These Are The 10 Best Places To Live In Washington For 2019


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

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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 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 2019.

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 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.

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

Mercer Island isn’t just the nicest place to live in Washington – it’s also the one of the fastest growing places in the state. And with good reason.

It’s got the 16th lowest unemployment rate, the 3rd highest adjusted income, and rates above most places in education.

When you’re looking at science and data, Mercer Island definitely deserves a spot on the list for 2019.

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 has a really low crime rate (3rd lowest) and only 4.0% of the people are unemployed. Additionally, residents here have high paying jobs ($153,253). And that goes a long way.

The population is growing at a steady clip, and the cost of living is lower than it should be. So people have an extra incentive to live in Sammamish.

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

You might be surprised to see the Town of Newcastle so high on the list. Unless you live in Newcastle.

The unemployment rate here is really low, and at 4.8%, Newcastle residents are some of the hardest working in the state of Washington. When you factor in high home prices, high incomes and low crime, Newcastle is doing quite well.

Let’s be honest — Newcastle is the kind of place you brag to your friends on Facebook about.

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

Who doesn’t want to live in Redmond? Because, according to the data, most everyone should want to.

Crime is lower than the state average, and the unemployment rate sits at only 4.6%. The school systems are generally well funded, meaning lots of personal attention for area kids.

Expect to see more of Redmond in the news in the coming months.

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

Crime is something that doesn’t happen very often in Kirkland. Statistically the 32nd safest place in the state, there were only 81 violent crimes in the entire city last year.

It’s really beautiful in Kirkland, and new homes continue to replace older homes. Resident earn $95,939 a year, and homes are valued at more than $469,000.

What else could you possibly want if you’re someone who likes the good things in life?

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

Known for its low unemployment rates and great education, Snoqualmie is a wonderful place to live in this state.

The relatively stable household incomes and below average crime rates don’t hurt either!

While it may not be as great as some other places on this list, Snoqualmie still holds its own in in Washington.

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 comes in at a close 7th. They have the 8th lowest unemployment rate in the state and the 8th highest median income as well, which means the people in Brier are working and getting paid well.

Additionally, the median home value is the 21st best in the state.

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

Well, I guess technically 3.6% of Mill Creek residents who want to have a job can’t find one, so not everyone has a job, but it’s the 4th closest of any city in Washington.

You can tell they take business seriously as they have by far the coolest Chamber of Commerce website we came across in our research.

In addition to its incredibly low unemployment rate, Mill Creek also ranked well for crime (29th) and median income ($88,345).

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

The tiny town of Duvall may not remain tiny forever. The word has been out for a long, long time about how special this place is.

The residents are heavily involved in making their community even more awesome, and as many Washington residents know, Duvall is a great central spot for making the most of life.

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 is known for having a great education system and has the 63rd shortest commute time.

Additionally, the unemployment rate in Woodinville is the 4th lowest in Washington and the median income is the 7th highest in the state.

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:

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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5 thoughts on “These Are The 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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