Charleston, West Virginia, is a relatively small town with a population of approximately 50,000. No matter which neighborhood you choose to live in, everything is close to you!
Some suburban communities are also very close to Charleston’s city limits and offer an outstanding level of convenience. Charleston is the capital city of West Virginia, so there are more opportunities for employment in this town than in others in the state.
Best Charleston Suburbs For Black Families
Several of the communities near Charleston are excellent for black families. Both West Side and South Hills are communities where families live happy, fulfilled lives.
West Virginia has developed an incentive program for people to move to the state in the past two years, specifically targeting people who have the flexibility to work from home. Under the incentive program, people who move to West Virginia will receive $12,000 and annual passes for whitewater rafting, golf, rock climbing, and other outdoor recreational sports.
The incentive program is an excellent opportunity for families to take advantage of, if eligible.
The West Side community is located across the Elk River from Charleston’s City Center. West Side is a growing residential area.
The Luna Park Historic District is on the West Side, where over 400 homes are listed on the National Register of Historic Places. Additionally, Magic Island Park is a fun family destination that is great for kids of all ages; it includes a splash pad, picnic area, and walking trails.
About 10,000 people call the West Side neighborhood home. However, real estate in the area is immediately available. Unfortunately, since 2019 about thirty percent of the homes in this community have sat vacant.
The West Side is a great place to raise a family. It is adjacent to the town’s city center but also holds its own neighborhood jewels.
Charleston is situated among the mountains, so the view from South Hills is stunning. Located near the city’s train station, the community is accessible for travel and a quiet location to relax and absorb the natural beauty of West Virginia.
George Washington High School is located in South Hills; it is a public school that opened in 1964 and still serves the community’s youth.
Homes are diverse in this neighborhood and include an array of older and newer residences. Bridge Road runs through South Hills and is connected to the South Bridge, allowing passage back and forth over the river.
Best Charleston Neighborhoods For Black Singles & Young Professionals
Charleston and its surrounding neighborhoods are great for young black professionals and black singles seeking to boost their careers and engage in various social activities.
Real estate prices are relatively low in Charleston, West Virginia, so many first-time homebuyers can get a big bang for their buck. Neighborhoods surrounding Charleston offer a plethora of freestanding houses and rental apartments.
Specifically, more apartments are settled near the City Center, and historic homes are located in the West and East Ends. Furthermore, the South Hills neighborhood offers fewer rental properties and is composed of primarily single-family homes.
City Center | Historic District
The City Center neighborhood runs Capitol Street down to the river and is also considered Charleston’s historic district. Haddad Riverfront Park is located within the historic district, which hosts many events throughout the year, including the Live on the Levee concert series.
Kanawha Boulevard runs along the river across City Center. It ends at the steps of the West Virginia State Capitol Building, where lawmakers meet annually to discuss important legislation and pass the state’s budget.
City Center offers a robust nightlight and has various bars and restaurants to enjoy. Every block of this neighborhood offers a new and unique experience with cultural hotspots, historical markers, and proximate river views.
East End abuts City Center and is also located along Kanawha Boulevard, closer to the capitol building. The West Virginia State Capitol dome is eye-catching with its gold metallic dome.
The community still benefits from its proximity to the downtown bustle of socializing and activities but moves at a slower pace. The homes in the East End are historical, so a stroll to admire the outstanding architecture is an excellent and calming outing.
The West Virginia State Museum is positioned in the East End and has preserved and showed the state’s history since the late 1800s.
The City Center community through the East End neighborhood is perfect for young professionals or single people interested in living and working in Charleston, West Virginia.
What is Charleston Demographic?
Over the past decade, the population of Charleston, West Virginia, has slightly declined. However, Charleston is the largest city in the state. Currently, the average age of a resident in Charleston is about forty-two years old.
The demographic breakdown of the city is about 77 percent white, 16 percent black or African American, 2 percent Asian, with an additional 5 percent identifying as other. About 8 percent of the population of Charleston classify themselves as veterans of the United States military.
As of 2019, just over half of the population of Charleston, about 56 percent, owned their home, and the average property value was about $146,000. The average cost to rent a house or apartment is about $750. Most people in the city own a car as well.
Is Charleston Safe?
Charleston is safer than the national average. Residents of Charleston consider the south side of the city to be the safest location. However, this data might be a bit misleading. Because most retail stores are located in City Center, a higher crime rate exists due to increased visitors during the day.
The city’s most common type of crime is property crime; Charleston has a meager violent crime rate. Overall, Charleston is a relatively safe city compared to other towns about its size.
What are the Pros and Cons of Living in Charleston?
There are numerous advantages to living and working in Charleston including the college town vibe, the incredible natural landscape, and the easy access to a high-quality airport.
First, Charleston is a college town. West Virginia University offers clinical instruction for the medical and dental schools in Charleston. Additionally, the University of Charleston is located alongside the Kanawha River near the West Virginia State Capitol. Other colleges in the area include West Virginia State University, the South Charleston campus of Bridge Valley Community and Technical College, and Marshall University.
Second, the city and state are surrounded by natural beauty and copious opportunities for outdoor recreation. The Appalachian Mountains are prominent throughout West Virginia, and in Charleston, the Kanawha River is a key feature of the cityscape. If you enjoy hiking, canoeing, kayaking, or other outdoorsy activities, Charleston, West Virginia, could be the perfect location for you and your family.
Finally, travel from Charleston is convenient. Yeager Airport is about three miles east of downtown Charleston, and major airlines like American, Delta, and Spirit all touch down in the city. Travel for work or fun is easy from Charleston.
However, some disadvantages exist as well. For example, the job market is struggling throughout the state since, historically, West Virginia relied on jobs provided via the coal industry. However, if you have a career that enables you to work remotely, West Virginia offers incentives to relocate!
Top Charleston Neighborhoods For Black Families, Conclusion
Charleston, West Virginia, is an excellent option if you want to relocate to a small, charming town with a penchant for state politics and great views of mountains and rivers.
With its low cost of living, buying or renting a home in the state is affordable, which adds to the list of benefits for growing families or young black professionals just beginning a career. Opportunities are everywhere in the Mountain State – start your own business, enjoy the outdoors while working from home, or engage with the state legislature in your backyard!