This City Has Been Named the Worst City to live in West Virginia

West Virginia is a state with natural beauty, rich history, and diverse culture. However, not all places in the state are equally wonderful. Some cities in West Virginia face serious challenges such as poverty, crime, unemployment, and low quality of life. Based on various criteria such as median home value, median income, unemployment rate, poverty rate, and crime rate, one city stands out as the worst city to live in West Virginia: Bluefield.

Bluefield: A Former Coal Boomtown in Decline

Bluefield is a city located in the southernmost part of West Virginia, along the Virginia border. It has a population of 9,699, making it the 18th largest city in the state. Bluefield was once a thriving coal town, with a population of over 20,000 in 1940. It was known as the “Gateway to the Coalfields” and the “Air-Conditioned City” for its cool climate.

However, since the decline of the coal industry, Bluefield has suffered from economic and social problems. The unemployment rate in Bluefield is 8.1%, which is higher than the state average of 6.4% and the national average of 5.8%.

The median income in Bluefield is $39,677, which is lower than the state average of $48,850 and the national average of $62,843. The poverty rate in Bluefield is 24.9%, which is higher than the state average of 16.0% and the national average of 10.5%.

Bluefield also has a high crime rate, especially for violent crimes. The violent crime rate in Bluefield is 742 per 100,000 people, which is higher than the state average of 319 and the national average of 367. The property crime rate in Bluefield is 7,700 per 100,000 people, which is higher than the state average of 2,446 and the national average of 2,110. Bluefield ranks as the third most dangerous city in West Virginia, behind Beckley and Charleston.

Bluefield: A City with Few Prospects for the Future

Bluefield does not have much to offer for its residents or visitors. The city has a low quality of life, with few amenities, attractions, or opportunities. The city has a low educational attainment, with only 17.4% of adults having a bachelor’s degree or higher, compared to the state average of 21.1% and the national average of 32.6%.

The city has a low health index, with a high rate of obesity, diabetes, smoking, and premature death. The city has a low diversity index, with 87.5% of the population being white, 9.3% being black, and 3.2% being other races.

Bluefield does not have much hope for the future, either. The city has a negative population growth, with a 10.9% decrease from 2010 to 2019. The city has a low job growth, with a -0.6% change from 2019 to 2020, compared to the state average of -5.8% and the national average of -6.0%. The city has a low projected job growth, with a 0.9% change from 2020 to 2025, compared to the state average of 4.0% and the national average of 7.4%.

Conclusion

Bluefield is a city that has been named the worst city to live in West Virginia, based on various criteria such as median home value, median income, unemployment rate, poverty rate, and crime rate. Bluefield is a former coal boomtown that has been in decline for decades, facing economic and social problems.

Bluefield is a city that has few prospects for the future, with low quality of life, low educational attainment, low health index, low diversity index, negative population growth, low job growth, and low projected job growth. Bluefield is a city that needs urgent intervention and revitalization, or else it will continue to be the worst city to live in West Virginia.

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