10 Best Places To Raise A Family In Washington For 2019


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

Editor’s Note: We updated this article for 2019. This is our second time ranking the best cities for families in Washington.

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If you’re looking for safe cities and neighborhoods, amazing schools, large green spaces, good food, and just overall good family friendly fun, you can stop your search: Washington is one of the most family friendly states in the USA.

Great family friendly Washington cities are around every corner in The Evergreen State. You can have your family at the beach in Kenmore, then to Lake Sammamish in Sammamish, and on to the foothills of The Cascade Range in Wenatchee all in the same day.

Your in luck parents, some of these family friendly cities have family friendly breweries for that end of the day family friendly fun. We recommend Manfish Brewing in Issaquah: they are both kid and dog friendly. #Score

In all seriousness, Washington has some of the best schools in the country. Blue ribbon elementary schools, gold star high schools with focus in STEM, the Arts, and Aviation, and colleges like University of Washington and Washington State have been delivering the next generation to work at major Washington companies like Amazon, Microsoft, and Nordstrom.

(This is especially nice for those parents who don’t want their kids to fly the coop for school or work.)

Now don’t count yourselves out of the mix, parents. There are plenty of jobs available in Washington for everyone–they have one of the lowest unemployment rates in the country. And with a $67,000/year household median, there’s plenty of cheddar to keep your family happy, healthy, and having fun.

And speaking of healthy, Washington is the number one producer of organic fruits and vegetables, they have some of the freshest fish in the country, and their number one goal is sustainability Their thoughts on food and health in general, are very progressive. They are one of the top states for life expectancy.

To narrow down the most family friendly cities in Washington, we looked at several factors: crime, education, family friendly activities and percent of households that currently have children. The cities also had to have a population of at least 10,000.

There were 78 said family friendly cities in the largest state in the Pacific Northwest.

Without further adieu, the most family friendly city in Washington for 2019 is Kenmore.

So, if you care about your family living where crime is low, schools are awesome, and a healthy lifestyle is key, take a look at the list below. The Evergreen State is calling.

Or, check out some more reading about Washington and the best places for families in the country:

The 10 Best Places To Raise A Family In Washington For 2019

Kenmore, WA

Overall SnackAbility

9.5
/10

Population: 22,154
Family Friendly Amenities Score: 37
Closest Major City: Seattle
Households with kids: 33.7%
More on Kenmore: PhotosHomes For Sale | Data

Kenmore is a city in King County, Washington, United States, along the northernmost shores of Lake Washington. A mix of bedroom community, one-time country retreat, and freshwater industrial port, prominent features include the nation’s largest seaplane-only, commercial air facility at Kenmore Air Harbor, Bastyr University, several waterside parks and marinas, and easy access to the Burke-Gilman Trail and the King County bike-trail system. Sites of local historical interest include the former St. Edward Seminary, now Saint Edward State Park; and Log Boom Park. Kenmore’s official city flower is the dahlia, the official city bird is the great blue heron, and the official city evergreen is the rhododendron. The population was 20,460 at the 2010 census.

Camas, WA

Source: Public domain
Overall SnackAbility

9.5
/10

Population: 22,086
Family Friendly Amenities Score: 53
Closest Major City: Portland
Households with kids: 42.8%
More on Camas: PhotosHomes For Sale | Data

Camas is a city in Clark County, Washington, with a population of 19,355 at the 2010 census. The east side of town borders the city of Washougal, Washington, and the west side of town borders Vancouver, Washington. Camas lies along the Washington side of the Columbia River, across from Troutdale, Oregon, and is part of the Portland metropolitan area.

Issaquah, WA

Overall SnackAbility

9
/10

Population: 35,629
Family Friendly Amenities Score: 107
Closest Major City: Seattle
Households with kids: 35.0%
More on Issaquah: PhotosHomes For Sale | Data

Issaquah is a city in King County, Washington, United States. The population was 37,322 in a 2016 census estimate. Located in a valley and bisected by Interstate 90, the city is bordered by the Sammamish Plateau to the north and the Issaquah Alps to the south.

Sammamish, WA

Overall SnackAbility

10
/10

Population: 62,877
Family Friendly Amenities Score: 43
Closest Major City: Seattle
Households with kids: 51.1%
More on Sammamish: PhotosHomes For Sale | Data

Sammamish is a city in King County, Washington, United States. The population was 63,773 in a 2016 census estimate. Located on a plateau, the city is bordered by Lake Sammamish to the west and the Snoqualmie Valley to the east.

Bothell, WA

Overall SnackAbility

9
/10

Population: 44,082
Family Friendly Amenities Score: 52
Closest Major City: Seattle
Households with kids: 33.6%
More on Bothell: PhotosHomes For Sale | Data

Bothell is a city located in King and Snohomish Counties in the State of Washington. It is part of the Seattle metropolitan area. Based on per capita income, Bothell ranks 78th of 614 areas in the state of Washington to be ranked.

Newcastle, WA

Overall SnackAbility

9.5
/10

Population: 11,346
Family Friendly Amenities Score: 42
Closest Major City: Seattle
Households with kids: 37.4%
More on Newcastle: PhotosHomes For Sale | Data

Newcastle is an Eastside city in King County, Washington, United States. Its population was 10,380 at the 2010 census.

Pullman, WA

Overall SnackAbility

8
/10

Population: 32,382
Family Friendly Amenities Score: 71
Closest Major City: Spokane
Households with kids: 18.2%
More on Pullman: PhotosHomes For Sale | Data

Pullman is the largest city in Whitman County, located in southeastern Washington state within the Palouse region of the Pacific Northwest. The population was 29,799 at the 2010 census, estimated to have reached 31,682 in 2014. Originally incorporated as Three Forks, the city was later renamed after industrialist George Pullman.

Wenatchee, WA

Overall SnackAbility

7
/10

Population: 33,544
Family Friendly Amenities Score: 94
Closest Major City: Seattle
Households with kids: 29.4%
More on Wenatchee: PhotosHomes For Sale | Data

Wenatchee is a city located in north-central Washington and is the largest city and county seat of Chelan County, Washington, United States. The population within the city limits in 2010 was 31,925. In 2014, the Office of Financial Management estimated the population at 33,070. Located at the confluence of the Columbia and Wenatchee rivers near the eastern foothills of the Cascade Range, Wenatchee lies on the western side of the Columbia River, across from the city of East Wenatchee. The Columbia River forms the boundary between Chelan and Douglas County. Wenatchee is the principal city of the Wenatchee-East Wenatchee, Washington Metropolitan Statistical Area, which encompasses all of Chelan and Douglas counties. However, the ‘Wenatchee Valley Area’ generally refers to the land between Rocky Reach and Rock Island Dam on both banks of the Columbia, which includes East Wenatchee, Rock Island, and Malaga.

Snoqualmie, WA

Overall SnackAbility

10
/10

Population: 12,944
Family Friendly Amenities Score: 49
Closest Major City: Seattle
Households with kids: 58.0%
More on Snoqualmie: PhotosHomes For Sale | Data

Snoqualmie is a city next to Snoqualmie Falls in King County, Washington. It is twenty-five miles east of Seattle. This city is home to the Northwest Railway Museum. The population was 13,190 in a 2016 census estimate.

Maple Valley, WA

Overall SnackAbility

9.5
/10

Population: 25,375
Family Friendly Amenities Score: 36
Closest Major City: Tacoma
Households with kids: 44.4%
More on Maple Valley: PhotosHomes For Sale | Data

Maple Valley is a city in King County, Washington, United States. The population was 22,684 at the 2010 census. The population was 25,686 at the 2015 estimate.

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

To give you the places in Washington 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 Evergreen State

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 Washington, 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 10,000 people. For Washington, that meant a total of 78 cities.

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

If you’re looking for a breakdown of cities in Washington 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 Washington according to the data:

  1. Centralia
  2. Federal Way
  3. Olympia

For more Washington reading, check out:

Where Are The Best Places For Families In Washington?

Rank City Population Amenities Score
1 Kenmore, WA 22,154 57
2 Camas, WA 22,086 43
3 Issaquah, WA 35,629 100
4 Sammamish, WA 62,877 45
5 Bothell, WA 44,082 39
6 Newcastle, WA 11,346 34
7 Pullman, WA 32,382 49
8 Wenatchee, WA 33,544 69
9 Snoqualmie, WA 12,944 44
10 Maple Valley, WA 25,375 59

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.

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