Morgantown, WV Crime Rate & Statistics [2024 Updated]

Morgantown is home to West Virginia University. The scenic city is prized for its art museum, sculpture garden, old-growth forest, and spring wildflowers. Nearby Cheat Lake is a popular destination for locals and visitors alike due to its beautiful beaches and shoreline trail. Anyone living or visiting this city may be curious about the Morgantown, WV, crime rate and what types of crime are common in this city.

Crime Rates in Morgantown

Overall, Morgantown earns a C- for crime and public safety. A crime occurs once every 18 minutes on average here. The ranking places Morgantown in the 31st percentile. This means that 69% of cities are safer than Morgantown, and 31% of cities are more dangerous. With a crime rate of 37 per 1000 residents (meaning 37 out of 1,000 residents will experience a crime every year), locals consider the northeast portion of the city to be the safest.

Like other major cities, the chances of experiencing a crime range dramatically based on which part of the city you are in. Some neighborhoods have crime rates as high as one in 12 while others are as low as one in 54.

Violent crime rates have an overall rate of 3.6 in Morgantown.

  • Assault (2.4)
  • Robbery (.8)
  • Rape (.36)
  • Murder (.03)

Property crime rates are 20.67 per 1,000 residents.

  • Theft (16.21)
  • Vehicle theft (.33)
  • Burglary (3.6)
  • Arson (.5)

Other crime rates in Morgantown include

  • Kidnapping (.109)
  • Drug crimes (1.04)
  • Vandalism (10.44)
  • Identity theft (1.17)
  • Animal cruelty (.07)

West Virginia Crime Rates

In the first quarter of 2024, the Mountain State’s violent crime rate saw a decrease from 3.6 per 1,000 to 3.1. Property crime rates in West Virginia dropped significantly, down 26%. Overall, West Virginia has a lower crime rate than the rest of the nation.

Recent crime-related statistics from West Virginia include:

  • 54% of West Virginians reported feeling safe
  • 22% of West Virginians reported a property crime
  • 16% of all property crimes involve burglaries
  • 47% of West Virginians said they added security measures recently

The five safest cities in West Virginia are Grafton, Weirton, Buckhannon, Bridgeport, and Fairmount.

Tips for Reducing Your Chances of Becoming a Crime Victim

Crime isn’t inevitable. Individuals can take proactive steps to protect themselves and their property. These basic steps include reducing opportunities to make you a target. One example would be not signaling that you have valuable property to others. If you are heading into unfamiliar territory, dress modestly and avoid flashing cash or other signs of valuables.

Stay aware of your environment. If you are walking in a dim or dark environment, stay off your phone if possible. Thieves and other criminals rely on victims to be distracted, and phones are a common distraction these days. If something feels off, trust your instincts. Never be embarrassed that you decided not to walk down a particular road if something feels off.

Make your schedule with safety in mind. This may mean that your itinerary gets you back home by sunset. The general rule for handling a robbery is to give up the property rather than place your life in jeopardy. Report the crime to the police as soon as possible. This may help the police apprehend the assailant so no one else becomes their victim again.

Stick to well-lit streets and well-populated areas. Any area that is deserted could be concealing would-be robbers. If you are attacked or robbed, there will be no witnesses or bystanders to help.

Many crimes, like pickpocketing, tend to pick up during late summer and early fall. Backpacks make for easy targets. Consider carrying bags in front of you and valuables in your front pockets. You may not notice that you were robbed if you keep your valuables in your back pocket.


Q: Is Morgantown, West Virginia, a Good Place to Live?

A: Morgantown, West Virginia, is a great place to live and start a business. Whether you are visiting for a conference at the Waterfront Place Hotel or attending a WVU football game, this city has something for everyone. The Mountain Line Transit makes it easy to travel throughout and around the city. Locals and tourists love the Morgantown History Museum, Monongalia Arts Center, and Metropolitan Theatre. Many locals feel perfectly safe living here.

Q: What City in West Virginia Has the Lowest Crime Rate?

A: As of 2024, Grafton is the safest city in West Virginia. This is based on the number of crimes committed in the city relative to the overall population. Other cities that are known to be very safe include Weirton, Buckhannon, Charles Town, and Bridgeport. West Virginia is considered to be one of the safer states in the country, and crime rates in the state are trending down.

Q: Where Does West Virginia Rank in Crime?

A: West Virginia performs quite well in the overall crime rankings among the 50 states. For violent crime, West Virginia ranks 13th, meaning that 37 states are less safe. West Virginia is the sixth-lowest for property crimes. Polling finds that many people in West Virginia feel very safe in their communities.

Q: Is West Virginia Becoming More or Less Safe?

A: General crime rates are trending down in West Virginia. The Mountain State is already one of the safer states in the country. This includes violent and property crimes that require defendants to hire an attorney. The percentage of West Virginians who feel safe and secure in their homes is higher than the national average. West Virginia is ranked lower for property crime rates than violent crimes.

Schedule Your Morgantown Criminal Defense Consultation Today

With great museums and sporting complexes, Morgantown is a great city to live and work. By avoiding dangerous pockets of the city at night, you can reduce the chances that you will become the victim of a crime. Overall, West Virginia ranks as a safe state to live in, and crime rates across many areas continue to drop.

If you were recently charged with a crime, having an experienced attorney can help you reduce the potential penalties for your case. The attorneys at Meadows Law PLLC are here to help protect your rights and advocate for your interests. Contact our office today to schedule your consultation.

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