PARKERSBURG - An online site reviewing towns with declining populations has named Parkersburg one of the best places to live in America.
CNNMoney.com lists Parkersburg among the eight Best Shrinking Places to Live. The list reviews lost population data from the 2010 census. Parkersburg was seventh on the list. Wheeling was ranked sixth.
"The area has evolved into a slow-growth place and the core of it, within the city limits, has lost population in each of the past five decades," the review of Parkersburg states.
Parkersburg has seen a 5 percent population decline in the last decade.
Parkersburg Mayor Bob Newell said the city's inclusion on the list was no surprise. He borrowed an oft-used quote from Cecil Childress, general manager of the Blennerhassett Hotel.
"Cecil has a saying, 'If you're not from Parkersburg, you'll love us,'" Newell said. "We are a very safe town with very reasonable housing prices and a lot opportunities.
"Businesses still seem to be expanding and building," Newell said, referring to Wincore Windows, CVS Pharmacy and the expansion of West Virginia University at Parkersburg, and other new businesses.
"The town now is known for safe streets, affordable homes and a lively academic component," the online site states, citing WVU-P, Ohio Valley University and nearby Marietta College. Newell also added Mountain State College and National College to the list.
"They are exactly right," Newell said. "In Parkersburg alone there are plenty of educational opportunities."
Parkersburg has much in terms of amenities, the article said.
"The area reminds visitors of an earlier day. Pontoon boating and fishing on the Ohio River are popular with locals. It's in a transitional zone, climate wise and culturally, not quite the south but not the north either," according to the article.