These Are The 10 Best Places To Live In Virginia For 2018


These are the cream of the crop in the Commonwealth.

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This article is an opinion based on facts and is meant as infotainment. Don’t freak out that we updated it for 2018.

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Where are the best places in the state of Virginia?

To the untrained eye they are the places that have awesome economies. They’re the places in Old Dominion where people have the best jobs, residents are all above average, and the sun shines the most.

However, here at HomeSnacks, we don’t trust the untrained eye and instead look to data to understand the best places to call home in Virginia.

There might be some surprises on this list, but when you look at the unbiased data, it’s hard to argue against.

After analyzing 62 places in Virginia, we came up with this list of the best places:

  1. Vienna (Photos | Homes For Sale)
  2. Bridgewater (Photos | Homes For Sale)
  3. Purcellville (Photos | Homes For Sale)
  4. Falls Church (Photos | Homes For Sale)
  5. Poquoson (Photos | Homes For Sale)
  6. Leesburg (Photos | Homes For Sale)
  7. Alexandria (Photos | Homes For Sale)
  8. Warrenton (Photos | Homes For Sale)
  9. Salem (Photos | Homes For Sale)
  10. Virginia Beach (Photos | Homes For Sale)

Well, it looks like you should check out Vienna if you’re thinking of moving to Virginia — it’s the best the Old Dominion has to offer according to the data.

Follow along as we provide more insight into how we reached our overall best places to live in Virginia.

If you’re looking for something more national, check out the best states in America or the best places to live in America.

For more Virginia reading, check out:

Mapping The Best And Worst Places To Live in Virginia

The Pressing Question: Size

Before we even started to collect data, we had to answer a tough question: Is it fair to pit Richmond with a population of 216,773 against places with a population of 18?

We firmly decided no, that just isn’t fair.

So to create our ranking, we broke places to live into three tiers:

  • Cities — Populations over 5,000
  • Towns — Populations between 1,000 and 5,000
  • Small Towns — Populations below 1,000

This left us with 62 cities, 168 towns, and 156 small towns.

We then decided, no matter how much anyone loves their town, the best places have more of everything and therefore you need to have over 5,000 people to truly be ‘the best’.

Now we also realize that city living might not be your cup of tea, so we ran the following analysis on towns and then again for small towns.

You can see those two top tens at the bottom of the post.

How We Calculated The Best Place To Live In Virginia

Now that we had our set of cities, it was time to rank them.

We ranked each place in Virginia across a number of criteria from one to 62, with one being the best.

We then took the average rank across all criteria, with the city posting the lowest overall score being crowned the winner of the title “Best Place To Live In Virginia”.

The criteria we looked at were:

  • Median Home Values
  • Median Income
  • Population Density (Higher better)
  • Unemployment Rate
  • Commute Time
  • Crime
  • Education Levels
  • Health Insurance Coverage
  • Poverty rates

Sources of criteria include the New Census Data and FBI Crime Data.

If your city or town isn’t among the top 10, jump down to the bottom of the post to see a detailed chart of the best places in Virginia.

Otherwise, buckle up for a ride down good living lane with Vienna at the end of the cul-de-sac.

Vienna, VA

Overall SnackAbility

10
/10

Population: 16,378
Rank Last Year: 1 (No Change)
Median Home Value: $662,200 (2nd best)
Unemployment Rate: 2.9% (1st best)
More on Vienna: Real Estate | Data | Photos

Vienna is another gem in Old Dominion. The unemployment rate here is 1st lowest in the entire state at 2.9%. Other factors that make Vienna so desirable is the solid education and home prices.

Homes are valued at $662,200, and parents earn a combined $143,276 a year

There’s nothing like the American dream.

Bridgewater, VA

Source: Public domain
Overall SnackAbility

7
/10

Population: 5,906
Rank Last Year: 4 (Up 2)
Median Home Value: $209,200 (23rd best)
Unemployment Rate: 3.3% (4th best)
More on Bridgewater: Real Estate | Data | Photos

Bridgewater has it made. In fact, according to science, it’s one of the best places to live in the state of Virginia.

The unemployment rate is the 4th lowest in the state at 3.3%, and residents make a pretty penny. Median incomes are $56,764, and the average cost of a home is $209,200. Which is an indication that lots of people want to live here.

We wouldn’t be surprised if more and more publications call Bridgewater one of America’s gems.

Purcellville, VA

Overall SnackAbility

10
/10

Population: 8,914
Rank Last Year: 3 (No Change)
Median Home Value: $426,500 (5th best)
Unemployment Rate: 4.7% (11th best)
More on Purcellville: Real Estate | Data | Photos

Let’s take a look at why Purcellville is a great place to call home for 2018.

There’s low crime in Purcellville, and the residents here are gainfully employed (4.7% unemployment rate).

You can make Purcellville your home for only $426,500 which won’t be too hard on a $117,736 household salary.

Falls Church, VA

Overall SnackAbility

10
/10

Population: 13,597
Rank Last Year: 2 (Down 2)
Median Home Value: $724,000 (1st best)
Unemployment Rate: 5.3% (18th best)
More on Falls Church: Real Estate | Data | Photos

Say what you want about expensive houses. The fact is, homes are priced by demand, and there’s A LOT of demand to live in Falls Church.

The median home costs a cool $724,000 and households make $115,244 which is good for 3rd in Virginia.

Add that all up and Falls Church places 4th in our ranking of the best places to live in Virginia for 2018.

Poquoson, VA

Overall SnackAbility

9
/10

Population: 12,068
Rank Last Year: 5 (No Change)
Median Home Value: $301,800 (11th best)
Unemployment Rate: 3.2% (3rd best)
More on Poquoson: Real Estate | Data | Photos

It’s obvious why Poquoson ranks 5th in the state for best places to live: they have the 3rd lowest unemployment rate and the 11th highest home values.

Plus, they’re known for their quality education and relatively low crime, making Poquoson a great place to live.

Leesburg, VA

Source: Public domain
Overall SnackAbility

9
/10

Population: 49,401
Rank Last Year: 6 (No Change)
Median Home Value: $387,100 (7th best)
Unemployment Rate: 4.0% (8th best)
More on Leesburg: Real Estate | Data | Photos

At an unemployment rate of 4.0%, everyone who wants a job can get one in Leesburg. And the residents command high salaries ($102,132 a year combined income), and live in big fancy homes ($387,100 each).

We’re not saying money is why these cities are the ‘best’ in Virginia. What we’re implying is that money means safety and peace of mind. And there’s nothing wrong with that.

Alexandria, VA

Overall SnackAbility

9
/10

Population: 151,473
Rank Last Year: 9 (Up 2)
Median Home Value: $520,700 (3rd best)
Unemployment Rate: 4.0% (8th best)
More on Alexandria: Real Estate | Data | Photos

Alexandria comes in 7th in our best places to live in Virginia analysis.

Ranking highly for its exceptionally low unemployment rate (8th overall) and crime rate (16th overall), Alexandria is the exact kind of place you’d want to live with a family.

Several large companies call the surrounding area home which should keep Alexandria in our lists for years to come.

Warrenton, VA

Overall SnackAbility

9
/10

Population: 9,880
Rank Last Year: 13 (Up 5)
Median Home Value: $320,900 (9th best)
Unemployment Rate: 5.5% (20th best)
More on Warrenton: Real Estate | Data | Photos

Warrenton offers an impressive amount to do while maintaining a small town’s charm.

The unemployment rate sits as the 20th lowest in Virginia and incomes are the 13th highest.

When you come into town be sure to check out the parks as they are a good time for people of all ages.

Salem, VA

Overall SnackAbility

7
/10

Population: 25,290
Rank Last Year: 12 (Up 3)
Median Home Value: $173,800 (35th best)
Unemployment Rate: 5.0% (14th best)
More on Salem: Real Estate | Data | Photos

The Town of Salem might be a bit of a surprise to some in terms of how well it ranks according to science.

The crime rate in Salem isn’t amazing, but it’s far below the state average. The homes are valued at $173,800 here, and the schools get some of the most funding in Virginia.

If Salem can get some more of their residents to work, things will look even rosier here. The unemployment rate (5.0% is the 14th highest in the state.

Virginia Beach, VA

Overall SnackAbility

8.5
/10

Population: 449,733
Rank Last Year: 10 (No Change)
Median Home Value: $262,200 (16th best)
Unemployment Rate: 5.8% (22nd best)
More on Virginia Beach: Real Estate | Data | Photos

Known for its low unemployment rates and great education, Virginia Beach is a wonderful place to live in this state.

The relatively stable household incomes and below average crime rates don’t hurt either!

While it may not be as great as some other places on this list, Virginia Beach still holds its own in in Virginia.

Wrapping Up The Best Places When It Comes To Living In Virginia

If you’re looking at areas in Virginia with the best economic situations, where there’s lower than average crime, and a lot to do, this is an accurate list.

Vienna made a strong showing to take in the overall number one spot for 2018.

Best Towns To Live In Virginia

  1. Pantops (Pop. 3,688)
  2. Belmont Estates (Pop. 1,329)
  3. Hayfield (Pop. 4,453)
  4. Kings Park (Pop. 4,687)
  5. Daleville (Pop. 3,180)
  6. Hampden-Sydney (Pop. 1,600)
  7. Ravensworth (Pop. 2,175)
  8. Dayton (Pop. 1,633)
  9. Haymarket (Pop. 1,826)
  10. Laymantown (Pop. 2,203)

Best Small Towns To Live In Virginia

  1. Riner (Pop. 888)
  2. Clifton (Pop. 219)
  3. Washington (Pop. 140)
  4. Round Hill (Pop. 570)
  5. Bobtown (Pop. 323)
  6. Free Union (Pop. 291)
  7. Mount Crawford (Pop. 419)
  8. Occoquan (Pop. 947)
  9. Hillsboro (Pop. 98)
  10. Irvington (Pop. 403)

If you’re curious enough, here are the worst places to live in Virginia according to the data:

  1. Danville (Pop. 42,360)
  2. Petersburg (Pop. 31,997)
  3. Emporia (Pop. 5,565)

For more Virginia reading, check out:

Detailed List Of The Best Places To Live In Virginia

Rank City Population Unemployment Rate Home Value
1 Vienna 16,378 2.9% $662,200
2 Bridgewater 5,906 3.3% $209,200
3 Purcellville 8,914 4.7% $426,500
4 Falls Church 13,597 5.3% $724,000
5 Poquoson 12,068 3.2% $301,800
6 Leesburg 49,401 4.0% $387,100
7 Alexandria 151,473 4.0% $520,700
8 Warrenton 9,880 5.5% $320,900
9 Salem 25,290 5.0% $173,800
10 Virginia Beach 449,733 5.8% $262,200
11 Blacksburg 43,973 6.2% $276,500
12 Christiansburg 21,799 3.8% $178,100
13 Lexington 7,036 3.9% $230,500
14 Williamsburg 14,988 9.1% $319,500
15 Fairfax 23,620 5.5% $487,700
16 Herndon 24,415 5.8% $401,700
17 Manassas Park 15,827 4.6% $257,800
18 Charlottesville 45,538 3.9% $280,100
19 Strasburg 6,525 5.6% $183,000
20 Smithfield 8,304 9.3% $273,900
21 Staunton 24,234 5.0% $163,000
22 Chesapeake 233,194 6.3% $256,500
23 Manassas 41,149 6.0% $293,500
24 Harrisonburg 51,979 5.9% $197,400
25 Suffolk 87,061 7.3% $236,600
26 Fredericksburg 27,853 7.4% $321,500
27 Winchester 27,349 5.1% $218,600
28 Vinton 8,170 8.5% $143,600
29 Abingdon 8,117 7.2% $156,700
30 Waynesboro 21,366 5.1% $158,800
31 Hampton 136,789 8.9% $187,700
32 Ashland 7,406 3.0% $182,000
33 Colonial Heights 17,554 8.4% $166,800
34 Culpeper 17,565 7.0% $209,700
35 Lynchburg 78,755 7.2% $149,600
36 Newport News 181,606 8.3% $189,000
37 Dumfries 5,180 9.5% $166,600
38 Covington 5,650 5.2% $70,900
39 Radford 17,186 9.2% $153,900
40 Buena Vista 6,610 6.1% $112,400
41 Farmville 8,562 10.2% $160,300
42 Front Royal 15,006 8.5% $183,600
43 Norfolk 245,724 9.7% $193,100
44 Richmond 216,773 9.1% $199,300
45 Bluefield 5,254 4.9% $115,100
46 Woodstock 5,208 6.2% $193,800
47 Wytheville 8,167 9.4% $175,100
48 Bristol 17,340 8.7% $109,100
49 Big Stone Gap 5,462 9.0% $103,100
50 Roanoke 99,329 7.4% $133,000
51 Portsmouth 96,071 10.9% $169,400
52 Richlands 5,568 7.4% $86,900
53 Hopewell 22,332 10.8% $125,400
54 Franklin 8,413 14.6% $171,700
55 Marion 5,891 7.8% $107,800
56 Martinsville 13,551 10.0% $88,700
57 South Boston 8,000 7.4% $114,700
58 Galax 6,858 6.6% $101,600
59 Pulaski 8,918 11.3% $98,800
60 Danville 42,360 11.8% $90,800
61 Petersburg 31,997 13.7% $111,300
62 Emporia 5,565 18.8% $122,600

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One thought on “These Are The 10 Best Places To Live In Virginia For 2018

  1. The list that you show with pictures has different town names than on the just the plain list of cities. For instance you show Herndon as #16 but the list with pictures #16 is Fredericksburg and on your plain list Fredericksburg is 26. What is going on? Plus Reston which has always been in the top 10 is not listed at all.

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