10 Best Places To Raise A Family In Virginia For 2019


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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Editor’s Note: We updated this article for . This is our second time ranking the best cities for families in Virginia.

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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 for 2019:

  1. Falls Church (Photos | Homes For Sale)
  2. Williamsburg (Photos | Homes For Sale)
  3. Culpeper (Photos | Homes For Sale)
  4. Martinsville (Photos | Homes For Sale)
  5. Vienna (Photos | Homes For Sale)
  6. Fredericksburg (Photos | Homes For Sale)
  7. Harrisonburg (Photos | Homes For Sale)
  8. Alexandria (Photos | Homes For Sale)
  9. Winchester (Photos | Homes For Sale)
  10. Charlottesville (Photos | Homes For Sale)

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 some more reading about Virginia and the best places for families in the country:

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 33 cities.

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

Falls Church, VA

Overall SnackAbility

10
/10

Population: 13,843
Family Friendly Amenities Score: 57
Closest Major City: Arlington
Households with kids: 32.2%
More on Falls Church: PhotosHomes For Sale | Data

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.

Williamsburg, VA

Overall SnackAbility

8.5
/10

Population: 14,817
Family Friendly Amenities Score: 67
Closest Major City: Norfolk
Households with kids: 20.0%
More on Williamsburg: PhotosHomes For Sale | Data

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.

Culpeper, VA

Overall SnackAbility

8
/10

Population: 17,882
Family Friendly Amenities Score: 41
Closest Major City: Arlington
Households with kids: 39.1%
More on Culpeper: PhotosHomes For Sale | Data

Culpeper 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.

Martinsville, VA

Overall SnackAbility

4
/10

Population: 13,256
Family Friendly Amenities Score: 53
Closest Major City: Greensboro
Households with kids: 24.0%
More on Martinsville: PhotosHomes For Sale | Data

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.

Vienna, VA

Overall SnackAbility

10
/10

Population: 16,474
Family Friendly Amenities Score: 60
Closest Major City: Arlington
Households with kids: 39.8%
More on Vienna: PhotosHomes For Sale | Data

Vienna 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 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.

Fredericksburg, VA

Overall SnackAbility

8
/10

Population: 28,135
Family Friendly Amenities Score: 68
Closest Major City: Arlington
Households with kids: 26.3%
More on Fredericksburg: PhotosHomes For Sale | Data

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.

Harrisonburg, VA

Overall SnackAbility

7
/10

Population: 53,064
Family Friendly Amenities Score: 81
Closest Major City: Richmond
Households with kids: 25.8%
More on Harrisonburg: PhotosHomes For Sale | Data

Harrisonburg is an independent city in the Shenandoah Valley region of the U.S. state of Virginia. As of the 2010 census, the population was 48,914, with a census-estimated 2016 population of 53,078. Harrisonburg is the county seat of the surrounding Rockingham County, although the two are separate jurisdictions. The Bureau of Economic Analysis combines the city of Harrisonburg with Rockingham County for statistical purposes into the Harrisonburg, Virginia Metropolitan Statistical Area, which has a 2011 estimated population of 126,562.

Alexandria, VA

Overall SnackAbility

9
/10

Population: 154,710
Family Friendly Amenities Score: 92
Closest Major City: Arlington
Households with kids: 21.5%
More on Alexandria: PhotosHomes For Sale | Data

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 south of downtown Washington, D.C.

Winchester, VA

Overall SnackAbility

7
/10

Population: 27,516
Family Friendly Amenities Score: 66
Closest Major City: Arlington
Households with kids: 27.9%
More on Winchester: PhotosHomes For Sale | Data

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.

Charlottesville, VA

Overall SnackAbility

8
/10

Population: 46,487
Family Friendly Amenities Score: 78
Closest Major City: Richmond
Households with kids: 21.5%
More on Charlottesville: PhotosHomes For Sale | Data

Charlottesville, colloquially known as Cville by locals, is an independent city in the Commonwealth of Virginia. In 2016, an estimated 46,912 people lived within the city limits. It is the county seat of Albemarle County, which surrounds the city, though the two are separate legal entities. This means a Charlottesville resident will list the City of Charlottesville as both their county and city on official paperwork. It is named after the British Queen Charlotte of Mecklenburg-Strelitz. The Bureau of Economic Analysis combines the City of Charlottesville with the County of Albemarle for statistical purposes, bringing its steadily growing population to approximately 150,000. Charlottesville is the heart of the Charlottesville metropolitan area, which includes Albemarle, Fluvanna, Greene and Nelson counties.

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. Bristol
  2. Roanoke
  3. Portsmouth

For more Virginia reading, check out:

Detailed List Of The Best Places For Families In Virginia

Rank City Population Amenities Score
1 Falls Church, VA 13,843 58
2 Williamsburg, VA 14,817 63
3 Culpeper, VA 17,882 41
4 Martinsville, VA 13,256 67
5 Vienna, VA 16,474 35
6 Fredericksburg, VA 28,135 60
7 Harrisonburg, VA 53,064 85
8 Alexandria, VA 154,710 96
9 Winchester, VA 27,516 56
10 Charlottesville, VA 46,487 67
11 Manassas Park, VA 16,117 52
12 Herndon, VA 24,545 53
13 Hopewell, VA 22,353 55
14 Virginia Beach, VA 450,057 70
15 Radford, VA 17,380 59
16 Salem, VA 25,521 50
17 Poquoson, VA 12,022 51
18 Lynchburg, VA 79,237 91
19 Staunton, VA 24,273 64
20 Hampton, VA 136,255 71
21 Petersburg, VA 32,037 44
22 Suffolk, VA 88,057 50
23 Manassas, VA 41,379 53
24 Blacksburg, VA 44,079 55
25 Norfolk, VA 245,752 92
26 Chesapeake, VA 235,410 42
27 Danville, VA 41,911 46
28 Colonial Heights, VA 17,582 46
29 Newport News, VA 180,775 79
30 Waynesboro, VA 21,620 55
31 Portsmouth, VA 95,536 48
32 Roanoke, VA 99,572 54
33 Bristol, VA 17,077 40

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