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:
- Mercer Island (Photos | Homes For Sale)
- Sammamish (Photos | Homes For Sale)
- Newcastle (Photos | Homes For Sale)
- Redmond (Photos | Homes For Sale)
- Kirkland (Photos | Homes For Sale)
- Snoqualmie (Photos | Homes For Sale)
- Brier (Photos | Homes For Sale)
- Mill Creek (Photos | Homes For Sale)
- Duvall (Photos | Homes For Sale)
- 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.
For more Washington reading, check out:
- These Are The 10 Best Counties To Live In Washington
- 10 Cheapest Places To Live In Washington
- 10 Best Places To Raise A Family In Washington
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’.
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
- Education Levels
- Health Insurance Coverage
- Poverty rates
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.
Mercer Island is another gem in Evergreen State. The unemployment rate here is 16th lowest in the entire state at 4.6%. Other factors that make Mercer Island so desirable is the solid education and home prices.
Homes are valued at $956,200, and parents earn a combined $129,348 a year
There’s nothing like the American dream.
Sammamish broke into the top ten best places to live in Washington on the back of a low unemployment and a quality schools system.
It placed 10th overall for its low unemployment rate and the 1st highest median income of any place in our analysis.
However, it only has the 104th shortest average commute time of any place in Washington.
Newcastle has some of the most employed as well as the highest earning residents in the entire state of Washington. Factor in a very low crime rate, and this Newcastle is a real gem.
With high incomes comes a high cost of living, which can been seen in the home prices. Additionally, the commute time for Newcastle residents to work is significantly higher than average.
Redmond comes in 4th in our best places to live in Washington analysis.
Ranking highly for its exceptionally low unemployment rate (16th overall) and crime rate (55th overall), Redmond is the exact kind of place you’d want to live with a family.
Several large companies call the surrounding area home which should keep Redmond in our lists for years to come.
We wouldn’t be surprised to see CNN call Kirkland one of the best places to live in the United States. Not only do the residents all make great livings, there’s essentially no crime in the entire city. And the residents are very involved in the community.
They can’t build homes fast enough here as it seems everyone wants a piece of Kirkland.
Snoqualmie 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 Snoqualmie has one; the unemployment rate is hovering at about 3.8% and lowering. And the Snoqualmie police department is doing a solid job, as crime is the 17th lowest in the state here.
Who wouldn’t want to live in a place like this?
Let’s take a look at why Brier is a great place to call home for 2019.
There’s low crime in Brier, and the residents here are gainfully employed (3.8% unemployment rate).
You can make Brier your home for only $372,000 which won’t be too hard on a $105,901 household salary.
If you own a home in Mill Creek, you’re aware that your home values are skyrocketing right now. That’s a sign that things are going swimmingly. Most people there have good jobs, and the commute times are short.
The median home costs a cool $411,700 and households make $88,345 which is good for 21st in Washington.Mill Creek has a well deserved spot on this list.
Say what you want about expensive houses. The fact is, homes are priced by demand, and there’s A LOT of demand to live in Duvall.
The median home costs a cool $402,900 and households make $125,123 which is good for 4th in Washington.
Add that all up and Duvall places 9th in our ranking of the best places to live in Washington for 2019.
Woodinville is by far one of the best places to live in Washington: the math proves it! This city has the 4th lowest unemployment rate and the 7th highest median income in all of Washington.
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 53rd lowest in the state, making Woodinville a safe and great place to live.
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
- Yarrow Point (Pop. 1,149)
- Medina (Pop. 3,169)
- Clyde Hill (Pop. 3,197)
- Woodway (Pop. 1,367)
- Walla Walla East (Pop. 1,729)
- Wilderness Rim (Pop. 1,332)
- Monroe North (Pop. 1,784)
- Chico (Pop. 2,463)
- Browns Point (Pop. 1,187)
- Canterwood (Pop. 3,409)
Best Small Towns To Live In Washington
- Raft Island (Pop. 342)
- Keyport (Pop. 442)
- Beaux Arts Village (Pop. 368)
- Hunts Point (Pop. 461)
- Colton (Pop. 418)
- Ruston (Pop. 969)
- Bay View (Pop. 700)
- Cherry Grove (Pop. 447)
- Uniontown (Pop. 377)
- Dollars Corner (Pop. 798)
If you’re curious enough, here are the worst places to live in Washington according to the data:
- Union Gap (Pop. 6,125)
- Kelso (Pop. 11,871)
- Shelton (Pop. 9,832)
For more Washington reading, check out:
- These Are The 10 Best Places To Retire In Washington For 2018
- These Are The 10 Richest Cities In Washington
- 10 Safest Places In Washington
- 10 Worst Places To Live In Washington
Detailed List Of The Best Places To Live In Washington
|16||Lake Forest Park||13,156|