Located in the heart of Southern West Virginia along the Appalachian Mountains, Beckley is the epitome of small-town America. Founded in the 1800s, this city is home to many natural attractions and historic sites.
It's also a growing community with many new businesses coming to the area. It has a thriving Main Street, plenty of vintage and antique stores, and a fair share of both chain and locally-owned restaurants. This city is perfect for those looking for a laid-back, small-town experience. It's an excellent place to live, work, and raise a family.
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With a population of 17,348, Beckley is a medium-sized town that's ranked among the top places to live in West Virginia. Demographics in Beckley are mostly white (70.32%), African American (23.95%) and Asian (2.66%). The median age here is 40.3 and residents tend to lean conservative. Raleigh County residents voted republican in the last five presidential elections.
The median home value here is $115,300, and more than half of the homes here are less than $100,000. Most of Beckley's home owners don't carry a mortgage. Fifty-seven% of residents here own their homes and those who don't, pay an average monthly rent of $665. Browse the newest real estate listings in Beckley, WV.
Beckley's high school graduation rate is 3% higher than the state of West Virginia and schools here offer a student/teacher ratio of 13 to 1. The top public schools here are Crescent Elementary School, Park Middle School, Maxwell Hill Elementary School, Stanaford Elementary School, and Cranberry-Prosperity Elementary School.
Beckley is also home to WVU Tech, which offers engineering programs and STEM majors as well as a wide array of sports. The area is also home to the University of Charleston, Valley College, New River Community & Technical College, and Appalachian Bible College.
In December of 2018, Beckley was ranked the Least Expensive Place to Live in the United States by Business Insider Magazine. The cost of goods and services here are approximately 4/5 less than the United States Average. The median household income here is $37,284 and the per capita income is $25,292.
Outdoor activities make up a big part of the local job opportunities, with 7% of the population working in mining, agriculture, fishing, hunting, and forestry. Just over 26% of the population works in education, healthcare, and social assistance. The most popular occupations here are physician assistant, family nurse practitioner, and office manager. The area's largest employers are Appalachian Regional, Healthcare, Inc., Beckley VA Medical Center, and West Virginia University Institute of Technology.
Locals love spending time outdoors, enjoying everything from hiking and mountain climbing to whitewater rafting. Beckley also has its own coal mine, although it's not currently in service. Visitors can go on a mine car tour 1,500 below ground. The tour, guided by veteran miners, is a popular tourist attraction.
Beckley is also known for its focus on arts and culture. Some favorite local attractions include Theatre West Virginia, Beckley Art Center, Beckley Concert Association, and Wildwood House Museum. The area also hosts many events and festivals like Chili Night, Appalachian Festival, Beckley Kids Classic Festival, Veteran's Day and Christmas parades, and much more.
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