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.

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

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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.


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 for 2019:

  1. Kenmore (Photos | Homes For Sale)
  2. Camas (Photos | Homes For Sale)
  3. Issaquah (Photos | Homes For Sale)
  4. Sammamish (Photos | Homes For Sale)
  5. Bothell (Photos | Homes For Sale)
  6. Newcastle (Photos | Homes For Sale)
  7. Pullman (Photos | Homes For Sale)
  8. Wenatchee (Photos | Homes For Sale)
  9. Snoqualmie (Photos | Homes For Sale)
  10. Maple Valley (Photos | Homes For Sale)

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

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.

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

Kenmore, WA

Overall SnackAbility


Population: 22,154
Family Friendly Amenities Score: 50
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


Population: 22,086
Family Friendly Amenities Score: 44
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


Population: 35,629
Family Friendly Amenities Score: 95
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


Population: 62,877
Family Friendly Amenities Score: 54
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


Population: 44,082
Family Friendly Amenities Score: 35
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


Population: 11,346
Family Friendly Amenities Score: 37
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


Population: 32,382
Family Friendly Amenities Score: 66
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


Population: 33,544
Family Friendly Amenities Score: 91
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


Population: 12,944
Family Friendly Amenities Score: 54
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


Population: 25,375
Family Friendly Amenities Score: 31
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.

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:

Detailed List Of The Best Places For Families In Washington

Rank City Population Amenities Score
1 Kenmore, WA 22,154 43
2 Camas, WA 22,086 33
3 Issaquah, WA 35,629 83
4 Sammamish, WA 62,877 43
5 Bothell, WA 44,082 45
6 Newcastle, WA 11,346 41
7 Pullman, WA 32,382 62
8 Wenatchee, WA 33,544 92
9 Snoqualmie, WA 12,944 55
10 Maple Valley, WA 25,375 49
11 Mercer Island, WA 24,768 54
12 Bainbridge Island, WA 23,689 43
13 Bellevue, WA 139,014 37
14 Ellensburg, WA 19,307 55
15 Kirkland, WA 86,772 45
16 Vancouver, WA 171,393 91
17 Marysville, WA 66,178 57
18 Mount Vernon, WA 33,787 50
19 Puyallup, WA 39,637 42
20 Auburn, WA 77,440 43
21 Grandview, WA 11,112 32
22 Battle Ground, WA 19,439 54
23 Richland, WA 53,991 54
24 Lake Forest Park, WA 13,247 55
25 Shoreline, WA 55,431 50
26 Cheney, WA 11,735 31
27 Lake Stevens, WA 31,022 46
28 Walla Walla, WA 32,585 72
29 Redmond, WA 60,712 42
30 West Richland, WA 13,797 56
31 Oak Harbor, WA 22,527 51
32 Bonney Lake, WA 19,560 60
33 Kennewick, WA 78,858 52
34 Yakima, WA 93,182 60
35 Anacortes, WA 16,425 39
36 Bremerton, WA 39,584 50
37 Port Angeles, WA 19,419 56
38 Pasco, WA 70,607 52
39 Tumwater, WA 22,005 86
40 Washougal, WA 15,241 47
41 Woodinville, WA 11,675 59
42 Bellingham, WA 85,388 70
43 Edgewood, WA 10,165 44
44 Enumclaw, WA 11,670 32
45 Mountlake Terrace, WA 20,922 43
46 Ferndale, WA 13,171 50
47 Lynden, WA 13,452 33
48 Tacoma, WA 207,280 100
49 Spokane, WA 212,982 100
50 Longview, WA 36,740 51
51 Mukilteo, WA 21,101 57
52 Covington, WA 19,918 59
53 Des Moines, WA 31,080 41
54 Monroe, WA 18,149 53
55 Lacey, WA 46,655 58
56 Everett, WA 107,560 63
57 Mill Creek, WA 19,706 43
58 Sunnyside, WA 16,248 46
59 University Place, WA 32,528 51
60 Renton, WA 99,692 47
61 Kelso, WA 11,864 59
62 Poulsbo, WA 10,005 59
63 Edmonds, WA 41,309 32
64 Seattle, WA 688,245 100
65 East Wenatchee, WA 13,624 40
66 Spokane Valley, WA 94,424 41
67 Lynnwood, WA 37,242 37
68 Burien, WA 50,729 36
69 Port Orchard, WA 13,476 39
70 Moses Lake, WA 22,038 35
71 Kent, WA 126,561 59
72 Aberdeen, WA 16,281 47
73 Lakewood, WA 59,102 33
74 Seatac, WA 28,597 48
75 Arlington, WA 18,884 59
76 Olympia, WA 49,928 57
77 Federal Way, WA 94,905 39
78 Centralia, WA 16,771 59

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