Big city living isn’t for everyone–but at the same time, urban areas certainly have their perks.
There’s the culture, the food, the arts, the food, the energy, and you know, the food. But there are drawbacks. There’s traffic, expensive parking, expensive housing–pretty much, expensive everything, depending on which big city you’re looking at.
But that’s where the suburbs come in–they have all of the benefits of being near big cities, without actually having to be big cities.
Of course, not all suburbs of Washington are created equally, which is precisely why we set out to find the best ones. So without further ado, here are the 10 best suburbs around Washington DC:
- Falls Church (Photos)
- Vienna (Photos)
- Alexandria (Photos)
- Fairfax (Photos)
- Herndon (Photos)
- Manassas Park (Photos)
- Leesburg (Photos)
- Takoma Park
If you happen to be a resident of Falls Church, you’re probably not too surprised to find it on the top our list.
We’ll tell you what makes each of these 10 Washington ‘burbs better than the rest–but first, a bit about our methodology.
How We Determined The Best Suburbs Around Washington
Figuring out the best ‘burbs around Washington was pretty simple; we just needed to list several things that people like, and then find out which cities have the most of those things.
We threw a lot of criteria at this one in order to get the best, most complete results possible:
- Low unemployment rate
- High Median household incomes
- Population density (lots of things to do)
- High home values
- A lot of college educated people
Then we used the 2010-2014 American Community Survey to research each suburb. FYI: We defined a suburb based on the Census’s designation of being part of an “Urban Cluster,” but not the main city of said urbanized area. For example, the Census considers all of these places to be part of the Washington, Dc–Va–Md Urbanized Area.
Additionally, we limited the analysis to non-CDPs that have over 5,000 people. This left us with a grand total of 26 suburbs to evaluate around Washington.
We ranked each place with scores from 1 to 26 in each category, where 1 was the “best.
Next, we averaged the rankings for each place to create a quality of life index.
And finally, we crowned the city with the best quality of life index the “Best Suburb near Washington.” We’re lookin’ at you, Falls Church.
Read on below to learn more about what it’s like to live in the best of the best. Or skip to the end to see the list of all the suburbs ranked from best to worst.
1. Falls Church
Population: 13,074Unemployment Rate: 5.0%
Median Home Price: $665,400
Median Income: $120,500
Population: 16,173Unemployment Rate: 3.6%
Median Home Price: $614,500
Median Income: $133,776
Population: 146,422Unemployment Rate: 4.7%
Median Home Price: $494,400
Median Income: $87,319
Population: 23,507Unemployment Rate: 5.5%
Median Home Price: $462,800
Median Income: $100,584
Population 2014: 63,402 Unemployment Rate: 5.3%
Median Home Price: $479,100
Median Income: $98,530
Population: 24,141Unemployment Rate: 4.7%
Median Home Price: $382,600
Median Income: $100,399
7. Manassas Park
Population: 14,992Unemployment Rate: 3.7%
Median Home Price: $222,300
Median Income: $73,460
Population: 46,211Unemployment Rate: 4.7%
Median Home Price: $377,100
Median Income: $101,719
9. Takoma Park
Population 2014: 17,307 Unemployment Rate: 8.1%
Median Home Price: $475,800
Median Income: $78,106
Population 2014: 63,491 Unemployment Rate: 6.6%
Median Home Price: $363,800
Median Income: $78,441
Welcome to the ‘Burbs
We said it once and we’ll say it again–life in the big city isn’t for everyone. At least not all the time.
So if you’re hankering for some of the amenities of a larger city like Washington, but don’t want to deal with the drawbacks, one of these suburbs might just be for you.
For more Virginia reading , check out:
- These Are The 10 Most Ghetto Cities In Virginia
- These 10 Virginia Cities Are Happier Than You Are.
- These Are The 10 Most Miserable Cities In Virginia
Detailed List Of The Best Burbs To Live Around Washington DC