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 on 4-29-2018 with a video. Article continues below video.

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

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:

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.

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

Population: 24,467
Rank Last Year: 1 (No Change)
Home Values: $956,200 (1st best)
Unemployment Rate: 4.6% (15th best)
More on Mercer Island: Real Estate | Data
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

Population: 62,136
Rank Last Year: 2 (No Change)
Home Values: $624,800 (2nd best)
Unemployment Rate: 4.0% (10th best)
More on Sammamish: Real Estate | Data
If you want to live in Washington, you can’t go wrong if you decide to make the Sammamish area you
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

Population: 11,189
Rank Last Year: 3 (No Change)
Home Values: $579,600 (4th best)
Unemployment Rate: 4.8% (19th best)
More on Newcastle: Real Estate | Data
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: Public domain

Population: 59,268
Rank Last Year: 5 (Up 1)
Home Values: $525,000 (6th best)
Unemployment Rate: 4.6% (15th best)
More on Redmond: Real Estate | Data
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

Population: 85,812
Rank Last Year: 4 (Down 1)
Home Values: $469,000 (12th best)
Unemployment Rate: 5.3% (29th best)
More on Kirkland: Real Estate | Data
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

Population: 12,510
Rank Last Year: 6 (No Change)
Home Values: $471,800 (11th best)
Unemployment Rate: 3.8% (7th best)
More on Snoqualmie: Real Estate | Data
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

Population: 6,530
Rank Last Year: 13 (Up 6)
Home Values: $372,000 (21st best)
Unemployment Rate: 3.8% (7th best)
More on Brier: Real Estate | Data
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

Population: 19,372
Rank Last Year: 7 (Down 1)
Home Values: $411,700 (18th best)
Unemployment Rate: 3.6% (3rd best)
More on Mill Creek: Real Estate | Data
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

Population: 7,534
Rank Last Year: 10 (Up 1)
Home Values: $402,900 (19th best)
Unemployment Rate: 5.9% (42nd best)
More on Duvall: Real Estate | Data
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

Population: 11,549
Rank Last Year: 15 (Up 5)
Home Values: $489,200 (7th best)
Unemployment Rate: 3.6% (3rd best)
More on Woodinville: Real Estate | Data
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 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 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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