These Are The 10 Best Places To Live In Washington


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

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Where are the best places in the state of Washington? They are the places that have awesome economies. They’re the places where people have the best jobs, where residents are happily married, and where the sun shines the most.

And certainly, since crime is really low, every one wants to be there. It’s, literally, all sunshine and rainbows.

We looked at the 187 most populated cities in the Evergreen State for this study. The cities at the top are places where things are going swimmingly right now, at least according to data, which measures the good things that people say they want in a city in Washington.

There might be some surprises on this list, but when you look at the unbiased data, it’s hard to argue against. We had more than 10 million people read our worst cities in a state series, which was featured in hundreds of media outlets, including an NPR feature.

So we know what we’re talking about.

Here are the 10 best places to live in Washington:

  1. Chehalis
  2. Sequim
  3. Shelton
  4. Woodland
  5. Centralia
  6. Gig Harbor
  7. Bremerton
  8. Kelso
  9. Ocean Shores
  10. Hoquiam

We understand there’s a lot of good in every place. However, according to data (which doesn’t measure things like beauty, ‘friendly people’ and community involvement), these are the best options in Washington for making a place home.

The worst city to live in Washington? Eastgate. More on that later.

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How do you decide if a place is amazeballs or not?

In order to rank Washington’s best cities, we had to determine what criteria people like or dislike about a place. It isn’t a stretch to assume that people like low crime, good weather, things to do and a stable economy.

So we scraped the internet for those criteria, and it spit out the answer. Like magic.

How we crunched the numbers for Washington

We threw a lot of criteria at this one in order to get the best, most complete results possible. Using FBI crime data, the government census, Bureau of Labor Statistics and Sperling’s Best Places, this is the criteria we used:

  • Strong schools
  • Low unemployment rates
  • High incomes
  • High home prices
  • Lots of sunny days a year
  • Low crime
  • Low cost of living

If you’d like to see the complete list of cities in Washington, scroll to the bottom of this post to see a link to the entire data set.

Note: We get the crime numbers from the FBI, which gets its crime numbers from the cities themselves. This list is based on data, and is entirely unbiased. Additionally, the cost of living numbers are based on an average of 100, so anything lower than 100 is more affordable.

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1. Chehalis

Best Washington

Source: Wikipedia

Population: 7,285
Crime Index: 144
Cost Of Living Index: 102

This cute city along I-5 south of Centralia is the best place you can live in Washington, according to the unbiased overall numbers.

2. Sequim

Best Washington

Source: Wikipedia

Population: 6,527
Crime Index: 121
Cost Of Living Index: 111

This little city is wedged between the Strait of Juan De Fuca and the northern mountains of Washington state.

3. Shelton

Best Washington

Source: Wikipedia

Population: 9,814
Crime Index: 164
Cost Of Living Index: 101

The city of Shelton sits at the base of Oakland Bay north of Olympia. It’s relatively affordable.

4. Woodland

Best Washington

Source: Wikipedia

Population: 5,454
Crime Index: 100
Cost Of Living Index: 114

Woodland is along the Columbia River just north of Vancouver.

5. Centralia

Best Washington

Source: Wikipedia

Population: 16,381
Crime Index: 140
Cost Of Living Index: 94

This Lewis County city is one of the most affordable places you can live in Washington that has great numbers across the board.

6. Gig Harbor

Best Washington

Source: Wikipedia

Population: 7,239
Crime Index: 124
Cost Of Living Index: 138

This city along the Puget Sound is relatively safe, and has a reputation for friendly, hard-working residents.

7. Bremerton

Best Washington

Source: Wikipedia

Population: 38,311
Crime Index: 133
Cost Of Living Index: 105

Bremerton is the largest city on the Kitnap Peninsula. Although along the water, it’s actually a very affordable and peaceful place to live.

8. Kelso

Best Washington

Source: Wikipedia

Population: 11,929
Crime Index: 134
Cost Of Living Index: 97

This beautiful place along the Cowitz River, north of Vancouver, is a steal due to its cost of living.

9. Ocean Shores

Best Washington

Source: Wikipedia

Population: 5,512
Crime Index: 95
Cost Of Living Index: 105

Ocean Shores is one of the most beautiful and safe places you can live in the state of Washington. It’s directly west of Olympia.

10. Hoquiam

Best Washington

Source: Wikipedia

Population: 8,682
Crime Index: 107
Cost Of Living Index: 86

This little city is along North Bay, right next to Aberdeen, also directly west of Olympia. It’s very affordable for its location.

There You Have It

Looking at the data, you can tell that anything within a 15-minute drive of Chehalis is the most desirable, according to science and data. But as most Washington residents would agree, almost every place here is awesome.

Other notable cities:
3rd Worst: Kingsgate
2nd Worst: Klahanie
Worst: Eastgate

We also wrote about the 10 worst places to live in Washington if you’re interested in reading that story.

Detailed List Of Best Places To Live In Washington

City Rank Population Crime Index Cost Of Living Index
Chehalis 1 7,285 144 102
Sequim 2 6,527 121 111
Shelton 3 9,814 164 101
Woodland 4 5,454 100 114
Centralia 5 16,381 140 94
Gig Harbor 6 7,239 124 138
Bremerton 7 38,311 133 105
Kelso 8 11,929 134 97
Ocean Shores 9 5,512 95 105
Hoquiam 10 8,682 107 86
Union Gap 11 6,003 128 85
Aberdeen 12 16,779 130 88
Port Orchard 13 11,239 144 112
Port Angeles 14 19,061 125 99
Summit View 15 6,567 120 115
Fife 16 9,041 137 112
West Side Highway 17 5,554 80 103
Parkland 18 35,466 132 103
Longview 19 36,660 119 99
Yelm 20 6,762 90 102
Midland 21 8,946 122 105
Lakewood 22 58,688 136 111
Port Townsend 23 9,106 95 113
Sumner 24 9,459 117 115
Wollochet 25 6,181 64 153
Bangor Base 26 5,419 156 187
Tacoma 27 200,013 147 106
Bainbridge Island 28 22,933 60 161
Burlington 29 8,379 131 105
Puyallup 30 37,358 125 115
Frederickson 31 18,371 65 111
Moses Lake North 32 5,010 171 87
Clover Creek 33 6,420 84 120
Olympia 34 46,792 119 113
Ephrata 35 7,672 124 90
Walla Walla 36 31,595 111 103
Moses Lake 37 20,305 135 92
Washougal 38 14,031 80 121
Battle Ground 39 17,428 87 121
Graham 40 23,196 52 119
Fort Lewis 41 13,935 198 73
Lake Tapps 42 11,870 47 143
Wenatchee 43 31,956 103 106
Poulsbo 44 9,172 105 124
Snohomish 45 9,154 102 143
Elk Plain 46 14,645 65 115
Finley 47 5,856 61 92
Artondale 48 12,863 47 135
Orting 49 6,658 74 111
Vashon 50 10,854 67 153
Mount Vernon 51 31,804 122 107
Hazel Dell 52 18,511 102 111
Vancouver 53 162,699 110 109
Anacortes 54 15,798 78 124
Seatac 55 27,003 120 115
Quincy 56 6,721 133 93
Spanaway 57 29,243 90 107
Kennewick 58 73,640 106 102
Yakima 59 91,083 136 92
West Clarkston-Highland 60 5,233 94 103
Bonney Lake 61 17,336 85 123
Clarkston 62 7,237 113 93
Tumwater 63 17,469 104 111
Camas 64 19,483 64 132
Mount Vista 65 7,435 82 119
Birch Bay 66 8,102 78 112
Sunnyside 67 15,775 114 89
Waller 68 7,385 46 119
Milton 69 7,107 118 114
Grandview 70 10,763 99 89
Airway Heights 71 6,127 76 90
Cheney 72 10,631 101 98
Kent 73 108,700 128 119
Walnut Grove 74 9,911 76 110
Arlington 75 17,773 94 121
Edgewood 76 9,422 75 128
Five Corners 77 18,710 70 110
Pasco 78 60,024 92 93
Auburn 79 70,297 124 113
South Hill 80 54,093 75 114
Sedro-Woolley 81 10,536 99 100
Everett 82 103,135 144 116
Ellensburg 83 18,204 105 104
Silverdale 84 19,490 99 121
Tukwila 85 19,127 172 114
Lacey 86 42,383 95 108
Steilacoom 87 6,065 73 121
Lake Stickney 88 7,503 91 129
Toppenish 89 8,935 131 86
Oak Harbor 90 22,118 86 111
Selah 91 7,150 81 100
Summit 92 8,394 57 116
Parkwood 93 7,322 100 109
Prairie Ridge 94 11,795 54 113
Tanglewilde 95 5,560 110 112
East Port Orchard 96 6,073 105 113
Bellingham 97 80,930 112 126
Orchards 98 20,636 79 106
White Center 99 15,198 115 116
Spokane 100 208,701 144 91
Lake Stevens 101 28,130 110 124
Richland 102 48,556 73 102
University Place 103 31,315 101 124
Monroe 104 17,198 98 119
Lynnwood 105 35,901 119 126
Pacific 106 6,666 90 112
Minnehaha 107 8,966 74 109
Bryn Mawr-Skyway 108 16,404 105 123
Des Moines 109 29,862 101 118
Salmon Creek 110 21,168 68 119
Tracyton 111 5,257 72 110
Terrace Heights 112 6,278 57 100
Sudden Valley 113 6,625 52 117
Federal Way 114 89,691 121 118
Manchester 115 5,190 64 117
North Lynnwood 116 16,765 114 123
Fircrest 117 6,511 77 121
West Richland 118 11,904 60 105
North Bend 119 5,847 111 136
Othello 120 7,293 133 98
Woodinville 121 10,945 89 171
Issaquah 122 30,473 80 163
Pullman 123 29,895 78 111
Dupont 124 8,129 44 128
Burien 125 42,418 142 124
Barberton 126 5,526 40 124
East Wenatchee 127 13,169 103 113
Fairwood (Spokane County) 128 8,021 87 102
Enumclaw 129 10,963 69 127
Ferndale 130 11,507 86 122
Stanwood 131 6,201 96 129
Snoqualmie 132 10,500 60 149
Renton 133 91,273 131 129
Spokane Valley 134 89,793 104 99
Liberty Lake 135 7,475 43 114
College Place 136 8,720 60 104
Seattle 137 612,916 128 154
Woods Creek 138 5,800 42 134
Lakeland South 139 12,186 55 120
Hobart 140 6,580 39 163
Martha Lake 141 15,785 82 134
Lake Morton-Berrydale 142 9,628 31 134
Felida 143 7,416 38 132
Country Homes 144 5,513 119 101
Lake Shore 145 6,730 41 115
Marysville 146 60,202 117 116
Lynden 147 12,072 61 121
Union Hill-Novelty Hill 148 21,422 43 182
Bothell East 149 7,806 79 160
Mead 150 7,011 44 107
Shoreline 151 53,282 89 136
Kenmore 152 20,589 69 147
Covington 153 17,579 99 119
Edmonds 154 39,925 78 144
Normandy Park 155 6,374 68 165
Maltby 156 11,403 35 161
East Renton Highlands 157 12,627 33 141
Bothell 158 33,664 75 142
Mill Creek East 159 15,269 47 141
Mountlake Terrace 160 20,026 92 118
Clarkston Heights-Vineland 161 6,714 34 110
Otis Orchards-East Farms 162 6,421 37 100
Picnic Point 163 8,886 60 141
Cottage Lake 164 23,416 27 186
Mill Creek 165 18,163 92 147
Bellevue 166 122,873 80 178
Mukilteo 167 20,263 73 152
Kirkland 168 49,090 81 154
Maple Valley 169 22,663 67 130
Bothell West 170 15,858 55 135
Mercer Island 171 22,922 49 247
Newcastle 172 10,358 73 170
Silver Firs 173 21,433 36 142
Redmond 174 54,389 81 169
Duvall 175 6,706 36 148
Town And Country 176 5,456 81 94
Brier 177 6,142 70 143
Fairwood (King County) 178 20,647 68 122
Lake Forest Park 179 12,718 55 155
Sammamish 180 46,405 38 188
Alderwood Manor 181 8,354 77 133
Eastmont 182 20,091 47 129
Lakeland North 183 13,767 57 119
Inglewood-Finn Hill 184 24,809 59 144
Kingsgate 185 13,766 60 143
Klahanie 186 11,991 58 161
Eastgate 187 5,481 58 158

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4 thoughts on “These Are The 10 Best Places To Live In Washington

  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.

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