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 2015:
- 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:
- 10 Best Places To Live In Washington
- These Are The 10 Best Counties To Live In Washington
- 10 Cheapest Places To Live 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 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
- Education Levels
- Health Insurance Coverage
- Poverty rates
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.
Who wouldn’t want to live in a place where there’s low crime and everyone is rich? That’s the case with Mercer Island.
Things are looking peachy keen here. The unemployment rate is the 16th lowest in Washington and the median income comes in at $129,348.
This is the kind of place you brag to your friends on Facebook about.
Sammamish is another great city in Washington with a low unemployment rate and where residents earn high salaries.
Said one reviewer on City-Data.com: ” We feel incredibly safe in Sammamish. The houses and neighborhoods are beautiful, the people are friendly, and it’s wonderful to have such good neighbors. People watch out for each other here, they teach their children to be respectful of others and things.”
Newcastle is a short drive from everything, but who would want to leave the 3rd best place in Washington?
Homes are priced around $579,600 and residents have the 67th shortest commute in Washington.
Redmond is another gem in Evergreen State. The unemployment rate here is 16th lowest in the entire state at 4.6%. Other factors that make Redmond so desirable is the solid education and home prices.
Homes are valued at $525,000, and parents earn a combined $107,341 a year
There’s nothing like the American dream.
We think the motto in Kirkland should be “Everything is greater in Kirkland,” and that seems to be pretty close to the truth.
Kirkland has some of the highest home values in Washington, and they’re going up fast. Additionally, Kirkland only has 670.0% of its residents living in poverty.
Crime is also well below the state average, making Kirkland a solid option for people who value safety. At least those who can afford it.
Perhaps what makes Snoqualmie so amazing is the high emphasis they put on quality education: they have one of the highest rate of education at attainment for adults.
However, quality education isn’t all that makes Snoqualmie great. They also have the 2nd highest median income and the 105th shortest commute time.
Brier has been called one of the best small towns in America. If you live here, you’re most likely already aware of how great it is to live there.
Just about everyone who wants a job in Brier has one; the unemployment rate is hovering at about 3.8% and lowering. And the Brier police department is doing a solid job, as crime is the 5th lowest in the state here.
Who wouldn’t want to live in a place like this?
Mill Creek comes in at a close 8th. They have the 4th lowest unemployment rate in the state and the 21st highest median income as well, which means the people in Mill Creek are working and getting paid well.
Additionally, the median home value is the 18th best in the state.
Duvall is known for having a great education system and has the 112th shortest commute time.
Additionally, the unemployment rate in Duvall is the 42nd lowest in Washington and the median income is the 4th highest in the state.
The crime is the 53rd lowest in the state in Woodinville, and there were only 17 violent crimes in the entire city last year. We think it’s even safer here than the numbers indicate.
The schools are some of the best in Washington, and residents live in very expensive homes. They also earn more than most every other city in the state. Residents in Woodinville earn $106,341 a year.
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 2018.
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:
- 10 Best Places To Raise A Family In Washington
- These Are The 10 Best Places To Retire In Washington For 2018
- 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
|16||Lake Forest Park||13,156|