Most Dangerous Cities in West Virginia: Top 5 Revealed

May 25, 2024

most dangerous cities in West Virginia

West Virginia, known for its stunning landscapes and outdoor activities, also harbors some cities with daunting crime rates. Here’s a look at the top five most dangerous cities in the state, based on 2019 FBI data. For full details, you can check out the FBI's Uniform Crime Reporting Program.

5. Charleston

As the capital and largest city of West Virginia, Charleston bears significant cultural and economic relevance, but it's also riddled with crime. In 2019, Charleston reported a crime rate of 63.4 violent crimes per 1,000 people, including various incidents of assaults and robberies. The city's bustling activities contribute to its high crime statistics, making it less safe compared to many other areas in the state. Property crimes are also rampant here, reflecting an elevated risk for theft and vandalism. Despite its charm and attractions, Charleston strongly warrants caution for both residents and visitors.

4. Beckley

Beckley, a historically significant coal-mining town, struggles with its crime rates. In 2019, the city reported 1,045 crimes, including several violent incidents such as murders and assaults. The crime rate positions Beckley in the 19th percentile for safety, meaning 81% of other U.S. cities are safer. Economic decline tied to the reduction in coal demand and associated unemployment has exacerbated the issue. Despite its beautiful surroundings and active community, precautions are essential when visiting Beckley.

3. South Charleston

South Charleston, although industrially prosperous, also faces considerable crime challenges. The city has a crime rate that is 103% higher than the national average. In 2019, South Charleston recorded 47 violent crimes and 577 property crimes. Its relatively small population magnifies the impact of these statistics, making the risk to residents notably significant. While the city thrives economically, the high crime rate remains a pressing concern that necessitates ongoing community and law enforcement efforts.

2. Martinsburg

Martinsburg, once a prosperous railroad industry hub, now faces economic hardships and high crime rates. In 2019, the city reported 83 violent crimes and 725 property crimes. The crime rate in Martinsburg is significantly higher than in similarly sized cities, placing it in the top tier of dangerous places in West Virginia. The economic decline, coupled with high unemployment rates, fuels the troubling crime statistics. It's crucial for residents and visitors to be vigilant and cautious while in Martinsburg.

1. Huntington

Huntington emerges as the most dangerous city in West Virginia, with alarming crime statistics. The city's status as a key Port of Huntington-Tri-State does not shield it from high crime rates. In 2019, Huntington reported 320 violent crimes and over 1,600 property crimes. The economic activities and the busy lifestyle contribute to these troubling numbers. The city also struggles with a high poverty rate, which exacerbates the criminal activities. As a visitor or resident, exercising heightened caution is crucial in Huntington.

Crime Rates per 1,000 People in West Virginia's Most Dangerous Cities (2019)
City Violent Crime Rate Property Crime Rate
Charleston 63.4 Not specified
Beckley Not specified Not specified
South Charleston 47.0 577.0
Martinsburg 83.0 725.0
Huntington 320.0 1,600.0

When exploring these cities, it's essential to stay informed and take necessary precautions. For a broader perspective on safety and crime data, visit the FBI's Uniform Crime Reporting Program. For more insights and travel tips, check our main page at Urban Splatter.

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David Sunnyside
As the co-founder of Urban Splatter, I merge my engineering expertise with digital marketing savvy to offer fresh perspectives on architecture and design. My technical background ensures our content's precision, while my dedication to meditation brings a mindful approach to our bustling digital presence. Join me in exploring the artistry and analytics of building spaces at Urban Splatter.

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