Do You Know Why Bluefield is Considered the Worst City to Live in West Virginia?

Bluefield, West Virginia, a city with a rich history, today faces significant social and economic challenges, contributing to its designation as a challenging place to live in the state. This comprehensive analysis draws upon multiple sources to provide a detailed picture of the city’s current state.

History and Demographics

Historical Context: Once a thriving coal town, Bluefield was known as the “Gateway to the Coalfields.” Its population peaked at over 20,000 in 1940, but with the decline of the coal industry, the city faced deindustrialization and economic stagnation.

Population Dynamics: As of 2023, Bluefield’s population stood at around 9,700, marking a slight decrease from the previous year. The demographic composition is predominantly White (Non-Hispanic) at 66.3%, followed by Black or African American (Non-Hispanic) at 23.5%.

Economic Overview

Income and Employment: The median household income in 2021 was $39,677, showing an 11.3% increase from 2020, yet still below the state average. The unemployment rate in the city is higher than the state’s average, contributing to economic challenges​​

Real Estate: The median home value in Bluefield is notably lower than the national average, at $78,100 compared to $244,900 nationally. This reflects the economic challenges in the area.

Social Challenges

Crime Rate: Bluefield has a significantly higher crime rate compared to national averages, with violent crimes like assault and murder being notably higher.

Poverty and Quality of Life: The city’s poverty rate is nearly double the state average, and other quality of life indicators such as education and health also lag behind state averages.

Positive Aspects and Rankings

Despite these challenges, Bluefield also has positive attributes:

Diversity and Retirement: It ranks as one of the most diverse places in West Virginia and is considered a favorable place for retirement.

Community Feels: Residents experience a sparse suburban feel, and the majority of them own their homes, indicating a stable community aspect.


Bluefield’s journey from a thriving coal town to its current state is emblematic of many small towns in America facing the aftermath of industrial decline. While it grapples with high crime rates, economic challenges, and social issues, the city also possesses a diverse community and favorable aspects for retirees, offering a mixed picture of life in this part of West Virginia.

Do you have any idea about the incident that happened a few days ago:

Leave A Reply

Your email address will not be published.