These Are The 10 Best Places To Raise A Family In Virginia For 2018


We used science and data to determine which cities in Virginia have the best set up for children: a lot to do, good schools, and no crime.

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If you’re like the rest of us, you’re looking for the perfect place for your family. But you have a strict criteria; the city has to be safe, affordable, and stimulating. Basically, the place you move – or even visit – has to be outright perfect.

Is that attainable? Perhaps not, but we’ll get you as close as we can.

Promise.

According to the United States Census, the number of American families who move is trending downwards Why is that? Perhaps it has to do with the ‘safety net’ factor: We get comfortable where we live, and we’re afraid to try a new move. What if the schools are bad? What if it’s dangerous?

Well, we can pretty much guarantee that if you choose the cities we’re mentioning below, you won’t lose any sleep whatsoever.

So, where are the best cities for families in Virginia? We’ve got the answers here.

These are the best cities to raise a family in the Old Dominion:

  1. Williamsburg (Photos)
  2. Leesburg (Photos)
  3. Martinsville (Photos)
  4. Culpeper (Photos)
  5. Falls Church (Photos)
  6. Vienna (Photos)
  7. Fredericksburg (Photos)
  8. Alexandria (Photos)
  9. Winchester (Photos)
  10. Manassas Park (Photos)

If you’re thinking of making a move to Virginia, and want a family-friendly place, we’ve got you covered. And if you already have kids, we’re surprised you made it this far into the article and hope your little ones give you a couple of more minutes of free time.

Keep on reading for a detailed methodology.

Or, check out the best places to live in Virginia and, for those of you on a budget, the cheapest places to live in Virginia.

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How do you determine which place is best for families in Virginia anyways?

To give you the places in Virginia which are best for families, we have to look at a handful of metrics. Of course, we want to measure the type of people who live in each city, and make some assumptions about what’s family-friendly and what isn’t.

So we researched the internet for a database that contains all that information.

How we crunched the family friendly numbers for the Old Dominion

We threw a lot of criteria at this one in order to get the best, most complete results possible. Using U.S. Census data produced for the state of Virginia, we looked at every single city in the state. We paid particular attention to:

  • Crime (Both violent and property)
  • Quality of local schools
  • Distance to a major city without necessarily being in it
  • % of households with children
  • Family-friendly amenities nearby (museums, libraries and colleges)

We then gave each city a Family Score.

The higher the score, the better the city is for families. We also limited our results to cities with populations over 12,000 people. For Virginia, that meant a total of 36 cities.

Read on to see why Williamsburg is where all the families are headed, while Roanoke is probably a place made for singles.

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1. Williamsburg

Williamsburg, Va

Population: 14,988
Family Friendly Amenities Score: 63
Closest Major City: Norfolk
Households with kids: 18.1%
Williamsburg is an independent city in the Commonwealth of Virginia. As of the 2010 census, the population was 14,068. In 2014, the population was estimated to be 14,691.

2. Leesburg

Leesburg, Va

Source: Public domain

Population: 49,401
Family Friendly Amenities Score: 63
Closest Major City: Arlington
Households with kids: 46.5%
Leesburg is a historic town within and the county seat of Loudoun County, Virginia. Leesburg is 33 miles (53 km) west-northwest of Washington, D.C. along the base of Catoctin Mountain and adjacent to the Potomac River. Its population according to the 2010 Census is 42,616. The town is also the northwestern terminus of the Dulles Greenway, a private toll road that connects to the Dulles Toll Road at Washington Dulles International Airport.

3. Martinsville

Martinsville, Va

Population: 13,551
Family Friendly Amenities Score: 46
Closest Major City: Greensboro
Households with kids: 27.4%
Martinsville is an independent city near the southern border of the Commonwealth of Virginia. As of the 2010 census, the population was 13,821. It is the county seat of Henry County, although the two are separate jurisdictions. The Bureau of Economic Analysis combines the city of Martinsville with Henry County for statistical purposes.

4. Culpeper

Culpeper, Va

Population: 17,565
Family Friendly Amenities Score: 41
Closest Major City: Arlington
Households with kids: 49.6%
Culpeper (formerly Culpepper Courthouse, earlier Fairfax) is the only incorporated town in Culpeper County, Virginia, United States. The population was 16,379 at the 2010 census, up from 9,664 at the 2000 census. It is the county seat of Culpeper County.

5. Falls Church

Falls Church, Va

Population: 13,597
Family Friendly Amenities Score: 42
Closest Major City: Arlington
Households with kids: 31.1%
Falls Church is an independent city in the U.S. state of Virginia. As of the 2010 census, the population was 12,332. The estimated population in 2015 was 13,892. Falls Church is included in the Washington metropolitan area. Falls Church has the lowest level of poverty of any independent city or county in the United States.

6. Vienna

Vienna, Va

Population: 16,378
Family Friendly Amenities Score: 40
Closest Major City: Arlington
Households with kids: 43.9%
Vienna (/vin/) is a town in Fairfax County, Virginia, United States. As of the 2010 United States Census, it had a population of 15,687. Significantly more people live in ZIP codes with the Vienna postal addresses (22180, 22181, and 22182) bordered approximately by Interstate 66 on the south, Interstate 495 on the east, Route 7 to the north, and Hunter Mill road to the west.

7. Fredericksburg

Fredericksburg, Va

Population: 27,853
Family Friendly Amenities Score: 72
Closest Major City: Arlington
Households with kids: 29.9%
Fredericksburg is an independent city located in the Commonwealth of Virginia in the Eastern United States. As of the 2010 census, the population was 24,286, up from 19,279 at the 2000 census. The city population was estimated at 28,118 in 2015. The Bureau of Economic Analysis of the United States Department of Commerce combines the city of Fredericksburg with neighboring Spotsylvania County for statistical purposes.

8. Alexandria

Alexandria, Va

Population: 151,473
Family Friendly Amenities Score: 102
Closest Major City: Arlington
Households with kids: 22.8%
Alexandria is an independent city in the Commonwealth of Virginia in the United States. As of the 2010 census, the population was 139,966, and in 2016, the population was estimated to be 155,810. Located along the western bank of the Potomac River, Alexandria is approximately 7 miles (11 km) south of downtown Washington, D.C.

9. Winchester

Winchester, Va

Population: 27,349
Family Friendly Amenities Score: 81
Closest Major City: Arlington
Households with kids: 29.4%
Winchester is an independent city located in the northwestern portion of the Commonwealth of Virginia. As of the 2010 census, the population was 26,203. As of 2015, its population is an estimated 27,284. It is the county seat of Frederick County, although the two are separate jurisdictions. The Bureau of Economic Analysis combines the city of Winchester with surrounding Frederick County for statistical purposes.

10. Manassas Park

Manassas Park, Va

Population: 15,827
Family Friendly Amenities Score: 55
Closest Major City: Arlington
Households with kids: 45.1%
Manassas Park is an independent city in the U.S. state of Virginia. As of the 2010 census, the population was 14,273. Manassas Park is bordered by the city of Manassas and Prince William County. Manassas Park is a part of the Washington-Arlington-Alexandria, DC-VA-MD-WV Metropolitan Statistical Area. ‘A’ Fort and Battery Hill Redoubt-Camp Early resides in Manassas Park.

There You Have It – The Best Places To Raise A Family In Virginia

If you’re looking for a breakdown of cities in Virginia ranked by criteria that most would agree make a place a great spot for families, this is an accurate list.

Here’s a look at the best cities for singles Virginia according to the data:

  1. Roanoke
  2. Colonial Heights
  3. Portsmouth

For more Virginia reading, check out:

Detailed List Of The Best Places For Families In Virginia

City Rank Population Amenities Score
Williamsburg 1 14,988 54
Leesburg 2 49,401 51
Martinsville 3 13,551 45
Culpeper 4 17,565 48
Falls Church 5 13,597 48
Vienna 6 16,378 34
Fredericksburg 7 27,853 85
Alexandria 8 151,473 73
Winchester 9 27,349 64
Manassas Park 10 15,827 45
Harrisonburg 11 51,979 75
Virginia Beach 12 449,733 62
Poquoson 13 12,068 60
Herndon 14 24,415 59
Hopewell 15 22,332 60
Salem 16 25,290 56
Front Royal 17 15,006 60
Staunton 18 24,234 60
Charlottesville 19 45,538 86
Radford 20 17,186 61
Petersburg 21 31,997 45
Christiansburg 22 21,799 39
Suffolk 23 87,061 56
Lynchburg 24 78,755 75
Waynesboro 25 21,366 48
Hampton 26 136,789 72
Blacksburg 27 43,973 57
Norfolk 28 245,724 83
Chesapeake 29 233,194 62
Manassas 30 41,149 39
Newport News 31 181,606 56
Danville 32 42,360 72
Bristol 33 17,340 56
Portsmouth 34 96,071 58
Colonial Heights 35 17,554 43
Roanoke 36 99,329 80

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