These Are The 10 Best Places To Live In Virginia For 2019


These are the cream of the crop in the Commonwealth.

Join HomeSnacks
Editor’s Note: We updated this article for 2019. This is our fifth time ranking the best places to live in Virginia.

Swipe left for slideshow. Article continues below.

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 Cities 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.

After the dust settled, what was the best place to live in Virginia? That would be Vienna.

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

If you want to live in Virginia, you can’t go wrong if you decide to make the Vienna area your home. However, everyone and their mother wants to live here.

Can you blame them? It’s a beautiful place with really low crime, where a majority of residents are wealthy (a $143,276 median income will do that).

Plus, the residents are really involved with helping to make Vienna as great as possible. You can’t get it much better than in Vienna.

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

The Town of Bridgewater consistently ranks as one of the best places to live. There aren’t any surprises here. Which probably adds credibility to our data, right?

Let’s see why Bridgewater ranks so high. First of all, the homes in Bridgewater are the 23rd most expensive in the state of Virginia, with the average home worth a whopping $209,200. We’re not elitists, nor are we saying that big homes means a better place to live. But price reflects demand, and simply put, a lot of people want to live in Bridgewater if they can afford it.

Other numbers that stand out: Bridgewater residents have the 17th highest income in the state, and the 1st lowest crime numbers in Virginia.

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

Purcellville ranks as the 3rd best place in Virginia for 2019. Let’s take a look at why.

Purcellville has a lower crime rate than the cities mentioned above. Purcellville’s cost of living is a tick higher, but families also earn much higher salaries – to the tune of $117,736 a year.

The knock? We can’t really find one 🙂

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

Who doesn’t want to live in Falls Church? Because, according to the data, most everyone should want to.

Crime is lower than the state average, and the unemployment rate sits at only 5.3%. The school systems are generally well funded, meaning lots of personal attention for area kids.

Expect to see more of Falls Church in the news in the coming months.

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

The Poquoson has the 3rd lowest unemployment rate in Virginia. The population growth here has been 8% over the last 15 years, meaning a lot of people want to live here. If they can afford it; the cost of living in Poquoson is higher than the national average and households make $84,643 per year.

We’d move to Poquoson if we could in a heart beat.

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

Leesburg’s unemployment rates are some of the lowest in the state and the median income is the 6th highest, making Leesburg a great place to work and settle down if you’re look for a stable job with a stable income.

Additionally, Leesburg has above average education and low crime, making this place a safe place to live.

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 at a close 7th. They have the 8th lowest unemployment rate in the state and the 7th highest median income as well, which means the people in Alexandria are working and getting paid well.

Additionally, the median home value is the 3rd best in the state.

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

You might be surprised to see the Town of Warrenton so high on the list. Unless you live in Warrenton.

The unemployment rate here is really low, and at 5.5%, Warrenton residents are some of the hardest working in the state of Virginia. When you factor in high home prices, high incomes and low crime, Warrenton is doing quite well.

Let’s be honest — Warrenton is the kind of place you brag to your friends on Facebook about.

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

Taking its place as the 9th best place in Virginia is Salem. Residents here earn a really high salary each year, and crime is fairly low, in comparison to the rest of Virginia.

It’s considered a cultural community, as it boasts an arts scene, and many ethnic restaurants, too. Which means you can’t be bored here.

An unemployment rate of only 5.0% helps thing too.

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

In Virginia Beach, everyone loves to call Virginia Beach home! The median home value is the 16th highest in Virginia.

Additionally, the unemployment rate is the 22nd lowest in the state. and the crime rates are some of the lowest in Old Dominion.

Virginia Beach should consider renaming to Paradise Valley in our humble opinion.

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 the best place to live in Virginia for 2019.

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

Like HomeSnacks on Facebook:

One thought on “These Are The 10 Best Places To Live In Virginia For 2019

  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.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *