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.


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 | Homes For Sale)
  2. Kenmore (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. Snoqualmie (Photos | Homes For Sale)
  8. Wenatchee (Photos | Homes For Sale)
  9. Pullman (Photos | Homes For Sale)
  10. Mount Vernon (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 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: 37
Closest Major City: Portland
Households with kids: 46.3%
More on Camas: PhotosHomes For Sale | Data

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: 45
Closest Major City: Seattle
Households with kids: 34.5%
More on Kenmore: PhotosHomes For Sale | Data

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: 87
Closest Major City: Seattle
Households with kids: 35.5%
More on Issaquah: PhotosHomes For Sale | Data

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: 33
Closest Major City: Seattle
Households with kids: 53.0%
More on Sammamish: PhotosHomes For Sale | Data

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: 61
Closest Major City: Seattle
Households with kids: 34.9%
More on Bothell: PhotosHomes For Sale | Data

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: 44
Closest Major City: Seattle
Households with kids: 36.3%
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.

7. Snoqualmie

Snoqualmie, WA

Population: 12,510
Family Friendly Amenities Score: 48
Closest Major City: Seattle
Households with kids: 60.8%
More on Snoqualmie: PhotosHomes For Sale | Data

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: 72
Closest Major City: Seattle
Households with kids: 32.8%
More on Wenatchee: PhotosHomes For Sale | Data

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: 57
Closest Major City: Spokane
Households with kids: 17.8%
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.

10. Mount Vernon

Mount Vernon, WA

Population: 33,388
Family Friendly Amenities Score: 38
Closest Major City: Seattle
Households with kids: 38.2%
More on Mount Vernon: PhotosHomes For Sale | Data

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

Rank City Population Amenities Score
1 Camas 21,393 31
2 Kenmore 21,830 59
3 Issaquah 34,728 100
4 Sammamish 62,136 59
5 Bothell 43,153 60
6 Newcastle 11,189 30
7 Snoqualmie 12,510 32
8 Wenatchee 33,257 91
9 Pullman 32,176 64
10 Mount Vernon 33,388 34
11 Vancouver 169,982 66
12 Maple Valley 25,093 53
13 Kirkland 85,812 62
14 Marysville 64,955 58
15 Mercer Island 24,467 40
16 Ellensburg 18,957 57
17 Bellevue 136,718 35
18 Battle Ground 18,987 46
19 Richland 53,227 62
20 Washougal 14,987 41
21 Puyallup 39,274 40
22 Grandview 11,098 46
23 Bainbridge Island 23,576 40
24 Lake Forest Park 13,156 42
25 Walla Walla 31,952 62
26 Bremerton 39,388 64
27 West Richland 13,407 51
28 Anacortes 16,229 54
29 Shoreline 55,021 44
30 Yakima 93,338 83
31 Kennewick 77,975 54
32 Bonney Lake 19,022 45
33 Redmond 59,268 48
34 Mountlake Terrace 20,747 59
35 Lake Stevens 30,352 40
36 Pasco 68,567 41
37 Port Angeles 19,420 49
38 Bellingham 84,462 74
39 Woodinville 11,549 47
40 Mukilteo 20,994 57
41 Mill Creek 19,372 36
42 Tumwater 21,684 61
43 Cheney 11,479 57
44 Ferndale 12,666 50
45 Lynden 13,204 44
46 Covington 19,172 49
47 Des Moines 30,904 37
48 Sunnyside 16,217 47
49 Spokane 212,078 98
50 Tacoma 205,602 100
51 Oak Harbor 22,544 52
52 Enumclaw 11,543 37
53 Auburn 75,607 31
54 University Place 32,342 59
55 Lacey 45,644 31
56 Longview 36,720 44
57 Everett 106,580 65
58 Monroe 17,906 30
59 Kelso 11,871 56
60 Seattle 668,849 100
61 Renton 98,499 61
62 Edmonds 41,020 30
63 Aberdeen 16,335 42
64 Burien 50,187 52
65 Kent 125,492 41
66 East Wenatchee 13,589 43
67 Port Orchard 13,265 30
68 Moses Lake 21,846 35
69 Lakewood 59,489 43
70 Arlington 18,749 54
71 Spokane Valley 93,322 50
72 Lynnwood 36,861 31
73 Tukwila 19,878 60
74 Olympia 49,608 50
75 Federal Way 93,986 45
76 Centralia 16,729 40
77 Seatac 28,298 57

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