Another statewide survey from a national agency ranked successful communities in West Virginia earlier this month.
This time, we learned where the best places to live in the Mountain State are. But is there more to the picture than what survey reveals?
Anytime we see a survey ranking “The best places to live in West Virginia” or “The best schools in West Virginia” or “The best places to raise a family in West Virginia,” we can almost tell you what communities will be on the list without even looking.
St. Albans, Hurricane, Nitro and South Charleston always seem to do well in the surveys. For instance, the latest survey reveals the “Top 10 Best Places to Live in West Virginia.” Below are the results.
1.) St. Albans
3.) Teays Valley
5.) Pea Ridge
6.) South Charleston
Out of 380 towns analyzed, the national website concluded communities in Kanawha and Putnam counties are some of the best places to live in the West Virginia. We sorta figured as much.
St. Albans grabbed the No. 1 spot; Teays Valley the No.3 spot; South Charleston the No. 6 spot and Hurricane the No. 8 spot.
Population density, unemployment rate, adjusted median income, housing vacancy rate, education, commute time, crime and weather made up the criteria for the rankings. St. Albans ran away from the pack with its scores in population density, housing vacancy, media income and its variety of parks and community organizations.
It’s no surprise five out the top 10 best places to live in West Virginia span from Charleston to Hurricane in the latest survey. The same towns that showed up in this recent study have showed up in others, and they’ll more than likely continue to show up in future ones.
Cities in Kanawha and Putnam counties are no stranger to national and statewide recognition as being the best communities in West Virginia. During the past few years, cities and towns in these two counties have gained consistent notoriety.
Last autumn, Nerdwallet, a national website, ranked Nitro as the No.2 best place in West Virginia for home ownership. Hurricane came in at No. 3 and Cross Lanes No. 6.
Last month, US News released its list of best schools in the state. Schools in Putnam and Kanawha counties scored very well.
George Washington, Winfield and Hurricane high schools made the top 5 positions. The year before, Nitro earned a top 10 spot with its high school.
In 2013, Hurricane, Nitro and South Charleston earned honors in the “Top 10 Best Places in West Virginia for Young Families.”According to the survey, these three communities are affordable places that continue to prosper.
One thing about these random surveys we notice (other than the fact that the majority of them are conducted by folks who do not live in West Virginia) is that winning cities and towns are consistent. When one of them shows up on a top 10 list for best schools, that same community often shows up on a top 10 list for best places to live or best places to raise a family etc… Coincidence? We doubt it.
We believe this proves that successful communities in West Virginia will need to have a top-notch education system, affordable living, strong housing market, solid economy, various community events and more. These seem to be what folks consistently look for when moving to a new town or city in West Virginia.
If knowledge is power, then we should use this information to show home buyers and home sellers that the housing market in both Kanawha and Putnam counties is in demand and succesful.
Summer 2015 has proven itself to be a sellers’ market in West Virginia. Let’s give home buyers another reason to purchase a home in the Mountain State.