This City Has Been Named the Worst City to live in West Virginia
Despite being recognized for its magnificent natural landscapes, diverse cultures, and historical significance, West Virginia continues to contend with inequitable living conditions within its urban areas. While certain regions prosper, others encounter substantial obstacles such as destitution, criminal activity, unemployed individuals, and a diminished standard of living. Recent data from the FBI and other credible sources identify the city of Bluefield as the most difficult place to live in the Mountain State.
Bluefield: A Declining City
Nestled in Mercer County near the Virginia boundary, Bluefield is the fourteenth most populous city in West Virginia with a population of 9,699 people. In 1940, its population surpassed 20,000, signifying its peak as a prosperous coal metropolis. The city’s pleasant climate earned it the appellation “Air-Conditioned City” and the designation “Gateway to the Coalfields.”
Due to the decline of the coal industry, Bluefield’s financial situation deteriorated significantly. As a result of deindustrialization, outmigration, and economic stagnation, the city is beset by a number of social and economic issues, which make it a difficult place to reside.
The Difficulties of Bluefield
The most recent FBI crime report designates Bluefield as the most perilous municipality in the state of West Virginia. The municipality exhibits a violent crime rate of 1,535 incidents per 100,000 inhabitants, which is over twice the average rate for the state (761). Additionally, property crime is abnormally prevalent in Bluefield, surpassing the state average of 6,077 incidents per 100,000 residents at a rate of 7,507 per 100,000. The probability of being the target of a violent crime for Bluefield residents is 1 in 65, while the probability of falling victim to a property crime is 1 in 13.
Additionally, the municipality grapples with enduring destitution and unemployment. The rate of poverty in Bluefield is 29.8%, which is approximately double the state average of 15.8%. The city’s unemployment rate of 8.1% is higher than the statewide average of 6.4%. The median household income in Bluefield is recorded at $39,677, a figure that is lower than the statewide average of $48,850. In the same way, Bluefield’s median residence value of $78,100 is less than the average for the state, which is $124,600.
Indicators of quality of life in Bluefield also pose difficulties with regard to the environment, health, and education. At 83%, the city’s high school graduation rate is comparatively lower than the state average of 90%. The average life expectancy in Bluefield is 73 years, which is lower than the 76-year average for the state. The air quality index in the city is 58, which is lower than the average of 50 for the state.
Bluefield, due to the consequences of the declining coal industry and other associated elements, contends with heightened levels of crime, destitution, unemployment, and a diminished standard of living. According to the extensive data presented, Bluefield has been designated as the most arduous municipality to reside in across the state of West Virginia.