Monongah Middle School (B+)
– Top private schools: Fairmont Catholic Grade School (unavailable)
– Top places to live: Pleasant Valley (B+), Fairmont (B), Monongah (B)

w:User:Malepheasant // Wikimedia Commons

#9. Doddridge County

– Population: 8,560
– Median home value: $117,300 (88% own)
– Median rent: $455 (12% rent)
– Median household income: $45,545
– Top public schools: Doddridge County Middle School (B+), Doddridge County Elementary School (B+), Doddridge County High School (B)
– Top private schools:
– Top places to live: West Union (B)

O Palsson // Flickr

#8. Kanawha County

– Population: 183,279
– Median home value: $112,500 (69% own)
– Median rent: $747 (31% rent)
– Median household income: $46,639
– Top public schools: George Washington High School (A), Holz Elementary School (A), Kenna Elementary School (A)
– Top private schools: Charleston Catholic High School (A), Cross Lanes Christian School (B), Elk Valley Christian School (C+)
– Top places to live: South Charleston (A), Charleston (A), Cross Lanes (B+)

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#7. Wood County

– Population: 84,960
– Median home value: $124,200 (71% own)
– Median rent: $713 (29% rent)
– Median household income: $47,321
– Top public schools: Williamstown Elementary School (A), Gihon Elementary School (A), Greenmont Elementary School (B+)
– Top private schools: Parkersburg Catholic High School (A), Wood County Christian School (B+), Parkersburg Christian School (B+)
– Top places to live: Vienna (A), Williamstown (A), Washington (B+)

Upstateherd // Wikimedia Commons

#6. Harrison County

– Population: 67,908
– Median home value: $117,900 (74% own)
– Median rent: $767 (26% rent)
– Median household income: $53,022
– Top public schools: Bridgeport High School (A), Bridgeport Middle School (A), Johnson Elementary School (B)
– Top private schools: Notre Dame High School (A), Emmanuel Christian School (B), St. Mary’s Grade School (unavailable)
– Top places to live: Bridgeport (A), Clarksburg (B+), Shinnston (B)

Carol M. Highsmith/Library of Congress // Wikimedia Commons

#5. Cabell County

– Population: 94,339
– Median home value: $124,500 (62% own)
– Median rent: $748 (38% rent)
– Median household income: $40,028
– Top public schools: Nichols Elementary School (A), Ona Elementary School (B+), Martha Elementary School (B+)
– Top private schools: St. Joseph Catholic High School (A), Covenant School (B+), Grace Christian School (B)
– Top places to live: Barboursville (B+), Pea Ridge (B+), Culloden (B)

Famartin // Wikimedia Commons

#4. Jefferson County

– Population: 56,506
– Median home value: $252,300 (76% own)
– Median rent: $998 (24% rent)
– Median household income: $80,430
– Top public schools: C.W. Shipley Elementary School (B+), Shepherdstown Elementary School (B+), Harpers Ferry Middle School (B+)
– Top private schools: Wee Disciples Christian Academy (unavailable), Jefferson Academy (unavailable), Rock Spring Child Learning Center (unavailable)
– Top places to live: Charles Town (A), Shepherdstown (B+), Ranson (B)

Roger B Wise // Wikimedia Commons

#3. Putnam County

– Population: 56,610
– Median home value: $167,300 (82% own)
– Median rent: $831 (18% rent)
– Median household income: $60,097
– Top public schools: West Teays Elementary School (A), Winfield Middle School (A), Scott Teays Elementary School (A)
– Top private schools: Teays Valley Christian School (B)
– Top places to live: Winfield (A), Teays Valley (A), Hurricane (A)

Brandon W. Holmes // Wikicommons

#2. Ohio County

– Population: 42,143
– Median home value: $123,900 (70% own)
– Median rent: $667 (30% rent)
– Median household income: $50,584
– Top public schools: Ritchie Elementary School (A), Bethlehem Elementary School (A), Triadelphia Middle School (A)
– Top private schools: The Linsly School (A), Central Catholic High School (B+), Abundant Life Christian School (B)
– Top places to live: Bethlehem (A), Wheeling (A), Clearview (A)

Zverzver // Wikimedia Commons

#1. Monongalia County

– Population: 105,474
– Median home value: $204,400 (57% own)
– Median rent: $834 (43% rent)
– Median household income: $52,455
– Top public schools: Suncrest Middle School (A), Suncrest Primary School (A), North Elementary School (A)
– Top private schools: Trinity Christian School (B+), Morgantown Christian Academy (B), St. Francis de Sales Central Catholic School (unavailable)
– Top places to live: Star City (A+), Cheat Lake (A+), Morgantown (A)

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