What’s the cost of living in West Virginia?

1 min readLast updated March 4, 2024by Rachel Carey

Wondering about the cost of living in West Virginia? This article summarizes everything you need to know, from tax rates to healthcare costs. 

When considering a move to a new state, understanding the cost of living is vital for effective budgeting and financial planning. If you’re planning a move to West Virginia, here are some current statistics related to the cost of living in the state that could help you make up your mind.    

The average cost of living in West Virginia 

West Virginia is home to over 1.7 million people and is one of the least expensive places in the US.  

According to some statistics, the state’s cost of living is 1.24 times less expensive than the national average.   

While according to data gathered in 2022 from MERIC, the Missouri Economic Research, and Information Center, the state ranks 9th in a list of states with the lowest to the highest cost of living. 

Housing costs in West Virginia 

As of March 2023, the average home value in West Virginia is estimated to be around $146,578, according to the Zillow Home Value Index as of March 2023. This is 44% of the typical US price and the lowest in the country overall.  

It’s important to note that housing prices can significantly differ across various regions within the state. Here are some examples of typical home prices based on Zillow's data: 

CityAverage Home Value
Charleston $158,247
Huntington $112,546
Morgantown $263,500
Parkersburg $133,835
Wheeling $131,592

The average price of rental apartments nationwide is $1,702. However, West Virginia apartments vary depending on which city you live in. For example, the average rent for a two-bedroom apartment in Charleston is $795. 

In addition, understanding these costs in relation to the average salary in West Virginia is crucial for realistic budgeting.

Utility costs in West Virginia 

Utility costs play a significant role in West Virginia's overall cost of living. According to Forbes, the average monthly cost is around $486.  

UtilityAverage cost in West Virginia
Energy bill $129.61
Monthly water bill $91
Internet $38
Natural gas $69
Phone bill $114
Streaming $44.50

Grocery and food costs in West Virginia 

When it comes to groceries and food costs, West Virginia generally aligns with prices found elsewhere in the United States.   

According to Zippia, those in Charleston pay $427 on average each month.   

According to 2021 data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the average spending on food at home is $5,259 annually, or about $438 per month for US households.   

Transportation costs in West Virginia 

Transportation costs, including gas prices and vehicle maintenance, impact West Virginia's overall cost of living.  

According to MIT, a single adult with no children can expect to pay upwards of $5,400. 

Gas prices in West Virginia are typically in and around the national average. West Virginia was around the national average at the time of writing. These prices fluctuate over time.   

It is also worth noting that prices can vary across different regions within the state.  

Healthcare costs in West Virginia 

Understanding healthcare expenses is crucial when considering the cost of living.  

The specific healthcare costs in West Virginia can vary depending on factors such as insurance coverage and individual circumstances. Therefore, it is advisable to research and consult with healthcare providers and insurance companies to obtain accurate cost estimates. 

MIT estimates:  

ScenarioAnnual healthcare expenditure
One adult, no children $3,375
One adult, one child $9,680
One adult, two children $9,690
Two adults (one working), no children $6,535
Two adults (one working), one child $9,690
Two adults (one working), two children $9,615
Two adults (two working), no children $6,535
Two adults (two working), one child $9,690
Two adults (two working), two children $9,615

Childcare costs in West Virginia 

Families in West Virginia currently pay around $9,384 per year for childcare for one child. This figure doubles for two children.   

However, it's important to note that this figure can vary across the state.  

Taxation in West Virginia 

West Virginia has a state income tax rate range of between 3% and 6.5%.  

Here's a comparison of income tax rates among some neighboring states:  

StateState Income Tax Rate
West Virginia 3% - 6.5% (graduated tax brackets)
Ohio 0% - 4.797% (graduated tax brackets)
Kentucky 2% - 5% (graduated tax brackets)
Virginia 2% - 5.75% (graduated tax brackets)
Pennsylvania 3.07% (flat tax rate)

The sales tax rate in West Virginia is currently 6%. However, it's important to note that additional local sales taxes may apply in certain areas, which can vary across the state. 

The bottom line

The amount of money needed to live comfortably in West Virginia can vary depending on location, lifestyle, family size, and personal preferences. However, as the most expensive state in the US, you may need more than you first think. 

It's essential to consider these factors, along with personal circumstances and preferences, when evaluating the cost of living in West Virginia. In addition, consulting with a financial advisor can provide valuable insights and assistance in managing expenses and financial planning. 

Whether you’re retirement planning or considering relocating to chase a new career, Unbiased can assist you with your move's financial ins and outs. Find the right advisor for your needs today. 

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Senior Content Writer

Rachel Carey

Rachel is a Senior Content Writer at Unbiased. She has nearly a decade of experience writing and producing content across a range of different sectors.