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


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

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

But what makes the state really great is its down-to-earth people and the creative, friendly community.

While the whole place is downright lovely, some spots in the Evergreen State deserve special attention for standing out as truly extraordinary.

Analyzing 187 of the state’s most populous cities, we came up with this list of the top ten best places to live in Washington in 2015:

  1. Mercer Island (Photos | Homes For Sale)
  2. Sammamish (Photos | Homes For Sale)
  3. Newcastle (Photos | Homes For Sale)
  4. Redmond (Photos | Homes For Sale)
  5. Kirkland (Photos | Homes For Sale)
  6. Snoqualmie (Photos | Homes For Sale)
  7. Brier (Photos | Homes For Sale)
  8. Mill Creek (Photos | Homes For Sale)
  9. Duvall (Photos | Homes For Sale)
  10. Woodinville (Photos | Homes For Sale)

Well, it looks like you should check out Mercer Island if you’re thinking of moving to Washington — it’s the best the Evergreen State 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 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:

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 Place 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.

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.

Mercer Island, WA

Overall SnackAbility

10
/10

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

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

Things are looking peachy keen here. The unemployment rate is the 16th lowest in Washington and the median income comes in at $129,348.

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

Sammamish, WA

Overall SnackAbility

10
/10

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

Sammamish is another great city in Washington with a low unemployment rate and where residents earn high salaries.

Said one reviewer on City-Data.com: ” We feel incredibly safe in Sammamish. The houses and neighborhoods are beautiful, the people are friendly, and it’s wonderful to have such good neighbors. People watch out for each other here, they teach their children to be respectful of others and things.”

Enough said.

Newcastle, WA

Overall SnackAbility

9.5
/10

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 a short drive from everything, but who would want to leave the 3rd best place in Washington?

Homes are priced around $579,600 and residents have the 67th shortest commute in Washington.

Redmond, WA

Source: Public domain
Overall SnackAbility

9.5
/10

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 is another gem in Evergreen State. The unemployment rate here is 16th lowest in the entire state at 4.6%. Other factors that make Redmond so desirable is the solid education and home prices.

Homes are valued at $525,000, and parents earn a combined $107,341 a year

There’s nothing like the American dream.

Kirkland, WA

Overall SnackAbility

9.5
/10

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

We think the motto in Kirkland should be “Everything is greater in Kirkland,” and that seems to be pretty close to the truth.

Kirkland has some of the highest home values in Washington, and they’re going up fast. Additionally, Kirkland only has 670.0% of its residents living in poverty.

Crime is also well below the state average, making Kirkland a solid option for people who value safety. At least those who can afford it.

Snoqualmie, WA

Overall SnackAbility

10
/10

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

Perhaps what makes Snoqualmie 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 Snoqualmie great. They also have the 2nd highest median income and the 105th shortest commute time.

Brier, WA

Overall SnackAbility

10
/10

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 has been called one of the best small towns in America. If you live here, you’re most likely already aware of how great it is to live there.

Just about everyone who wants a job in Brier has one; the unemployment rate is hovering at about 3.8% and lowering. And the Brier police department is doing a solid job, as crime is the 5th lowest in the state here.

Who wouldn’t want to live in a place like this?

Mill Creek, WA

Source: City Of Mill Creek
Overall SnackAbility

9.5
/10

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

Mill Creek comes in at a close 8th. They have the 4th lowest unemployment rate in the state and the 21st highest median income as well, which means the people in Mill Creek are working and getting paid well.

Additionally, the median home value is the 18th best in the state.

Duvall, WA

Overall SnackAbility

10
/10

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 known for having a great education system and has the 112th shortest commute time.

Additionally, the unemployment rate in Duvall is the 42nd lowest in Washington and the median income is the 4th highest in the state.

Woodinville, WA

Overall SnackAbility

9.5
/10

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

The crime is the 53rd lowest in the state in Woodinville, and there were only 17 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 Washington, and residents live in very expensive homes. They also earn more than most every other city in the state. Residents in Woodinville earn $106,341 a year.

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 2018.

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:

Detailed List Of 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
11 Bellevue 136,718 5.0% $608,500
12 Mukilteo 20,994 6.4% $454,300
13 Maple Valley 25,093 7.5% $312,600
14 Normandy Park 6,598 4.1% $484,700
15 Camas 21,393 5.4% $341,300
16 Lake Forest Park 13,156 6.4% $464,500
17 Issaquah 34,728 5.1% $477,200
18 Bainbridge Island 23,576 3.9% $569,700
19 Kenmore 21,830 5.2% $427,700
20 Lynden 13,204 3.7% $287,200
21 Fircrest 6,660 8.5% $282,400
22 Edmonds 41,020 5.2% $413,000
23 Bothell 43,153 6.2% $372,700
24 Ridgefield 6,112 3.1% $287,600
25 Mountlake Terrace 20,747 5.0% $274,900
26 Liberty Lake 8,566 8.9% $263,000
27 Covington 19,172 4.8% $271,200
28 Steilacoom 6,175 7.4% $295,300
29 Anacortes 16,229 5.7% $327,300
30 Edgewood 9,862 4.9% $307,800
31 Lake Stevens 30,352 5.0% $274,900
32 Shoreline 55,021 7.0% $352,200
33 University Place 32,342 7.3% $293,700
34 Poulsbo 9,806 4.8% $288,200
35 North Bend 6,475 7.1% $424,100
36 Richland 53,227 5.7% $213,000
37 West Richland 13,407 6.7% $202,200
38 Seattle 668,849 5.1% $484,600
39 Milton 7,239 5.4% $234,400
40 Selah 7,599 4.3% $206,200
41 Port Townsend 9,286 5.7% $301,700
42 Washougal 14,987 7.3% $243,400
43 Stanwood 6,685 4.7% $273,000
44 Bonney Lake 19,022 6.2% $272,400
45 Battle Ground 18,987 6.8% $223,000
46 College Place 8,996 4.5% $173,100
47 Dupont 9,224 10.6% $310,600
48 Oak Harbor 22,544 8.0% $226,100
49 Tumwater 21,684 6.2% $224,900
50 Gig Harbor 8,307 10.7% $347,400
51 Orting 7,254 6.0% $207,600
52 Pullman 32,176 11.0% $233,000
53 Lacey 45,644 8.8% $227,900
54 Snohomish 9,551 5.4% $290,200
55 Ferndale 12,666 8.1% $252,600
56 Renton 98,499 5.3% $313,500
57 Marysville 64,955 7.7% $244,800
58 East Wenatchee 13,589 5.5% $216,300
59 Prosser 5,860 3.6% $158,700
60 Enumclaw 11,543 6.5% $240,900
61 Bellingham 84,462 7.9% $306,300
62 Wenatchee 33,257 6.2% $208,200
63 Monroe 17,906 6.2% $261,600
64 Pacific 7,042 8.3% $211,600
65 Olympia 49,608 8.6% $246,100
66 Ellensburg 18,957 5.5% $206,800
67 Arlington 18,749 7.4% $244,000
68 Des Moines 30,904 6.7% $266,500
69 Vancouver 169,982 8.1% $217,200
70 Kennewick 77,975 6.9% $174,500
71 Puyallup 39,274 7.4% $258,800
72 Burien 50,187 5.8% $290,500
73 Woodland 5,684 3.6% $193,900
74 Lynnwood 36,861 5.4% $300,400
75 Sumner 9,691 5.9% $234,700
76 Connell 5,414 6.0% $119,600
77 Spokane Valley 93,322 6.8% $169,900
78 Kent 125,492 6.8% $262,800
79 Pasco 68,567 6.8% $166,400
80 Federal Way 93,986 6.8% $259,300
81 Othello 7,726 4.4% $148,700
82 Ocean Shores 5,673 17.7% $181,100
83 Cheney 11,479 11.9% $176,100
84 Sequim 6,736 9.9% $203,400
85 Port Orchard 13,265 10.1% $256,500
86 Spokane 212,078 7.6% $160,800
87 Auburn 75,607 7.4% $241,800
88 Everett 106,580 7.7% $242,200
89 Ephrata 7,980 7.4% $147,100
90 Walla Walla 31,952 8.0% $173,200
91 Mount Vernon 33,388 8.1% $206,500
92 Tacoma 205,602 8.0% $212,400
93 Sunnyside 16,217 7.1% $119,100
94 Yelm 8,066 12.3% $202,500
95 Bremerton 39,388 8.7% $178,600
96 Lakewood 59,489 10.8% $218,600
97 Port Angeles 19,420 11.0% $188,300
98 Seatac 28,298 6.4% $246,100
99 Fife 9,645 7.5% $229,100
100 Chehalis 7,340 6.6% $168,000

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4 thoughts on “These Are The 10 Best Places To Live In Washington For 2018

  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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