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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Where are the best places in the state of Washington?

To the untrained eye they are the places that have awesome economies. They’re the places in Evergreen State 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 Washington.

There might be some surprises on this list, but when you look at the unbiased data, it’s hard to argue against.

After analyzing 118 places in Washington, we came up with this list of the best places:

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

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.

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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 5,100
  • Towns — Populations between 1,000 and 5,100
  • Small Towns — Populations below 1,000

This left us with 118 cities, 202 towns, and 235 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 5,100 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.

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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.

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1. Mercer Island

Mercer Island, Washington

Source: Wikipedia

Population: 24,467
Rank Last Year: 1 (No Change)
Home Values: $956,200 (1st best)
Unemployment Rate: 4.6% (15th best)
Taking its place as the 1st best place in Washington is Mercer Island. 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 4.6% helps thing too.

2. Sammamish

Sammamish, Washington

Source: Wikipedia

Population: 62,136
Rank Last Year: 2 (No Change)
Home Values: $624,800 (2nd best)
Unemployment Rate: 4.0% (10th best)
Sammamish 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 4.0% of folks are jobless, you can bet Sammamish residents are glad to live where they do.

3. Newcastle

Newcastle, Washington

Source: Wikipedia

Population: 11,189
Rank Last Year: 3 (No Change)
Home Values: $579,600 (4th best)
Unemployment Rate: 4.8% (19th best)
Newcastle ranks as the 3rd best place in Washington for 2018. Let’s take a look at why.

Newcastle has a lower crime rate than the cities mentioned above. Newcastle’s cost of living is a tick higher, but families also earn much higher salaries – to the tune of $111,955 a year.

The knock? We can’t really find one 🙂

4. Redmond

Redmond, Washington

Source: Wikipedia

Population: 59,268
Rank Last Year: 5 (Up 1)
Home Values: $525,000 (6th best)
Unemployment Rate: 4.6% (15th best)
Redmond comes in at a close 4th. They have the 16th lowest unemployment rate in the state and the 6th highest median income as well, which means the people in Redmond are working and getting paid well.

Additionally, the median home value is the 6th best in the state.

5. Kirkland

Kirkland, Washington

Source: Wikipedia

Population: 85,812
Rank Last Year: 4 (Down 1)
Home Values: $469,000 (12th best)
Unemployment Rate: 5.3% (29th best)
Kirkland 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 30th overall for its low unemployment rate and the 14th highest median income of any place in our analysis.

However, it only has the 71st shortest average commute time of any place in Washington.

6. Snoqualmie

Snoqualmie, Washington

Source: Wikipedia

Population: 12,510
Rank Last Year: 6 (No Change)
Home Values: $471,800 (11th best)
Unemployment Rate: 3.8% (7th best)
Taking its place as the 6th best place in Washington is Snoqualmie. 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 3.8% helps thing too.

7. Brier

Brier, Washington

Source: Wikipedia

Population: 6,530
Rank Last Year: 13 (Up 6)
Home Values: $372,000 (21st best)
Unemployment Rate: 3.8% (7th best)
Brier 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 8th overall for its low unemployment rate and the 8th highest median income of any place in our analysis.

However, it only has the 101st shortest average commute time of any place in Washington.

8. Mill Creek

Mill Creek, Washington

Source: Wikipedia

Population: 19,372
Rank Last Year: 7 (Down 1)
Home Values: $411,700 (18th best)
Unemployment Rate: 3.6% (3rd best)
Who wouldn’t want to live in a place where there’s low crime and everyone is rich? That’s the case with Mill Creek.

Things are looking peachy keen here. The unemployment rate is the 4th lowest in Washington and the median income comes in at $88,345.

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

9. Duvall

Duvall, Washington

Source: Wikipedia

Population: 7,534
Rank Last Year: 10 (Up 1)
Home Values: $402,900 (19th best)
Unemployment Rate: 5.9% (42nd best)
Duvall takes 9th place on our list of best places in Washington for 2018 thanks to a strong showing in unemployment rate (42nd overall) and things to do.

Duvall is no stranger to top ten lists, being named one of the best places to live in the country by multiple outlets over the past ten years.And that tends to happen when home prices hit $402,900 at the median.

10. Woodinville

Woodinville, Washington

Source: Wikipedia

Population: 11,549
Rank Last Year: 15 (Up 5)
Home Values: $489,200 (7th best)
Unemployment Rate: 3.6% (3rd best)
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.

\nPlus, 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 Of The Best 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. Larch Way (Pop. 4,118)

Best Small Towns To Live In Washington

  1. Keyport (Pop. 442)
  2. Raft Island (Pop. 342)
  3. Beaux Arts Village (Pop. 368)
  4. Sekiu (Pop. 46)
  5. Hunts Point (Pop. 461)
  6. Colton (Pop. 418)
  7. Herron Island (Pop. 67)
  8. Bay View (Pop. 700)
  9. McKenna (Pop. 941)
  10. Ruston (Pop. 969)

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

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

For more Washington reading , check out:

Detailed List Of The Best Cities In Washington

City Rank Previous Rank Population Unemployment Rate Home Value
Mercer Island 1 1 24,467 4.6% $956,200
Sammamish 2 2 62,136 4.0% $624,800
Newcastle 3 3 11,189 4.8% $579,600
Redmond 4 5 59,268 4.6% $525,000
Kirkland 5 4 85,812 5.3% $469,000
Snoqualmie 6 6 12,510 3.8% $471,800
Brier 7 13 6,530 3.8% $372,000
Mill Creek 8 7 19,372 3.6% $411,700
Duvall 9 10 7,534 5.9% $402,900
Woodinville 10 15 11,549 3.6% $489,200
Bellevue 11 14 136,718 5.0% $608,500
Mukilteo 12 12 20,994 6.4% $454,300
Maple Valley 13 16 25,093 7.5% $312,600
Normandy Park 14 11 6,598 4.1% $484,700
Camas 15 19 21,393 5.4% $341,300
Lake Forest Park 16 9 13,156 6.4% $464,500
Issaquah 17 8 34,728 5.1% $477,200
Bainbridge Island 18 17 23,576 3.9% $569,700
Kenmore 19 18 21,830 5.2% $427,700
Lynden 20 25 13,204 3.7% $287,200
Fircrest 21 26 6,660 8.5% $282,400
Edmonds 22 20 41,020 5.2% $413,000
Bothell 23 23 43,153 6.2% $372,700
Ridgefield 24 31 6,112 3.1% $287,600
Mountlake Terrace 25 38 20,747 5.0% $274,900
Liberty Lake 26 24 8,566 8.9% $263,000
Covington 27 35 19,172 4.8% $271,200
Steilacoom 28 22 6,175 7.4% $295,300
Anacortes 29 29 16,229 5.7% $327,300
Edgewood 30 21 9,862 4.9% $307,800
Lake Stevens 31 44 30,352 5.0% $274,900
Shoreline 32 28 55,021 7.0% $352,200
University Place 33 37 32,342 7.3% $293,700
Poulsbo 34 40 9,806 4.8% $288,200
North Bend 35 30 6,475 7.1% $424,100
Richland 36 32 53,227 5.7% $213,000
West Richland 37 39 13,407 6.7% $202,200
Seattle 38 36 668,849 5.1% $484,600
Milton 39 27 7,239 5.4% $234,400
Selah 40 33 7,599 4.3% $206,200
Port Townsend 41 46 9,286 5.7% $301,700
Washougal 42 50 14,987 7.3% $243,400
Stanwood 43 47 6,685 4.7% $273,000
Bonney Lake 44 43 19,022 6.2% $272,400
Battle Ground 45 56 18,987 6.8% $223,000
College Place 46 48 8,996 4.5% $173,100
Dupont 47 34 9,224 10.6% $310,600
Oak Harbor 48 41 22,544 8.0% $226,100
Tumwater 49 57 21,684 6.2% $224,900
Gig Harbor 50 49 8,307 10.7% $347,400
Orting 51 60 7,254 6.0% $207,600
Pullman 52 42 32,176 11.0% $233,000
Lacey 53 45 45,644 8.8% $227,900
Snohomish 54 51 9,551 5.4% $290,200
Ferndale 55 57 12,666 8.1% $252,600
Renton 56 54 98,499 5.3% $313,500
Marysville 57 55 64,955 7.7% $244,800
East Wenatchee 58 53 13,589 5.5% $216,300
Prosser 59 72 5,860 3.6% $158,700
Enumclaw 60 52 11,543 6.5% $240,900
Bellingham 61 59 84,462 7.9% $306,300
Wenatchee 62 61 33,257 6.2% $208,200
Monroe 63 67 17,906 6.2% $261,600
Pacific 64 69 7,042 8.3% $211,600
Olympia 65 62 49,608 8.6% $246,100
Ellensburg 66 70 18,957 5.5% $206,800
Arlington 67 73 18,749 7.4% $244,000
Des Moines 68 63 30,904 6.7% $266,500
Vancouver 69 76 169,982 8.1% $217,200
Kennewick 70 74 77,975 6.9% $174,500
Puyallup 71 66 39,274 7.4% $258,800
Burien 72 68 50,187 5.8% $290,500
Woodland 73 89 5,684 3.6% $193,900
Lynnwood 74 64 36,861 5.4% $300,400
Sumner 75 71 9,691 5.9% $234,700
Connell 76 80 5,414 6.0% $119,600
Spokane Valley 77 78 93,322 6.8% $169,900
Kent 78 75 125,492 6.8% $262,800
Pasco 79 83 68,567 6.8% $166,400
Federal Way 80 79 93,986 6.8% $259,300
Othello 81 100 7,726 4.4% $148,700
Ocean Shores 82 82 5,673 17.7% $181,100
Cheney 83 77 11,479 11.9% $176,100
Sequim 84 87 6,736 9.9% $203,400
Port Orchard 85 80 13,265 10.1% $256,500
Spokane 86 84 212,078 7.6% $160,800
Auburn 87 85 75,607 7.4% $241,800
Everett 88 88 106,580 7.7% $242,200
Ephrata 89 65 7,980 7.4% $147,100
Walla Walla 90 86 31,952 8.0% $173,200
Mount Vernon 91 92 33,388 8.1% $206,500
Tacoma 92 91 205,602 8.0% $212,400
Sunnyside 93 99 16,217 7.1% $119,100
Yelm 94 103 8,066 12.3% $202,500
Bremerton 95 93 39,388 8.7% $178,600
Lakewood 96 95 59,489 10.8% $218,600
Port Angeles 97 90 19,420 11.0% $188,300
Seatac 98 109 28,298 6.4% $246,100
Fife 99 101 9,645 7.5% $229,100
Chehalis 100 106 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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