Best Arlington Suburbs To Live For 2020

We analyzed over 34 places around Arlington to identify the most in demand places to live.

Editor’s Note: Data has been updated for 2020. This is our sixth time ranking the best Arlington suburbs.

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Big city living isn't for everyone--but at the same time, urban areas certainly have their perks.

There's the culture, the food, the arts, the food, the energy, and you know, the food. But there are drawbacks. There's traffic, expensive parking, expensive housing--pretty much, expensive everything, depending on which big city you're looking at.

But that's where the suburbs come in--they have all of the benefits of being near big cities, without actually having to be big cities.

Of course, not all suburbs of Arlington are created equally, which is precisely why we set out to find the best ones. So without further ado...

What's the best suburb of Arlington? Falls Church ranks as the best suburb of Arlington for 2020 based on the most recent Census and FBI data. If you happen to be a resident of Falls Church, you're probably not too surprised to find it on the top our list.

We'll tell you what makes each of these 10 Arlington 'burbs better than the rest--but first, a bit about our methodology.

Note: This result may differ from our state wide data as we did not include commute times and crime for this analysis to allow for a larger selection of suburbs.
Or feel free to check out some more reading about Virginia:

The 10 Best Arlington Suburbs To Live For 2020

Falls Church, VA

Overall SnackAbility


Population: 14,067
Rank Last Year: 1 (No Change)
Median Income: $124,796
Unemployment Rate: 3.9%
Poverty Rate: 2.7%
More on Falls Church: Real Estate | Data | Photos

Falls Church is always mentioned as one of the best suburbs in the Arlington area. We'll tell you the good about "Awesome Falls Church."

Everyone here is rich; families average $124,796 a year, which is the 4th highest in the Arlington region. And only 3.87% are out of work. Homes average more than $757,300 each.

Overall SnackAbility


Population: 2,269
Rank Last Year: 2 (No Change)
Median Income: $122,847
Unemployment Rate: 1.0%
Poverty Rate: 3.2%
More on Kensington: Real Estate | Data

Kensington is the second best 'burb we looked at near Arlington for 2020.

It ranks 5th for incomes in the area and only 3.91% of residents lack insurance, good for 4th best.

Vienna, VA

Overall SnackAbility


Population: 16,488
Rank Last Year: 3 (No Change)
Median Income: $155,490
Unemployment Rate: 3.3%
Poverty Rate: 2.4%
More on Vienna: Real Estate | Data | Photos

Here in Vienna, it's really safe, and residents are just about as rich as you'll see in the Arlington metro area.

The bad side? Schools are more crowded, and the cost of living puts a large part of the city out of reach for most families.

But price is based on demand and a lot of people want to live in Vienna.

Review Of Vienna by HomeSnacks User

I have lived all over the country from the mid-west to up and down the coats and Vienna, VA has been our favorite place. Vienna is a Wonderful area where there is a bit of everything. Great place to raise kids in a small town environment while being just 20 minutes away from the nation's capital. Access to everything while being far away from the big city inconveniences that we all forget about.

It's a close knit community where neighbors know each other and take pride in their town. The community is involved in a lot of activity planning and involved deeply in keeping the town beautiful.

Poolesville, MD

Overall SnackAbility


Population: 5,170
Rank Last Year: 4 (No Change)
Median Income: $170,093
Unemployment Rate: 3.7%
Poverty Rate: 1.3%
More on Poolesville: Real Estate | Data | Photos

Poolesville ranks as the 4th best suburb of Arlington for 2020.

You won't find many better places to raise your kids in the region than in Poolesville and the schools are some of the best around.

University Park, MD

Source: Public domain
Overall SnackAbility


Population: 2,641
Rank Last Year: 5 (No Change)
Median Income: $137,868
Unemployment Rate: 3.9%
Poverty Rate: 13.2%
More on University Park: Real Estate | Data | Photos

Coming in as the fifth best is University Park.

University Park gets kudos for having the 9th most expensive homes in the Arlington area, where houses sell for an average of $468,100. However, the cost of living here is among the highest in the area.

Alexandria, VA

Overall SnackAbility


Population: 156,505
Rank Last Year: 6 (No Change)
Median Income: $96,733
Unemployment Rate: 3.3%
Poverty Rate: 10.6%
More on Alexandria: Real Estate | Data | Photos

Alexandria is proud of its 6th place finish on this list. And here's why.

Most residents have great jobs and the unemployment rate sits at 3.26% which is 4th best in the area.

According to online reports, Alexandria is quickly becoming one of the more affluent suburbs in the Arlington area, meaning you need to get in soon.

Review Of Alexandria by HomeSnacks User

No crime. At all. Just silly middle school and high school kids pulling pranks. Beautiful, charming city. 7 minutes to DC. Great schools. Great community. Educated people. Diverse.

Old Town is fun and beautiful, especially by the water. Good restaurants. Arlington is right next door, and it's a pretty awesome city, too.

Rockville, MD

Source: Public domain
Overall SnackAbility


Population: 67,062
Rank Last Year: 9 (Up 2)
Median Income: $105,376
Unemployment Rate: 4.6%
Poverty Rate: 6.6%
More on Rockville: Real Estate | Data | Photos

The 7th best suburb on our list goes to Rockville.

Rockville schools are some of the best in the region, and crime is really low. The cost of living makes it a lot more desirable for many families, especially first-time home buyers.

And, it's only 14.5 miles to downtown, which is a good thing.

Leesburg, VA

Source: Public domain
Overall SnackAbility


Population: 52,125
Rank Last Year: 10 (Up 2)
Median Income: $109,176
Unemployment Rate: 2.7%
Poverty Rate: 4.9%
More on Leesburg: Real Estate | Data | Photos

Leesburg is growing quickly, and for a good reason. Crime is far below average, and most residents are gainfully employed. Even the cost of living is reasonable.

A solid 9.29% of people lack insurance, good for 17th in the area.

Review Of Leesburg by HomeSnacks User

I live in Leesburg and downtown Leesburg, Va is a historic district. Also we just had a bunch of crime due to the illegal hispanics who live in the cheap apartments. Shouldn't even be in the top 10 happiest places to live.

Bowie, MD

Overall SnackAbility


Population: 58,368
Rank Last Year: 7 (Down 2)
Median Income: $112,444
Unemployment Rate: 5.8%
Poverty Rate: 3.1%
More on Bowie: Real Estate | Data | Photos

Is 'Everything Better In Bowie?'


It placed 9th on our list thanks to the fact that it's really expensive to live here, but the schools are great, so you get what you pay for in that regard.

Fairfax, VA

Overall SnackAbility


Population: 23,865
Rank Last Year: 8 (Down 2)
Median Income: $111,574
Unemployment Rate: 4.0%
Poverty Rate: 8.7%
More on Fairfax: Real Estate | Data | Photos

And rounding out the top ten for 2020 is Fairfax.

This city is far above average in every category, and the best part? It's far more affordable than the other cities listed above. So, you get a big bang for your buck here.

How We Determined The Best Suburbs Around Arlington for 2020

Figuring out the best suburbs around Arlington was pretty simple; we just needed to list several things that people like, and then find out which cities have the most of those things.

We threw a lot of criteria at this one in order to get the best, most complete results possible:

  • Low unemployment rate
  • High Median household incomes
  • Population density (lots of things to do)
  • High home values
  • A lot of college educated people
  • Low poverty
  • High rate of insured families

Then we used the newest American Community Survey data for 2014-2018 to research each suburb.

FYI: We defined a suburb as being within 30 miles of Arlington.

Additionally, we limited the analysis to places that have over 2,000 people. This left us with a grand total of 34 suburbs to evaluate around Arlington.

We ranked each place with scores from 1 to 34 in each category, where 1 was the "best.

Next, we averaged the rankings for each place to create a quality of life index.

And finally, we crowned the city with the best quality of life index the "Best Suburb near Arlington." We're lookin' at you, Falls Church. You can download the data here.

Read on below to learn more about what it's like to live in the best of the best. Or skip to the end to see the list of all the suburbs ranked from best to worst.

Welcome to the Best Arlington 'Burbs of 2020

We said it once and we'll say it again--life in the big city isn't for everyone. At least not all the time.

So if you're hankering for some of the amenities of a larger city like Arlington, but don't want to deal with the drawbacks, one of these suburbs might just be for you.

For more Virginia reading, check out:

Detailed List Of The Best Arlington Suburbs

Rank City Population Median Income
1 Falls Church, VA 14,067 $124,796
2 Kensington, VA 2,269 $122,847
3 Vienna, VA 16,488 $155,490
4 Poolesville, VA 5,170 $170,093
5 University Park, VA 2,641 $137,868
6 Alexandria, VA 156,505 $96,733
7 Rockville, VA 67,062 $105,376
8 Leesburg, VA 52,125 $109,176
9 Bowie, VA 58,368 $112,444
10 Fairfax, VA 23,865 $111,574
11 Takoma Park, VA 17,622 $86,439
12 Washington, VA 684,498 $82,604
13 Herndon, VA 24,520 $112,835
14 La Plata, VA 9,252 $83,656
15 Cheverly, VA 6,452 $98,056
16 Gaithersburg, VA 67,529 $86,427
17 Laurel, VA 25,834 $75,268
18 Glenarden, VA 6,170 $91,923
19 Brentwood, VA 3,468 $77,545
20 Berwyn Heights, VA 3,257 $103,676
21 Indian Head, VA 3,819 $62,279
22 College Park, VA 32,183 $67,081
23 Hyattsville, VA 18,209 $77,097
24 Forest Heights, VA 2,573 $81,042
25 Manassas, VA 41,457 $78,462
26 Mount Rainier, VA 8,110 $53,869
27 Manassas Park, VA 16,423 $80,667
28 Greenbelt, VA 23,203 $72,337
29 New Carrollton, VA 12,932 $65,164
30 Bladensburg, VA 9,397 $43,257
31 Seat Pleasant, VA 4,759 $54,821
32 Riverdale Park, VA 7,219 $72,500
33 Capitol Heights, VA 4,512 $71,317
34 Dumfries, VA 5,224 $60,076

How Is Your Town In ?

About Chris Kolmar

Chris Kolmar has been in the real estate business for almost ten years now. He originally worked for Movoto Real Estate as the director of marketing before founding HomeSnacks.

He believes the key to finding the right place to live comes down to looking at the data, reading about things to do, and, most importantly, checking it out yourself before you move.

If you've been looking for a place to live in the past several years, you've probably stumbled upon his writing already.

You can find out more about him on LinkedIn or his website.