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.
Here are the 10 best places to live in Washington for 2019:
- 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.
The 10 Best Places To Live In Washington For 2019
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 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.
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.
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.
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?
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 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.
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).
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 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
- 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
- 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
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