With one of the fastest-growing economies of any state in the country, West Virginia is rapidly developing into a destination for those looking for affordable homes and low business costs. The reasonable cost of living and short commutes to work make 1- and 2-bedroom apartments attractive options for career-minded individuals. The folksy Appalachian culture, together with some top-notch schools, also makes West Virginia a comfortable place for families and retirees.
Kanawha County, containing the capital city of Charleston, is the most populous county in West Virginia. The area is notable for its many annual fairs and events, including dance festivals and celebrations of the local artistic community. Multiple rivers run through the county, creating opportunities for boating and kayaking. To the west, Cabell County, bordering Ohio along the Ohio River, is rich with a diversity of culture and heritage, having developed at a crossroads of the American north and south. The Downtown Huntington Historic District has plenty of sights dating back to the 19th century. The county is also recognized for its college sports scene, which includes the highly ranked Huntington Prep basketball team and the many famed athletics programs at Marshall University. To the north, Monongalia County is home to West Virginia University, the state's largest public post-secondary institution, which consists of multiple campuses linked together by the first-of-its-kind automated Personal Rapid Transit (PRT) system.
West Virginia is an energy hub, known for its production of national resources, including natural gas, oil and, most notably, coal. Several energy and utility companies rank among the top employers in the state. There are also high concentrations of chemical and biotech companies, making West Virginia a world leader in these sectors. Tourism has become an even bigger industry, with the state's skiing destinations, forests and parks, hotels and casinos, historic buildings and festivals creating many business and employment opportunities. Positions can also be found in healthcare and education. Retail jobs are plentiful, with Walmart ranking as the state's single largest employer.