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:
- Vienna (Photos | Homes For Sale)
- Bridgewater (Photos | Homes For Sale)
- Purcellville (Photos | Homes For Sale)
- Falls Church (Photos | Homes For Sale)
- Poquoson (Photos | Homes For Sale)
- Leesburg (Photos | Homes For Sale)
- Alexandria (Photos | Homes For Sale)
- Warrenton (Photos | Homes For Sale)
- Salem (Photos | Homes For Sale)
- 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.
For more Virginia reading, check out:
- 10 Best Places To Live In Virginia
- These Are The 10 Best Counties To Live In Virginia
- 10 Cheapest Places To Live In Virginia
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’.
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
- Education Levels
- Health Insurance Coverage
- Poverty rates
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 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 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.
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.
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.
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.
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 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 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.
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.
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
- Pantops (Pop. 3,688)
- Belmont Estates (Pop. 1,329)
- Hayfield (Pop. 4,453)
- Kings Park (Pop. 4,687)
- Daleville (Pop. 3,180)
- Hampden-Sydney (Pop. 1,600)
- Ravensworth (Pop. 2,175)
- Dayton (Pop. 1,633)
- Haymarket (Pop. 1,826)
- Laymantown (Pop. 2,203)
Best Small Towns To Live In Virginia
- Riner (Pop. 888)
- Clifton (Pop. 219)
- Washington (Pop. 140)
- Round Hill (Pop. 570)
- Bobtown (Pop. 323)
- Free Union (Pop. 291)
- Mount Crawford (Pop. 419)
- Occoquan (Pop. 947)
- Hillsboro (Pop. 98)
- Irvington (Pop. 403)
If you’re curious enough, here are the worst places to live in Virginia according to the data:
- Danville (Pop. 42,360)
- Petersburg (Pop. 31,997)
- Emporia (Pop. 5,565)
For more Virginia reading, check out:
- 10 Best Places To Raise A Family In Virginia
- These Are The 10 Best Places To Retire In Virginia For 2018
- These Are The 10 Richest Cities In Virginia
- 10 Safest Places In Virginia
- 10 Worst Cities In Virginia For 2017
Detailed List Of The Best Places To Live In Virginia
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