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

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

When you're looking at the best places you could live in Washington, Mercer Island came in 1st. Let's see why.

It has a low unemployment rate and high incomes.

Plus, Mercer Island has an impressive history for a place of just over 24,467 people. The median home costs a cool $956,200 and households make $129,348 which is good for 3rd in Washington.

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

In Sammamish, everyone loves to call Sammamish home! The median home value is the 2nd highest in Washington.

Additionally, the unemployment rate is the 10th lowest in the state. and the crime rates are some of the lowest in Evergreen State.

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 ranks 3rd on our list of best places to live in Washington thanks to its low unemployment and high adjusted median income.

Additionally, its crime rate ranks in the lowest 10% of all places in Washington that we examined.

People have been flocking to Newcastle over the past years. Goes to show that everyone wants in on this great community.

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

At an unemployment rate of 4.6%, everyone who wants a job can get one in Redmond. And the residents command high salaries ($107,341 a year combined income), and live in big fancy homes ($525,000 each).

We're not saying money is why these cities are the 'best' in Washington. What we're implying is that money means safety and peace of mind. And there's nothing wrong with that.

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

Kirkland is one of the greatest places to be in Washington.

Being in the top 25% for unemployment, education, and crime index all help to keep Kirkland from acquiring any kind of inferiority complex.

That, and the fact that Kirkland is largest town in the top ten.

We wouldn't be surprised if more and more publications start to call Kirkland one of America's gems for 2019.

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

Snoqualmie comes in at a close 6th. They have the 8th lowest unemployment rate in the state and the 2nd highest median income as well, which means the people in Snoqualmie are working and getting paid well.

Additionally, the median home value is the 11th best in the state.

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

It's obvious why Brier ranks 7th in the state for best places to live: they have the 8th lowest unemployment rate and the 2highest home values.

Plus, they're known for their quality education and relatively low crime, making Brier a great place to live.

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

If you want to live in Washington, you can't go wrong if you decide to make the Mill Creek area your home. However, everyone and their mother wants to live here.

Can you blame them? It's a beautiful place with really low crime, where a majority of residents are wealthy (a $88,345 median income will do that).

Plus, the residents are really involved with helping to make Mill Creek as great as possible. You can't get it much better than in Mill Creek.

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 had the 42nd lowest unemployment of any place in our research (5.9%) and the 2nd lowest crime rate. However, the relative lack of population density and long commute times held it back from being higher on our list.

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

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

Woodinville has a strong showing in our best places to live in Washington analysis, coming it at 10th best.

It ranks highly like many others in the top ten for a low unemployment rate and high adjusted median income. It scored extra points relative to the top ten for its size and things to do.

If you're thinking of moving to Washington, Woodinville is a great option.

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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