Best and Worst State: Pros and Cons of Living in West Virginia

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During the Civil War, when the state of West Virginia voted to leave the United States. However, the people of the rugged and mountainous western region of the state opposed the decision and organized to form West Virginia in support of the Union. As a result, the West Virginia Statehood Act of 1863 granted statehood to the state. Harpers Ferry, in West Virginia, was the location of John Brown's ill-fated 1859 raid on the federal armory there. It was ultimately unsuccessful for Brown's plan to arm a large-scale revolt of enslaved people with weapons from the arsenal. However, while Brown was hanged, the raid did succeed in inflaming white Southern fears of rebellion and provoking the North and South into the Civil War.

Providing 15 percent of the nation's coal, West Virginia is one of the nation's top coal-producing states today. In addition, Fayetteville is home to the longest steel arch bridge in the world, the New River Gorge Bridge. On Bridge Day, which takes place every October, the road is closed to traffic for the day. Individuals are allowed to parachute and bungee jump off the bridge; the event attracts close to 100,000 participants and spectators each year. Famous West Virginia natives include actor Don Knotts, gymnast Mary Lou Retton, and test pilot Chuck Yeager.

If you wish to live or visit West Virginia, here are some pros and cons of the state, which might be helpful during your stay:

1. The cost of living in West Virginia is very competitive.

West Virginia is an excellent place for you and your family. You can acquire substantial properties with little money invested. There are currently less than 100,000 homes for sale in the state. The majority of homes listed for sale are under $150,000. When you know, you'll have a good job to fall back on when you establish residency. It's easier for you to settle down. Furthermore, living here is 14% cheaper than the average in the United States.

The cost of renting is also relatively low. In Charleston, you might have trouble finding a one-bedroom apartment for under $1,200 a month, but that's because it's the most expensive region. You'll spend about 50% less if you live in Morgantown, Beckley, or Martinsburg.

2. West Virginia gets to experience all of the seasons.

When you move to the state, you'll find it has a much more mid-continental climate than the East Coast. Even in the summer, the mountains can keep the temperature down. You'll have to deal with some humidity, but it won't be as bad as you might find further south. Winters here can be a bit chilly, and snow can sometimes be an issue higher up in the mountains, but you'll get to experience all the seasons without fail.

Here are some of the cons of living in the state:

1. Finding a job in West Virginia can sometimes be a challenge.

The job market in West Virginia has been adversely affected as coal energy becomes less popular worldwide. State revenue was primarily derived from mining for several decades. The number of jobs that come with this natural resource has been rapidly decreasing due to the lack of demand. State unemployment rates are hovering around three percentage points above the national average. The unemployment rate in West Virginia was 5.1% in March 2019. You would pay 2.9% in Virginia if you moved there. As a result, you'll have to find a job before moving to the state because of few professional opportunities. 

2. Crime can be a significant problem in West Virginia.

According to the FBI, there are 27.11 property crimes per 1,000 people in the United States. Therefore, you should expect to pay a 32.11 rate instead if you decide to move to West Virginia. You can establish a home in several safe cities in the state, but you will have to research which area is most suitable for you.

As a result, violent crime is more prevalent in West Virginia than in the United States. Here, there are 5.78 incidents for every 1,000 people, versus 4.49 for Americans. Safewise reports that Grafton might not offer the best educational opportunities, but it is the safest place to live.

Bonus: Check out these fun facts about West Virginia:

  1. The New River Gorge Bridge near Fayetteville is the second highest steel arch bridge in the United States. The bridge is also the longest steel arch bridge (1,700 feet) in the world. Every October on Bridge Day, the road is closed, and individuals' parachutes and bungee cords jump 876 feet off the bridge. It is West Virginia's largest single-day event and attracts about 100,000 people each year.
  2. The first major land battle fought between Union and Confederate soldiers in the Civil War was the Battle of Philippi on June 3, 1861.
  3. One of the nation's oldest and largest Indian burial grounds is located in Moundsville. Its 69 feet high, 900 feet in circumference, and 50 feet tall. An inscribed stone was removed from the vault and displayed at the Smithsonian Institute in Washington, D.C.
  4. West Virginia's nickname is the Mountain State, and its motto is "Mountaineers Are Always Free."
  5. Some famous individuals from West Virginia include Pearl Buck (author), Peter Marshall (television host), Chuck Yeager (test pilot /Air Force General), Don Knotts (actor), Mary Lou Retton (Olympic gold medallist for gymnastics), and Kathy Mattea (country music singer).
  6. Forests cover nearly 75% of West Virginia.
  7. West Virginia covers about 24,000 square miles and has a population of about 1.8 million.
  8. 15% of the nation's total coal production comes from West Virginia.
  9. According to the crime index for 1997, West Virginia had the lowest crime rate in the country.
  10. West Virginia's Memorial Tunnel was the first in the nation to be monitored by television. It opened on November 8, 1954.

Please share your thoughts with us about the pros and cons of living in West Virginia! Hit the comment section below!


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