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Morgantown, WV
MSA: Morgantown, WV
Best places ranking: #7 among small metro areas
Population: 118,506
Morgantown has the convenience of a city with the appeal of a small town. West Virginia University, which is Monongalia County's largest employer, generates much of the city's business activity. WVU's Business Incubator nurtures startups, and the university also provides clientele and an educated workforce.

Major retailers and restaurant chains have made inroads into Morgantown in the past five years. Still, local business owners say Morgantown remains a small, supportive community.

The one thing Morgantown lacks is a major airport. However, the city is not far from Pittsburgh, which lies 75 miles north, and Washington, D.C., is only a few hours' drive away. Local perks include abundant outdoor leisure activities, including white water rafting and hiking. -Christina Crapanzano

Launch Toolbox:
Resources for getting started in Morgantown, WV


Local smallbiz lenders

  • Huntington Bancshares Incorpor
  • BB&T Corporation
  • Main Street Financial Services
  • Freedom Bancshares
  • Superior Financial Group
See all local lenders

Morgantown Business Statistics
Employer establishments with 1-49 employees
2,616 3,516
Small business growth rate
2.6% 4.1%
State business tax climate ranking
(out of 50 states)
36 N/A
Percentage of population with bachelor's degree
(ages 25-34)
37.4% 23.5%
Violent crime
(rate per 100,000 inhabitants, 2007)
191 385.1
Property crime
(rate per 100,000 inhabitants, 2007)
2,386.3 3,395.2
Population growth
3.9% 4.93%
Per-capita income
$31,439 $31,933
Per-capita income growth
25.6% 23.6%
GDP (in millions)
$4,651 $4,952
GDP growth
46% 33%
Average hourly wage
$17 $17.50
Housing foreclosure rate
(first half of 2009, 1 per every X housing units)
2,362 850
Median rent
(2009, for a 2-bedroom housing unit)
$654 $737
Housing price-to-income (HPI) ratio
(first quarter of 2009)
1.9% 1.8%
Long-term HPI ratio
(20-year average, 1984-2004)
1.9% 1.7%
HPI deviation from long-term average
-1% 0.1%

All statistics are for the full Metropolitan Statistical Area. For a complete list of data sources, see "How we picked the Best Places."

From the November 2009 issue
"I love the atmosphere of Morgantown. It's vibrant and there's always a lot going on. There's also a lot of optimistic points of view about what can done here." -Jeff Carter
Best Places Winners
What do you think of Morgantown?
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Do you prefer a place that is: Small Medium Large
The factors that matter most to me are:
 Affordable wages  Few foreclosures
 Educated workers  Low housing costs
 Low crime  High local incomes
 A growing economy  Population growth
 Growing small business population

ireportTell us why: Low taxes? Talented workers? An active small business community? Send us your photos and videos, and you could be featured in our upcoming coverage of reader-picked Best Places to Launch. More
This year we partnered with the Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation to find the 50 most business-friendly communities in America.

With help from Robert Fairlie, an economist and leading scholar of entrepreneurship at the University of California, Santa Cruz, we developed a methodology and sifted through such data on factors such as per capita income, hourly wages, workforce quality, crime rates, taxes and foreclosures. More

Comments? E-mail the editors
Data partners

This package was produced in partnership with the Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation.

Foreclosure data provided by RealtyTrac.

Housing price-to-income data provided by Moody's