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:
- These Are The 10 Best Counties To Live In Virginia
- 10 Cheapest Places To Live In Virginia
- 10 Best Places To Raise A Family 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 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
- Education Levels
- Health Insurance Coverage
- Poverty rates
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.
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.
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 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 🙂
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.
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’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 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.
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.
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.
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
- 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:
- 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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