These Are The 10 Best Places To Live In Virginia For 2018

These are the cream of the crop in the Commonwealth.

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This article is an opinion based on facts and is meant as infotainment. Don’t freak out that we updated it for 2018.

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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:

  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 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
  • Crime
  • Education Levels
  • Health Insurance Coverage
  • Poverty rates

Sources of criteria include the New Census Data and FBI Crime Data.

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


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


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

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.

Purcellville, VA

Overall SnackAbility


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

With the unemployment rate being the 11th lowest in Virginia and very stable household median incomes, it’s easy to see why someone would want to live in Purcellville.

Plus, the crime rate is the 2nd lowest in the state!

Falls Church, VA

Overall SnackAbility


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

Falls Church is feeling the love as it ranks as the 4th best city to live in Virginia for 2016.

It ranked highly because of its high incomes (3rd overall) and low crime (13th overall and one of the best in the top ten).

We think the city should probably change its motto at this point to something like “The Place To Be In Virginia”.

Poquoson, VA

Overall SnackAbility


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

Perhaps what makes Poquoson so amazing is the high emphasis they put on quality education: they have one of the highest rate of education at attainment for adults.

However, quality education isn’t all that makes Poquoson great. They also have the 8th highest median income and the 40th shortest commute time.

Leesburg, VA

Source: Public domain
Overall SnackAbility


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 is by far one of the best places to live in Virginia: the math proves it! This city has the 8th lowest unemployment rate and the 6th highest median income in all of Virginia.

Plus, the median home values are the 7th highest in the state. And if all of that isn’t enough to convince you, then check this out: their crime rate is the 14th lowest in the state, making Leesburg a safe and great place to live.

Alexandria, VA

Overall SnackAbility


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 ranks 7th 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 Alexandria over the past years. Goes to show that everyone wants in on this great community.

Warrenton, VA

Overall SnackAbility


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

Little Warrenton has it made. It has the 20th lowest unemployment rate, and crime is far below average for Virginia.

Residents here have great jobs, and the home price proves it’s a highly desirable location in the state, for those who can afford the high cost of living

We’d recommend you start saving up!

Salem, VA

Overall SnackAbility


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 makes a case for being one of the best places to live in Virginia mainly because of a low crime rate and a higher than average household income level.

And when school spending is higher than the national average and only 5.0% of folks are jobless, you can bet Salem residents are glad to live where they do.

Virginia Beach, VA

Overall SnackAbility


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

Virginia Beach isn’t just the nicest place to live in Virginia – it’s also the one of the fastest growing places in the state. And with good reason.

It’s got the 22nd lowest unemployment rate, the 12th highest adjusted income, and rates above most places in education.

When you’re looking at science and data, Virginia Beach definitely deserves a spot on the list for 2018.

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

  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

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