These Are The 10 Happiest Places In West Virginia

Chris Kolmar
by Chris Kolmar
Rankings - 2 years ago
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There’s a search that we are all on that dwarfs our job or career search — the search for happiness.

And as we all know, where we live and the job we have can all play a big part in our overall sense of contentment and happiness. For that reason, we took a dive into a the most recent census data to help you identify which places in West Virginia have the biggest smile of them all.

On our happy data journey, we settled on seven criteria to help determine which West Virginia places are the happiest. The criteria include things like having insurance, owning a home, and having a job.

As it turns out, life is all rainbows and butterflies in Cheat Lake, the happiest place in West Virginia.

Don’t start feeling sad, there’s plenty of happy to go around as life is still pretty sweet in the following “Happiest Places in the Mountain State”:

  1. Cheat Lake
  2. Bridgeport
  3. Teays Valley
  4. Hurricane
  5. Nitro
  6. South Charleston
  7. Vienna
  8. Pea Ridge
  9. Sissonville
  10. Brookhaven
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There’s Nothing We’d Rather Do Than Measure Happiness In The Mountain State

There’s a bunch of different studies out there that try to measure what makes people truly happy. And while we all know that money doesn’t buy happiness, it definitely removes anxieties and helps keep you healthy. It’s just that anything past about $70,000 a year doesn’t help as much.

So what else besides money contributes to your happiness? Well we think the following certainly do:

  • Being well educated (Population with at least a bachelor’s degree)
  • Having a job (As measured by the unemployment rate)
  • A short commute to work (God do people hate traffic)
  • Low cost of living
  • Having a family (Getting, and staying married, has a ton of happiness benefits, on average)
  • Owning a home (That’s a big plus)
  • And the poverty rate (Money definitely helps out)

That’s a ton of fun — and happiness — for the whole family, backed by science. The data all comes from the 2010-2014 American Community Survey.

After we decided on the criteria, we gathered the data for the 32 places in West Virginia with over 2,000 people.

We then ranked each place from one to 32 for each of the seven criteria with a score of one being the happiest (Any ties were given to the larger place).

Next, we averaged the seven rankings into a Happiness Index for each place with the lowest overall Index being crowned “Happiest Place In West Virginia”.

Read on for more happy information about the top ten or skip to the end to see a list of how every places in West Virginia ranked. Our apologies to New Martinsville which ranked 11th overall and just missed the list.

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1. Cheat Lake


Population: 9,220 People Who Own Their Home: 72.3%
Married Adults: 57.3%

2. Bridgeport

Bridgeport, West Virginia

Source: Flickr

Population: 8,316People Who Own Their Home: 72.7%
Married Adults: 58.1%

3. Teays Valley


Population: 13,461 People Who Own Their Home: 76.2%
Married Adults: 61.4%

4. Hurricane

Hurricane, West Virginia

Source: Wikipedia

Population: 6,352People Who Own Their Home: 68.7%
Married Adults: 51.4%

5. Nitro

Nitro, West Virginia

Source: Flickr

Population: 6,860People Who Own Their Home: 61.9%
Married Adults: 48.0%

6. South Charleston

South Charleston, West Virginia

Source: Wikipedia

Population: 13,380People Who Own Their Home: 63.9%
Married Adults: 46.6%

7. Vienna

Vienna, West Virginia

Source: Wikipedia

Population: 10,654People Who Own Their Home: 70.3%
Married Adults: 55.4%

8. Pea Ridge


Population: 6,321 People Who Own Their Home: 52.1%
Married Adults: 56.2%

9. Sissonville


Population: 5,017 People Who Own Their Home: 85.3%
Married Adults: 58.2%

10. Brookhaven


Population: 5,412 People Who Own Their Home: 71.4%
Married Adults: 47.3%

Detailed List Of Happiest Places In West Virginia

City Rank Population People Who Own Their Home Married Adults
Cheat Lake 1 9,220 72.3% 57.3%
Bridgeport 2 8,316 72.7% 58.1%
Teays Valley 3 13,461 76.2% 61.4%
Hurricane 4 6,352 68.7% 51.4%
Nitro 5 6,860 61.9% 48.0%
South Charleston 6 13,380 63.9% 46.6%
Vienna 7 10,654 70.3% 55.4%
Pea Ridge 8 6,321 52.1% 56.2%
Sissonville 9 5,017 85.3% 58.2%
Brookhaven 10 5,412 71.4% 47.3%
New Martinsville 11 5,322 63.0% 47.4%
Bluefield 12 10,465 54.9% 45.9%
Weirton 13 19,523 63.0% 47.6%
Cross Lanes 14 11,061 63.3% 46.1%
Charleston 15 50,911 53.0% 41.1%
Wheeling 16 28,129 53.5% 42.4%
Fairmont 17 18,746 57.7% 42.7%
Oak Hill 18 8,270 61.3% 45.9%
Charles Town 19 5,464 48.6% 57.5%
Clarksburg 20 16,437 55.2% 44.7%
Moundsville 21 8,960 60.5% 43.8%
Elkins 22 7,241 53.8% 42.5%
Dunbar 23 7,844 55.6% 41.0%
Parkersburg 24 31,195 52.4% 43.7%
Beckley 25 17,529 47.7% 41.2%
Buckhannon 26 5,646 49.6% 34.0%
Morgantown 27 30,133 33.9% 21.9%
Princeton 28 6,387 50.5% 41.0%
Huntington 29 49,053 43.6% 34.0%
Grafton 30 5,179 61.6% 35.3%
Keyser 31 5,350 40.9% 28.7%
Martinsburg 32 17,508 44.4% 40.4%