10 Best Places To Live In Virginia For 2019


These are the cream of the crop in the Commonwealth.

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

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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.

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:

The 10 Best Places To Live In Virginia For 2019

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 live in Vienna, you probably know how great it is already.

Vienna has a stable economy where residents earn a large salary ($143,276). And the crime is really, really low (5th lowest in Virginia).

If we could afford to move here, we probably would.

Review Of Vienna by HomeSnacks User

I have lived all over the country from the mid-west to up and down the coats and Vienna, VA has been our favorite place. Vienna is a Wonderful area where there is a bit of everything. Great place to raise kids in a small town environment while being just 20 minutes away from the nation’s capital. Access to everything while being far away from the big city inconveniences that we all forget about.

It’s a close knit community where neighbors know each other and take pride in their town. The community is involved in a lot of activity planning and involved deeply in keeping the town beautiful.

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

Let’s take a look at why Bridgewater is a great place to call home for 2019.

There’s low crime in Bridgewater, and the residents here are gainfully employed (3.3% unemployment rate).

You can make Bridgewater your home for only $209,200 which won’t be too hard on a $56,764 household salary.

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

We think the motto in Purcellville should be “Everything is greater in Purcellville,” and that seems to be pretty close to the truth.

Purcellville has some of the highest home values in Virginia, and they’re going up fast. Additionally, Purcellville only has 440.0% of its residents living in poverty.

Crime is also well below the state average, making Purcellville a solid option for people who value safety. At least those who can afford it.

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

The Falls Church has the 18th 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 Falls Church is higher than the national average and households make $115,244 per year.

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

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

Known for its low unemployment rates and great education, Poquoson 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, Poquoson still holds its own in in Virginia.

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 has a long and illustrious history and its ranking in the top ten of our best places to live is just another notch in its belt.\n\Leesburg had the 6th highest household median income adjusted for cost of living at $102,132.

Not to mention that its residents have plenty to do on the weekends.

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 broke into the top ten best places to live in Virginia on the back of a low unemployment and a quality schools system.

It placed 8th overall for its low unemployment rate and the 7th highest median income of any place in our analysis.

However, it only has the 53rd shortest average commute time of any place in Virginia.

Review Of Alexandria by HomeSnacks User

Alexandria is a wonderful place to live and is one of the best places to find a charming, suburban community so close to downtown washington DC. It is an expensive place to live but it has a strong community, many activities for families, and plenty of amenities.

The Del Ray neighborhood is a wonderful and quaint place to visit a farmer’s market or get a delicious bite to eat. Old Town is vibrant and filled with excellent food and shopping options.

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 ranks as the 8th best place in Virginia for 2019. Let’s take a look at why.

Warrenton has a lower crime rate than the cities mentioned above. Warrenton’s cost of living is a tick higher, but families also earn much higher salaries – to the tune of $67,553 a year.

The knock? We can’t really find one 🙂

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

Salem is another great city in Virginia with a low unemployment rate and where residents earn high salaries.

Said one reviewer on City-Data.com: ” We feel incredibly safe in Salem. The houses and neighborhoods are beautiful, the people are friendly, and it’s wonderful to have such good neighbors. People watch out for each other here, they teach their children to be respectful of others and things.”

Enough said.

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

We wouldn’t be surprised to see CNN call Virginia Beach one of the best places to live in the United States. Not only do the residents all make great livings, there’s essentially no crime in the entire city. And the residents are very involved in the community.

They can’t build homes fast enough here as it seems everyone wants a piece of Virginia Beach.

Review Of Virginia Beach by HomeSnacks User

Crime is low, schools are great, there is always plenty to do and there are miles and miles of beaches!

My favorite place is Ocean Eddie’s on the Virginia Beach Pier. Great food at reasonable prices!

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.

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:

Where Are The 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

About Chris Kolmar

Chris Kolmar has been in the real estate business for almost ten years now. He originally worked for Movoto Real Estate as the director of marketing before founding HomeSnacks.

He believes the key to finding the right place to live comes down to looking at the data, reading about things to do, and, most importantly, checking it out yourself before you move.

If you've been looking for a place to live in the past several years, you've probably stumbled upon his writing already.

You can find out more about him on LinkedIn or his website.

One thought on “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.

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