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


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.

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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 Washington? We’ve got the answers here.

These are the best cities to raise a family in the Evergreen State:

  1. Camas (Photos)
  2. Kenmore (Photos)
  3. Issaquah (Photos)
  4. Sammamish (Photos)
  5. Bothell (Photos)
  6. Newcastle (Photos)
  7. Snoqualmie (Photos)
  8. Wenatchee (Photos)
  9. Pullman (Photos)
  10. Mount Vernon (Photos)

If you’re thinking of making a move to Washington, 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 Washington and, for those of you on a budget, the cheapest places to live in Washington.

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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 11,000 people. For Washington, that meant a total of 77 cities.

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

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1. Camas

Camas, Wa

Source: Public domain

Population: 21,393
Family Friendly Amenities Score: 35
Closest Major City: Portland
Households with kids: 46.3%
Camas /kæms/ 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.

2. Kenmore

Kenmore, Wa

Population: 21,830
Family Friendly Amenities Score: 39
Closest Major City: Seattle
Households with kids: 34.5%
Kenmore (sometimes referred to as Kenmore by the Lake) 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.

3. Issaquah

Issaquah, Wa

Population: 34,728
Family Friendly Amenities Score: 110
Closest Major City: Seattle
Households with kids: 35.5%
Issaquah (/skw/ ISS–kwah) 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.

4. Sammamish

Sammamish, Wa

Population: 62,136
Family Friendly Amenities Score: 41
Closest Major City: Seattle
Households with kids: 53.0%
Sammamish /smæ.m/ 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.

5. Bothell

Bothell, Wa

Population: 43,153
Family Friendly Amenities Score: 40
Closest Major City: Seattle
Households with kids: 34.9%
Bothell (/bl/ BOTH-l) 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.

6. Newcastle

Newcastle, Wa

Population: 11,189
Family Friendly Amenities Score: 31
Closest Major City: Seattle
Households with kids: 36.3%
Newcastle is an Eastside city in King County, Washington, United States. Its population was 10,380 at the 2010 census.

7. Snoqualmie

Snoqualmie, Wa

Population: 12,510
Family Friendly Amenities Score: 37
Closest Major City: Seattle
Households with kids: 60.8%
Snoqualmie (/snokwlmi/ snoh-KWOHL-mee) 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.

8. Wenatchee

Wenatchee, Wa

Population: 33,257
Family Friendly Amenities Score: 80
Closest Major City: Seattle
Households with kids: 32.8%
Wenatchee (/wnæti/ wen-ATCH-ee) 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 (total population around 110,884). 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.

9. Pullman

Pullman, Wa

Population: 32,176
Family Friendly Amenities Score: 63
Closest Major City: Spokane
Households with kids: 17.8%
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.

10. Mount Vernon

Mount Vernon, Wa

Population: 33,388
Family Friendly Amenities Score: 41
Closest Major City: Seattle
Households with kids: 38.2%
Mount Vernon is the county seat of Skagit County, Washington, United States. The population was 31,743 at the 2010 census. It is one of two principal cities of and included in the Mount Vernon-Anacortes, Washington Metropolitan Statistical Area. It is the county seat of Skagit County. Downtown Mount Vernon is known for its annual Tulip Festival Street Fair, which is part of the Skagit Valley Tulip Festival. The climate of Skagit County is similar to that of Northern France, with millions of tulips grown in the Skagit Valley. In 1998, Mount Vernon was rated the #1 ‘Best Small City in America’ by the New Rating Guide to Life in America’s Small 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. Seatac
  2. Centralia
  3. Federal Way

For more Washington reading, check out:

Detailed List Of The Best Places For Families In Washington

City Rank Population Amenities Score
Camas 1 21,393 50
Kenmore 2 21,830 35
Issaquah 3 34,728 99
Sammamish 4 62,136 56
Bothell 5 43,153 49
Newcastle 6 11,189 40
Snoqualmie 7 12,510 52
Wenatchee 8 33,257 72
Pullman 9 32,176 57
Mount Vernon 10 33,388 47
Vancouver 11 169,982 78
Maple Valley 12 25,093 32
Kirkland 13 85,812 50
Marysville 14 64,955 82
Mercer Island 15 24,467 51
Ellensburg 16 18,957 72
Bellevue 17 136,718 34
Battle Ground 18 18,987 37
Richland 19 53,227 54
Washougal 20 14,987 30
Puyallup 21 39,274 45
Grandview 22 11,098 60
Bainbridge Island 23 23,576 49
Lake Forest Park 24 13,156 38
Walla Walla 25 31,952 71
Bremerton 26 39,388 69
West Richland 27 13,407 57
Anacortes 28 16,229 43
Shoreline 29 55,021 55
Yakima 30 93,338 69
Kennewick 31 77,975 57
Bonney Lake 32 19,022 30
Redmond 33 59,268 47
Mountlake Terrace 34 20,747 60
Lake Stevens 35 30,352 57
Pasco 36 68,567 51
Port Angeles 37 19,420 70
Bellingham 38 84,462 69
Woodinville 39 11,549 60
Mukilteo 40 20,994 36
Mill Creek 41 19,372 47
Tumwater 42 21,684 61
Cheney 43 11,479 37
Ferndale 44 12,666 52
Lynden 45 13,204 50
Covington 46 19,172 41
Des Moines 47 30,904 42
Sunnyside 48 16,217 48
Spokane 49 212,078 90
Tacoma 50 205,602 100
Oak Harbor 51 22,544 47
Enumclaw 52 11,543 36
Auburn 53 75,607 37
University Place 54 32,342 49
Lacey 55 45,644 46
Longview 56 36,720 40
Everett 57 106,580 68
Monroe 58 17,906 40
Kelso 59 11,871 53
Seattle 60 668,849 100
Renton 61 98,499 48
Edmonds 62 41,020 55
Aberdeen 63 16,335 51
Burien 64 50,187 33
Kent 65 125,492 51
East Wenatchee 66 13,589 58
Port Orchard 67 13,265 30
Moses Lake 68 21,846 40
Lakewood 69 59,489 36
Arlington 70 18,749 30
Spokane Valley 71 93,322 55
Lynnwood 72 36,861 34
Tukwila 73 19,878 34
Olympia 74 49,608 53
Federal Way 75 93,986 57
Centralia 76 16,729 60
Seatac 77 28,298 48

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