Why Stay in West Virginia?

Date Written by Jason Keeling on May 23, 2014

#WhyIStay Photo from @SPowellHenningA relatively small percentage of West Virginians say they would like to move away, while some states across the nation, like Maryland and New Jersey, are much more likely to see people leave, according to a recent Gallup poll.

With this in mind, West Virginia Public Broadcasting decided to question what factors influence people to maintain residence here. The exploration was not scientific in nature, but simply anecdotal, and participants were asked to offer their insights via the social networks of Instagram and Twitter, using photography and the #WhyIStay “hashtag,” which allows for responses to be easily tracked.

The feedback has been composed into an interactive map, and it reveals various reasons people stay, such as “family, roots, community, authenticity”; “country is good for the body, heart and soul”; “the family farm”; and there were numerous references to the state’s majestic outdoors, including places such as Coopers Rock, Canaan Valley, Dolly Sods and state parks.

So readers, feel free to chime in via social media or leave a blog comment here. Why do you stay in West Virginia?

- Photo by @SPowellHenning via Instagram -

4 Responses to “Why Stay in West Virginia?”

  1. Janet Smart said:

    It’s where my roots are. My ancestors stayed here and so will I. I love the people, the beautiful land and the heart and soul of our state. “My people were drawn to the hills and here I will always be.”

  2. Lisa McCue said:

    We didn’t want to move, but things got so bad that we decided to come out west for awhile. We’re still homesick after eight years and hope to come back some day. I miss so many things about WV, the list is too long to put here.

  3. Elizabeth Gaucher said:

    I actually have a #WhyILeft piece coming out on a literary project June 1. I’ll post it here for friendly banter. :) Great to see you back! You know I lurve your blog. :)

  4. betsy said:

    My daughter and her family live in Ballard. We certainly did enjoy visiting them. They have a small veggie and chicken farm. The apples and peaches they grow there are so sweet and good. Beautiful area and want to explore more. We plan to go back to get some fishing in.
    I think that more people should visit and love t West Virginia for the beautiful state it is with some wonderful farms and produce and great fishing.

Leave a Reply

XHTML: You can use these tags: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>