These Are The 10 Best Places To Live In Virginia


These are the cream of the crop in the Commonwealth.

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Where are the best places in the state of Virginia? They are the places that have awesome economies. They’re the places where people have the best jobs, where residents are happily married, and where the sun shines the most.

And certainly, since crime is really low, every one wants to be there. It’s, literally, all sunshine and rainbows.

We looked at the 173 most populated cities in the Old Dominion for this study. The cities at the top are places where things are going swimmingly right now, at least according to data, which measures the good things that people say they want in a city in Virginia.

There might be some surprises on this list, but when you look at the unbiased data, it’s hard to argue against. We had more than 10 million people read our worst cities in a state series, which was featured in hundreds of media outlets, including an NPR feature.

So we know what we’re talking about.

Here are the 10 best places to live in Virginia:

  1. Franklin Farm
  2. Lowes Island
  3. Floris
  4. Belmont
  5. Broadlands
  6. Dranesville
  7. South Run
  8. Crosspointe
  9. Dunn Loring
  10. South Riding

We understand there’s a lot of good in every place. However, according to data (which doesn’t measure things like beauty, ‘friendly people’ and community involvement), these are the best options in Virginia for making a place home.

The worst city to live in Virginia? Galax. More on that later.

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How do you decide if a place is amazeballs or not?

In order to rank Virginia’s best cities, we had to determine what criteria people like or dislike about a place. It isn’t a stretch to assume that people like low crime, good weather, things to do and a stable economy.

So we scraped the internet for those criteria, and it spit out the answer. Like magic.

How we crunched the numbers for Virginia

We threw a lot of criteria at this one in order to get the best, most complete results possible. Using FBI crime data, the government census, Bureau of Labor Statistics and Sperling’s Best Places, this is the criteria we used:

  • Strong schools
  • Low unemployment rates
  • High incomes
  • High home prices
  • Lots of sunny days a year
  • Low crime
  • Low cost of living

If you’d like to see the complete list of cities in Virginia, scroll to the bottom of this post to see a link to the entire data set.

Note: We get the crime numbers from the FBI, which gets its crime numbers from the cities themselves. This list is based on data, and is entirely unbiased. The cost of living numbers are based on an average of 100, meaning anything below 100 is more affordable.

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1. Franklin Farm

Best Virginia

Source: Wikipedia

Population: 19,869
Crime Index: 29
Cost Of Living Index: 178

This little area in the D.C. metro area is one of the safest places you can live. That is if you can afford it.

2. Lowes Island

Best Virginia

Source: Wikipedia

Population: 11,458
Crime Index: 36
Cost Of Living Index: 171

This little area is along the Potomac on the fringes of the D.C. suburbs.

3. Floris

Best Virginia

Source: Wikipedia

Population: 8,418
Crime Index: 21
Cost Of Living Index: 183

Floris is a small census designated place inside of Oak Hill in Fairfax County.

4. Belmont

Best Virginia

Source: Wikipedia

Population: 5,663
Crime Index: 31
Cost Of Living Index: 200

This little CDP is in Loudon County in the greater Washington, D.C. metro area.

5. Broadlands

Best Virginia

Source: Wikipedia

Population: 11,876
Crime Index: 54
Cost Of Living Index: 170

This is also a very expensive, but very safe master planned community in the greater D.C. area.

6. Dranesville

Best Virginia

Source: Wikipedia

Population: 11,936
Crime Index: 29
Cost Of Living Index: 164

Dranesville is a CDP in Fairfax County. It’s really safe.

7. South Run

Best Virginia

Source: Wikipedia

Population: 6,524
Crime Index: 29
Cost Of Living Index: 204

If you can afford to live here, this CDP is safe and most people have great jobs.

8. Crosspointe

Best Virginia

Source: Wikipedia

Population: 6,010
Crime Index: 31
Cost Of Living Index: 212

This community is also in the greater D.C. area.

9. Dunn Loring

Best Virginia

Source: Wikipedia

Population: 9,647
Crime Index: 31
Cost Of Living Index: 222

This Fairfax County CDP is one of the most expensive places you can live in area. But you get what you pay for.

10. South Riding

Best Virginia

Source: Wikipedia

Population: 24,745
Crime Index: 40
Cost Of Living Index: 151

You’d be in the middle of safe, wealthy and friendly neighbors if you lived in this part of the greater D.C. metro area.

There You Have It

Looking at the data, you can tell that anything within a 30-minute drive of western D.C. is the most desirable, according to science and data. But as most Virginia residents would agree, almost every place here is awesome.

Other notable cities:
3rd Worst: Bellwood
2nd Worst: Marion
Worst: Galax

We also wrote about the 10 worst places to live in Virginia, if you’re interested in reading that story.

Detailed List Of Best Places To Live In Virginia

City Rank Population Crime Index Cost Of Living Index
Franklin Farm 1 19,869 29 178
Lowes Island 2 11,458 36 171
Floris 3 8,418 21 183
Belmont 4 5,663 31 200
Broadlands 5 11,876 54 170
Dranesville 6 11,936 29 164
South Run 7 6,524 29 204
Crosspointe 8 6,010 31 212
Dunn Loring 9 9,647 31 222
South Riding 10 24,745 40 151
Burke 11 41,454 41 159
Kings Park West 12 13,687 39 166
Fort Hunt 13 16,736 30 193
Long Branch 14 7,540 34 173
Arlington 15 209,077 115 181
Brambleton 16 10,686 41 174
Stone Ridge 17 7,040 39 156
Newington Forest 18 13,020 48 151
Alexandria 19 140,337 80 156
Sugarland Run 20 11,904 60 137
Cascades 21 12,056 67 152
Purcellville 22 7,754 42 157
Burke Centre 23 17,343 63 145
Wolf Trap 24 16,738 33 217
Lake Barcroft 25 9,739 59 182
Countryside 26 9,816 70 143
Lansdowne 27 11,211 66 180
West Springfield 28 22,788 57 148
Leesburg 29 43,208 69 156
Kingstowne 30 14,478 85 151
Greenbriar 31 8,050 76 148
Ashburn 32 44,740 70 162
Mclean 33 48,221 52 237
Sterling 34 26,169 68 139
Franconia 35 18,775 72 150
Centreville 36 72,465 74 142
Newington 37 12,889 58 150
Mantua 38 7,484 75 192
Woodburn 39 9,026 81 169
Pimmit Hills 40 6,778 71 159
Vienna 41 15,748 73 203
Chantilly 42 23,248 56 163
Rose Hill (Fairfax County) 43 19,127 63 149
Fair Lakes 44 7,559 81 158
North Springfield 45 7,338 64 151
Mount Vernon 46 12,271 59 138
Herndon 47 23,424 79 162
Oakton 48 34,364 84 207
Laurel Hill 49 6,682 55 154
Great Falls 50 16,098 46 273
Belle Haven 51 6,808 66 155
Belle Haven 52 6,808 66 155
Merrifield 53 14,999 106 172
Reston 54 58,396 89 153
Idylwood 55 16,756 101 171
New Baltimore 56 8,535 27 154
Manassas Park 57 14,409 69 120
Montclair 58 19,877 43 130
Fair Oaks 59 29,708 115 151
Linton Hall 60 37,660 39 141
Mcnair 61 17,120 148 169
Tysons Corner 62 20,118 119 169
Springfield 63 31,321 88 154
Annandale 64 39,669 93 160
Lincolnia 65 21,431 104 151
Independent Hill 66 7,426 31 153
Neabsco 67 12,204 67 137
Huntington 68 10,973 118 126
Buckhall 69 16,160 29 154
Lake Ridge 70 40,775 81 126
Dale City 71 66,593 74 121
Aquia Harbour 72 6,293 36 131
Woodlawn (Fairfax County) 73 19,414 124 134
Wyndham 74 9,610 45 140
Lorton 75 19,293 113 143
Bailey’S Crossroads 76 23,027 124 127
Gainesville 77 11,225 60 151
Woodlake 78 7,385 49 121
Dulles Town Center 79 5,305 150 140
Seven Corners 80 8,565 142 163
Groveton 81 14,293 116 151
Potomac Mills 82 5,473 72 129
Short Pump 83 26,081 92 123
Charlottesville 84 43,223 114 123
Lake Monticello 85 9,973 39 99
Manassas 86 37,943 99 120
Warrenton 87 9,571 97 132
Lexington 88 6,990 36 98
Chamberlayne 89 5,917 23 104
Hybla Valley 90 15,513 156 149
Mechanicsville 91 36,621 65 112
Sudley 92 15,347 109 115
Cave Spring 93 25,836 81 98
Poquoson 94 12,110 47 115
Marumsco 95 37,218 128 121
Yorkshire 96 7,091 104 115
Hollins 97 15,195 74 92
Winchester 98 26,330 102 106
Virginia Beach 99 439,528 91 110
Lake Of The Woods 100 7,498 47 101
Bull Run 101 14,012 171 107
Rockwood 102 8,436 38 102
Harrisonburg 103 49,043 85 99
Dumfries 104 5,001 117 130
Glen Allen 105 15,522 67 120
Innsbrook 106 7,432 92 129
Cherry Hill 107 15,624 129 114
Bon Air 108 16,543 68 106
Blacksburg 109 42,539 59 102
Brandermill 110 12,931 87 110
Smithfield 111 8,059 79 110
Triangle 112 8,172 137 133
Tuckahoe 113 45,586 86 115
Salem 114 24,792 80 89
Christiansburg 115 20,980 94 97
Stuarts Draft 116 7,550 76 99
Gloucester Point 117 10,414 75 101
Laurel 118 16,412 121 100
Chesapeake 119 223,233 106 110
Strasburg 120 6,348 61 97
Vinton 121 8,087 108 91
Staunton 122 23,906 76 96
Fredericksburg 123 24,932 117 116
Meadowbrook 124 18,762 96 106
Colonial Heights 125 17,426 106 95
Waynesboro 126 21,030 98 95
Suffolk 127 84,216 93 106
Hampton 128 137,471 102 94
Chester 129 20,398 89 106
Lakeside 130 11,976 106 99
Woodstock 131 5,099 72 98
Newport News 132 180,831 111 96
Norfolk 133 243,056 132 99
Buena Vista 134 6,679 93 88
Richmond 135 205,348 125 95
Manchester 136 11,227 109 107
Quantico Base 137 7,096 150 104
Lynchburg 138 75,657 109 91
Madison Heights 139 11,121 87 90
Front Royal 140 14,537 96 106
Dumbarton 141 7,782 183 96
Timberlake 142 13,504 85 96
East Highland Park 143 13,940 102 92
Radford 144 16,511 101 91
Roanoke 145 96,742 130 89
Covington 146 5,903 92 79
Franklin 147 8,531 126 103
Portsmouth 148 95,786 131 92
Pulaski 149 9,084 99 83
Bristol 150 17,747 104 84
Highland Springs 151 16,536 146 89
Petersburg 152 32,226 123 99
Ettrick 153 6,216 135 99
Hopewell 154 22,501 135 97
Bedford 155 6,103 98 90
Ashland 156 7,239 99 107
Abingdon 157 8,166 94 101
Martinsville 158 13,854 97 79
Fort Lee 159 5,346 188 99
Montrose 160 7,874 177 90
Danville 161 43,185 117 81
Wytheville 162 8,205 86 91
Big Stone Gap 163 5,567 91 86
Sandston 164 7,555 140 99
South Boston 165 8,127 117 85
Bluefield 166 5,451 101 84
Bensley 167 5,374 167 92
Emporia 168 5,825 132 84
Collinsville 169 7,663 115 85
Richlands 170 5,811 100 84
Bellwood 171 5,521 140 95
Marion 172 5,953 120 85
Galax 173 6,942 111 85

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