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 to live in Virginia?

Some might say wherever there's a college basketball team, a NASCAR track, a sunny beach, a snowy mountain, a pot of blue crab, or a hefty Brunswick Stew. When you stumble upon all, you might feel like you've won the Virginia Lottery. That's right, folks, Virginia is not only 'For Lovers,' it has some of the best cities on the East Coast. And lucky for you, HomeSnacks has calculated the top 10 best places to live in Virginia for 2019.

All Virginia Tech basketball and Chesapeake Bay Blue Crab aside, Virginia is the tenth oldest state in the country, so that's all the more reason that they should have the best cities. They've had some time to perfect them. And that's just what the Virginia cities on our top ten best cities list have done.

The Old Dominion cities that made our list average some of the highest median household incomes and boasts some of the most expensive homes. These cities have some of the most educated residents and safety is a priority.

So grab yourself some boiled peanuts, a shot of good 'ol Virginia whiskey, and read on.

What does the best place to live in the Birthplace of American Spirits look like? The best place to live in Virginia for 2019 is Vienna.

We are not at all surprised. Viennais beautiful, quaint, safe, and bursting at the seams with great people.

However, the competition was fierce to say the least. To see Virginia's other best of the best cities, take a look below. And if you don't find your favorite city there, head to the bottom.

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 don't have a job in Vienna, you're most likely not trying very hard. The unemployment rate here is almost as low as you can get -- 2.9%. In fact, there are probably enough butler and landscaping jobs available here to put every single unemployed resident to work, what with a median income of $143,276.

That's actually not a bad idea...

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

We wouldn't be surprised to see CNN call Bridgewater 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 Bridgewater.

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

Things can't get much better than in the town of Purcellville. The crime is the 2nd lowest in the entire state, and the residents who live in Purcellville make huge salaries, and almost all of them have great jobs.

The median home costs a cool $426,500 and households make $117,736 which is good for 2nd in Virginia.

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 crime is the 13th lowest in the state in Falls Church, and there were only 27 violent crimes in the entire city last year. We think it's even safer here than the numbers indicate.

The schools are some of the best in Virginia, and residents live in very expensive homes. They also earn more than most every other city in the state. Residents in Falls Church earn $115,244 a year.

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

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

There's low crime in Poquoson, and the residents here are gainfully employed (3.2% unemployment rate).

You can make Poquoson your home for only $301,800 which won't be too hard on a $84,643 household salary.

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 ranks 6th on our list of best places to live in Virginia thanks to its low unemployment and high adjusted median income.

Additionally, its crime rate ranks in the lowest 10% of all places in Virginia that we examined.

People have been flocking to Leesburg over the past years. Goes to show that everyone wants in on this great community.

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 is a cute little city where crime is far below the state average, and where it's affordable. The schools are also solidly rated.

Home prices clock in at $520,700 and households earn a median salary of $89,200. One could get used to that.

Review Of Alexandria by HomeSnacks User

No crime. At all. Just silly middle school and high school kids pulling pranks. Beautiful, charming city. 7 minutes to DC. Great schools. Great community. Educated people. Diverse.

Old Town is fun and beautiful, especially by the water. Good restaurants. Arlington is right next door, and it's a pretty awesome city, too.

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

The tiny town of Warrenton may not remain tiny forever. The word has been out for a long, long time about how special this place is.

The residents are heavily involved in making their community even more awesome, and as many Virginia residents know, Warrenton is a great central spot for making the most of life.

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 crime rate is much lower here than in the rest of Virginia, as there were only 24 violent crimes in the city limits last year. The unemployment rate is the 14th lowest in Virginia (5.0%), and the public schools are ranked 3rd in the state in terms of spending per student.

Additionally, homes are the 35th most expensive in Salem ($173,800), meaning a lot of people want to live there.

Plus, the residents earn a really great salary: $52,351 a year.

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

Who wouldn't want to live in a place where there's low crime and everyone is rich? That's the case with Virginia Beach.

Things are looking peachy keen here. The unemployment rate is the 22nd lowest in Virginia and the median income comes in at $67,719.

This is the kind of place you brag to your friends on Facebook about.

Review Of Virginia Beach by HomeSnacks User

The positives: This place has a ton of things to do for both adults and children, making it very family friendly and oriented. You'll never get bored.

Cons: This is a tourist town, and some of the fun things, such as the boardwalk, are almost impossible for locals to access during the summer months. Also, the influx of population also brings along a higher level of crime during these months.

The restaurants here are plentiful and phenomenal. However, the people aren't always friendly.

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 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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