5 Most Dangerous Places In West Virginia

It is surprising to note that the historically rich and culturally endowed State of West Virginia has some of the most dangerous towns in the world! With tourism contributing a major part of its economy, travelers are not completely safe here. It is always better to go prepared than to gain a sour experience from a trip so here’s a list of the most risky areas in West Virginia.

1. Beckley

Source: Flickr

John James Beckley, the first Librarian of Congress and Clerk of the House of Representatives, was honored by having the town of Beckley named after him. However, having such a respectable history did not stop the region from transforming into a crime hub. On the list of West Virginia’s most dangerous towns, Beckley stands at the top. With 16,234 residents, Beckley reports 147 violent crimes in total, including three murders and non-negligent manslaughters, 24 rapes, 11 robberies, and 109 aggravated assaults. Property crime totals 836, with theft and larceny accounting for 669 of those crimes.

2. Dunbar

Source: Wikimedia Commons

Dunar’s beauty, which had previously inspired films and stunned travelers, has unfortunately fallen into the shadow of crime. Before the arrival of glass and bottling operations, the area was a rural farming settlement. Hence, Dunbar became a tiny but active town. Unfortunately, many people lost their jobs as the companies closed, and as history has witnessed, unemployment breeds transgression.

 In Dunbar which is a city of 7,262, there were forty-four violent crimes committed in 2018. Out of the reported incidents, one was murder/non-negligent manslaughter, three were rapes, and forty were aggravated assault. There were 299 property offenses in total, most of which were thefts. 


Source: Wikimedia Commons

Parkersburg is the fourth-largest city in West Virginia, home to 29,749 people. It serves as the county seat of West Virginia’s Wood County. Parkersburg used to be the Ohio Valley’s main industrial hub, producing iron, tools, chemicals, glass, and rayon. Home to gymnast Harold Newhart, it used to be a very culturally rich area.

More than 20 percent of its people live in poverty today. Parkersburg’s safety rank, according to Crime Grades, is in the 25th percentile. The city saw 1,706 crimes in total the previous year. There were 1,154 property crimes and 137 violent crimes.


Source: Flickr

The city of Wheeling sits on the Ohio River and has a population of around 27,000 people. Approximately 60 miles separate it from Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. Industrial and cultural activity in the city was booming before the Great Depression. Their creation of cut nails and dungarees made the place globally known. 

But as industrial industries closed, Wheeling suffered, just like many other big American cities.862 assaults, 7.7 homicides, and 46 robberies were reported for every 100,000 inhabitants in the most recent reports.  

5. Huntington 

Source: Wikimedia Commons

Huntington is home to the second busiest inland port in the country, and it has a population of 49,000. The community has benefited from its Ohio River position by offering industrial commodities that are conveniently carried by cargo boats. But it’s shocking to know that this important US region is brutally crime-infested.

In Huntington, where 25% of the population lives in poverty, there are 42 crimes committed for every 1,000 residents. For a city of this size, this is one of the highest crime rates in the United States.