10 Best Places To Live In Washington For 2019

These are the cream of the crop in the Evergreen State.

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

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Ah Washington, home of Starbucks, Grunge music, soaring mountains and enough rain to make California extremely jealous.

But what makes Washington really great is its down-to-earth people and creative, friendly communities. While the whole place is downright lovely, some spots in the Evergreen State deserve special attention for standing out as truly extraordinary. This is why HomeSnacks created a list of the top ten best places to live in Washington for 2019.

We are not surprised that Washington has a huge demand for people moving to it as it ranks in the top 20 states to live in America. So Mercer Island has a ton of people knocking down the door to get in.

After analyzing 118 of the state's most populous cities, we came up with this list of the top ten best places to live in Washington in 2019 based on crime, quality of life, and things to do.

What's the best place to live in Washington state? According to the most recent FBI and Census data, Mercer Island ranks as the best place to live in Washington for 2019.

To be fair, any place mentioned in the top ten would be a great place to call home, although some places are definitely on the pricer side of Seattle. But that's what you get for your money: a safe, awesome place to live.

Read on for a detailed take on the top ten and a thorough explanation of how we figured out where to live in Washington.

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 Washington reading, check out:

The 10 Best Places To Live In Washington For 2019

Mercer Island, WA

Overall SnackAbility


Population: 24,467
Rank Last Year: 1 (No Change)
Median Home Value: $956,200 (1st best)
Unemployment Rate: 4.6% (16th best)
More on Mercer Island: Real Estate | Data | Photos

If you don't have a job in Mercer Island, you're most likely not trying very hard. The unemployment rate here is almost as low as you can get -- 4.6%. 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 $129,348.

That's actually not a bad idea...

Sammamish, WA

Overall SnackAbility


Population: 62,136
Rank Last Year: 2 (No Change)
Median Home Value: $624,800 (2nd best)
Unemployment Rate: 4.0% (10th best)
More on Sammamish: Real Estate | Data | Photos

With the unemployment rate being the 10th lowest in Washington and very stable household median incomes, it's easy to see why someone would want to live in Sammamish.

Plus, the crime rate is the 3rd lowest in the state!

Newcastle, WA

Overall SnackAbility


Population: 11,189
Rank Last Year: 3 (No Change)
Median Home Value: $579,600 (4th best)
Unemployment Rate: 4.8% (19th best)
More on Newcastle: Real Estate | Data | Photos

Newcastle is just about as close to a perfect area as you can get. Residents here are gainfully employed, and the schools are some of the best in the state. It's safe, and residents get to enjoy the benefits of quality at home living.

It's quite a gem tucked away in Washington.

Redmond, WA

Source: Public domain
Overall SnackAbility


Population: 59,268
Rank Last Year: 5 (Up 1)
Median Home Value: $525,000 (6th best)
Unemployment Rate: 4.6% (16th best)
More on Redmond: Real Estate | Data | Photos

Redmond had the 16th lowest unemployment of any place in our research (4.6%) and the 55th lowest crime rate. However, the relative lack of population density and long commute times held it back from being higher on our list.

Redmond is home to an exceptional Volunteer Fire Department that represents so much about what it's like to live there.

Kirkland, WA

Overall SnackAbility


Population: 85,812
Rank Last Year: 4 (Down 1)
Median Home Value: $469,000 (12th best)
Unemployment Rate: 5.3% (30th best)
More on Kirkland: Real Estate | Data | Photos

Kirkland 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 $469,000 and households earn a median salary of $95,939. One could get used to that.

Snoqualmie, WA

Overall SnackAbility


Population: 12,510
Rank Last Year: 6 (No Change)
Median Home Value: $471,800 (11th best)
Unemployment Rate: 3.8% (8th best)
More on Snoqualmie: Real Estate | Data | Photos

Snoqualmie is known for having a great education system and has the 105th shortest commute time.

Additionally, the unemployment rate in Snoqualmie is the 8th lowest in Washington and the median income is the 2nd highest in the state.

Brier, WA

Overall SnackAbility


Population: 6,530
Rank Last Year: 13 (Up 6)
Median Home Value: $372,000 (21st best)
Unemployment Rate: 3.8% (8th best)
More on Brier: Real Estate | Data | Photos

Brier makes a case for being one of the best places to live in Washington 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 3.8% of folks are jobless, you can bet Brier residents are glad to live where they do.

Mill Creek, WA

Source: City Of Mill Creek
Overall SnackAbility


Population: 19,372
Rank Last Year: 7 (Down 1)
Median Home Value: $411,700 (18th best)
Unemployment Rate: 3.6% (4th best)
More on Mill Creek: Real Estate | Data | Photos

Taking its place as the 8th best place in Washington is Mill Creek. Residents here earn a really high salary each year, and crime is fairly low, in comparison to the rest of Washington.

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 3.6% helps thing too.

Duvall, WA

Overall SnackAbility


Population: 7,534
Rank Last Year: 10 (Up 1)
Median Home Value: $402,900 (19th best)
Unemployment Rate: 5.9% (42nd best)
More on Duvall: Real Estate | Data | Photos

Duvall is a short drive from everything, but who would want to leave the 9th best place in Washington?

Homes are priced around $402,900 and residents have the 112th shortest commute in Washington.

Woodinville, WA

Overall SnackAbility


Population: 11,549
Rank Last Year: 15 (Up 6)
Median Home Value: $489,200 (7th best)
Unemployment Rate: 3.6% (4th best)
More on Woodinville: Real Estate | Data | Photos

And rounding out the top 10 best places to live in Washington is Woodinville.

Woodinville followed a similar path to other cities the top 10 with its low unemployment, however it also stood out for its crime rates, which place in the top 10% of the state.

Another universally recognized great place to live, Woodinville has consistently appeared as one of the best places to live in Washington over the years.

Mapping The Best And Worst Places To Live in Washington

The Pressing Question: Size

Before we even started to collect data, we had to answer a tough question: Is it fair to pit Olympia with a population of 49,608 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 118 cities, 194 towns, and 169 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 Washington

Now that we had our set of cities, it was time to rank them.

We ranked each place in Washington across a number of criteria from one to 118, 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 Washington".

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 Washington? That would be Mercer Island.

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 Washington.

Otherwise, buckle up for a ride down good living lane with Mercer Island at the end of the cul-de-sac.

Wrapping Up The Best Places When It Comes To Living In Washington

If you're looking at areas in Washington with the best economic situations, where there's lower than average crime, and a lot to do, this is an accurate list.

Mercer Island made a strong showing to take in the overall number one spot for the best place to live in Washington for 2019.

Best Towns To Live In Washington

  1. Yarrow Point (Pop. 1,149)
  2. Medina (Pop. 3,169)
  3. Clyde Hill (Pop. 3,197)
  4. Woodway (Pop. 1,367)
  5. Walla Walla East (Pop. 1,729)
  6. Wilderness Rim (Pop. 1,332)
  7. Monroe North (Pop. 1,784)
  8. Chico (Pop. 2,463)
  9. Browns Point (Pop. 1,187)
  10. Canterwood (Pop. 3,409)

Best Small Towns To Live In Washington

  1. Raft Island (Pop. 342)
  2. Keyport (Pop. 442)
  3. Beaux Arts Village (Pop. 368)
  4. Hunts Point (Pop. 461)
  5. Colton (Pop. 418)
  6. Ruston (Pop. 969)
  7. Bay View (Pop. 700)
  8. Cherry Grove (Pop. 447)
  9. Uniontown (Pop. 377)
  10. Dollars Corner (Pop. 798)

If you're curious enough, here are the worst places to live in Washington according to the data:

  1. Union Gap (Pop. 6,125)
  2. Kelso (Pop. 11,871)
  3. Shelton (Pop. 9,832)

For more Washington reading, check out:

Where Are The Best Places To Live In Washington?

Rank City Population Unemployment Rate Home Value
1 Mercer Island 24,467 4.6% $956,200
2 Sammamish 62,136 4.0% $624,800
3 Newcastle 11,189 4.8% $579,600
4 Redmond 59,268 4.6% $525,000
5 Kirkland 85,812 5.3% $469,000
6 Snoqualmie 12,510 3.8% $471,800
7 Brier 6,530 3.8% $372,000
8 Mill Creek 19,372 3.6% $411,700
9 Duvall 7,534 5.9% $402,900
10 Woodinville 11,549 3.6% $489,200

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.

5 thoughts on “10 Best Places To Live In Washington For 2019

  1. If tyis comment box is for the 10 Best places to live in Washington, you should redo this article. The majority of the best place you have listed also have some of the highest crine rates in Washington.
    Kirkland was ranked one of the best cities to live in, in the whole United States and you have it listed as 168th.
    Please check the facts and realities of our State before publishing.

  2. You are an idiot and obviously have no idea what you’re talking about. The top places you listed are almost universally accepted by wa residents and multiple surveys from professional publications as the worst places whereas sammamish, mercer island, Redmond, etc the best as you can tell by various metrics such as high home values as everyone wants to live in those places, high income, number of college educated professionals, very low crime. Walk down a city street in a place like chehalis versus any location in east king county (Redmond, sammamish, issaquah) and you’ll see. World of difference. Do your research stupid and don’t mislead people.

  3. So, “Newcastle only has 480.0% of its residents living in poverty.” That’s pretty amazing. Impossible, but amazing….

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