Where are the best places in the state of Washington? They are the places that have awesome economies. They’re the places where people have the best jobs, where residents are happily married, and where the sun shines the most.
And certainly, since crime is really low, every one wants to be there. It’s, literally, all sunshine and rainbows.
We looked at the 187 most populated cities in the Evergreen State for this study. The cities at the top are places where things are going swimmingly right now, at least according to data, which measures the good things that people say they want in a city in Washington.
There might be some surprises on this list, but when you look at the unbiased data, it’s hard to argue against. We had more than 10 million people read our worst cities in a state series, which was featured in hundreds of media outlets, including an NPR feature.
So we know what we’re talking about.
Here are the 10 best places to live in Washington:
- Gig Harbor
- Ocean Shores
We understand there’s a lot of good in every place. However, according to data (which doesn’t measure things like beauty, ‘friendly people’ and community involvement), these are the best options in Washington for making a place home.
The worst city to live in Washington? Eastgate. More on that later.
How do you decide if a place is amazeballs or not?
In order to rank Washington’s best cities, we had to determine what criteria people like or dislike about a place. It isn’t a stretch to assume that people like low crime, good weather, things to do and a stable economy.
So we scraped the internet for those criteria, and it spit out the answer. Like magic.
How we crunched the numbers for Washington
We threw a lot of criteria at this one in order to get the best, most complete results possible. Using FBI crime data, the government census, Bureau of Labor Statistics and Sperling’s Best Places, this is the criteria we used:
- Strong schools
- Low unemployment rates
- High incomes
- High home prices
- Lots of sunny days a year
- Low crime
- Low cost of living
If you’d like to see the complete list of cities in Washington, scroll to the bottom of this post to see a link to the entire data set.
Note: We get the crime numbers from the FBI, which gets its crime numbers from the cities themselves. This list is based on data, and is entirely unbiased. Additionally, the cost of living numbers are based on an average of 100, so anything lower than 100 is more affordable.
Crime Index: 144
Cost Of Living Index: 102
This cute city along I-5 south of Centralia is the best place you can live in Washington, according to the unbiased overall numbers.
Crime Index: 121
Cost Of Living Index: 111
This little city is wedged between the Strait of Juan De Fuca and the northern mountains of Washington state.
Crime Index: 164
Cost Of Living Index: 101
The city of Shelton sits at the base of Oakland Bay north of Olympia. It’s relatively affordable.
Crime Index: 100
Cost Of Living Index: 114
Woodland is along the Columbia River just north of Vancouver.
Crime Index: 140
Cost Of Living Index: 94
This Lewis County city is one of the most affordable places you can live in Washington that has great numbers across the board.
6. Gig Harbor
Crime Index: 124
Cost Of Living Index: 138
This city along the Puget Sound is relatively safe, and has a reputation for friendly, hard-working residents.
Crime Index: 133
Cost Of Living Index: 105
Bremerton is the largest city on the Kitnap Peninsula. Although along the water, it’s actually a very affordable and peaceful place to live.
Crime Index: 134
Cost Of Living Index: 97
This beautiful place along the Cowitz River, north of Vancouver, is a steal due to its cost of living.
9. Ocean Shores
Crime Index: 95
Cost Of Living Index: 105
Ocean Shores is one of the most beautiful and safe places you can live in the state of Washington. It’s directly west of Olympia.
Crime Index: 107
Cost Of Living Index: 86
This little city is along North Bay, right next to Aberdeen, also directly west of Olympia. It’s very affordable for its location.
There You Have It
Looking at the data, you can tell that anything within a 15-minute drive of Chehalis is the most desirable, according to science and data. But as most Washington residents would agree, almost every place here is awesome.
Other notable cities:
3rd Worst: Kingsgate
2nd Worst: Klahanie
We also wrote about the 10 worst places to live in Washington if you’re interested in reading that story.
Detailed List Of Best Places To Live In Washington
|West Side Highway||17|
|Moses Lake North||32|
|East Port Orchard||96|
|Fairwood (Spokane County)||128|
|Union Hill-Novelty Hill||148|
|East Renton Highlands||157|
|Mill Creek East||159|
|Otis Orchards-East Farms||162|
|Town And Country||176|
|Fairwood (King County)||178|
|Lake Forest Park||179|