The 10 Best Places To Raise A Family In Virginia For 2021

We used science and data to determine which cities in Virginia have the best set up for children: a lot to do, good schools, and no crime.

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Editor’s Note: We updated this article for 2021. This is our seventh time ranking the best cities for families in Virginia.

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Virginia isn't just any Mid-Atlantic state, it's actually one of the most safe, family friendly states in America.

Ask any Virginian and they will tell you that there's a ton of family friendly activities everywhere you turn, here. Old Dominion is just one big playground for little and big kids alike. If you're looking for a state with affordable, family friendly staycations, Virginia is your place. There are 37 State Parks and 20 National Parks that dot its landscape. Amusement parks like Busch Gardens in Williamsburg and Kings Dominion will keep your family entertained for an entire weekend. And if the beach is more your style, head to Virginia's Atlantic coast. Virginia has thousands of miles of shoreline sure to make the best vacation memories.

There are 50 distilleries and 230 wineries in Virginia. So after you drop your kids at one of Virginia's day or overnight summer camps, you and your significant other can enjoy a break as well. Summers never end in this state. Virginia is, afterall, for lovers (too). In all seriousness, Virginia has some of the best schools in the country. Blue ribbon elementary schools, gold star high schools, and colleges like Virginia State and George Mason University have been delivering the next generation to work at major Virginia companies like Hilton Hotel and Resorts HQ, Mars, Inc., and Northrop Grumman.

Now, it's not lost on us that there are multiple cities on our best places to live in Virginia for 2021 that are also on our best cities for families' list. Nothing but the best for Virginia families! To take a closer look at the top ten cities on our Family Friendly Virginia cities for 2021, grab a plate of blue crab, head to a sunny spot on the Chesapeake Bay, and read on.

The 10 Best Cities To Raise A Family In Virginia For 2021

  1. Falls Church
  2. Leesburg
  3. Williamsburg
  4. Culpeper
  5. Winchester
  6. Harrisonburg
  7. Vienna
  8. Alexandria
  9. Radford
  10. Martinsville

To narrow down the most family friendly cities in Virginia, we looked at several factors: crime, education, family friendly activities and percent of households that currently have children. The cities also had to have a population of at least 12,000.

Drum roll... the most family friendly city in Virginia for 2021 is Falls Church.

So, if you care about your family living where crime is low, schools are awesome, where you can lead an active, healthy lifestyle, take a look at the list below. Virginia wants you to call it home.

Check out some more reading about Virginia and the best places for families in the country:

The 10 Best Places To Raise A Family In Virginia For 2021

Falls Church, VA

Overall SnackAbility


Population: 14,128
Family Friendly Amenities Score: 53
Closest Major City: Arlington
Households with kids: 36.3%
More on Falls Church: PhotosHomes For Sale | Data

Leesburg, VA

Source: Public domain
Overall SnackAbility


Population: 52,994
Family Friendly Amenities Score: 62
Closest Major City: Arlington
Households with kids: 43.5%
More on Leesburg: PhotosHomes For Sale | Data

Williamsburg, VA

Overall SnackAbility


Population: 14,927
Family Friendly Amenities Score: 47
Closest Major City: Norfolk
Households with kids: 16.6%
More on Williamsburg: PhotosHomes For Sale | Data

Culpeper, VA

Overall SnackAbility


Population: 18,342
Family Friendly Amenities Score: 64
Closest Major City: Arlington
Households with kids: 42.2%
More on Culpeper: PhotosHomes For Sale | Data

Winchester, VA

Overall SnackAbility


Population: 27,897
Family Friendly Amenities Score: 57
Closest Major City: Arlington
Households with kids: 29.6%
More on Winchester: PhotosHomes For Sale | Data

Harrisonburg, VA

Overall SnackAbility


Population: 53,273
Family Friendly Amenities Score: 72
Closest Major City: Richmond
Households with kids: 29.8%
More on Harrisonburg: PhotosHomes For Sale | Data

Vienna, VA

Overall SnackAbility


Population: 16,489
Family Friendly Amenities Score: 51
Closest Major City: Arlington
Households with kids: 43.3%
More on Vienna: PhotosHomes For Sale | Data

Alexandria, VA

Overall SnackAbility


Population: 157,613
Family Friendly Amenities Score: 91
Closest Major City: Arlington
Households with kids: 22.5%
More on Alexandria: PhotosHomes For Sale | Data

Radford, VA

Overall SnackAbility


Population: 17,691
Family Friendly Amenities Score: 49
Closest Major City: Winston-Salem
Households with kids: 19.5%
More on Radford: PhotosHomes For Sale | Data

Martinsville, VA

Overall SnackAbility


Population: 12,852
Family Friendly Amenities Score: 56
Closest Major City: Greensboro
Households with kids: 25.3%
More on Martinsville: PhotosHomes For Sale | Data

How do you determine which place is best for families in Virginia anyways?

To give you the places in Virginia which are best for families, we have to look at a handful of metrics. Of course, we want to measure the type of people who live in each city, and make some assumptions about what's family-friendly and what isn't.

So we researched the internet for a database that contains all that information.

How we crunched the family friendly numbers for the Old Dominion

We threw a lot of criteria at this one in order to get the best, most complete results possible. Using U.S. Census data produced for the state of Virginia, we looked at every single city in the state. We paid particular attention to:

  • Crime (Both violent and property)
  • Quality of local schools
  • Distance to a major city without necessarily being in it
  • % of households with children
  • Family-friendly amenities nearby (museums, libraries and colleges)

We then gave each city a Family Score.

The higher the score, the better the city is for families. We also limited our results to cities with populations over 12,000 people. For Virginia, that meant a total of 36 cities. You can download the data here.

There You Have It - The Best Places To Raise A Family In Virginia

If you're looking for a breakdown of cities in Virginia ranked by criteria that most would agree make a place a great spot for families, this is an accurate list.

Here's a look at the best cities for singles Virginia according to the data:

  1. Richmond
  2. Bristol
  3. Roanoke

For more Virginia reading, check out:

Where Are The Best Places For Families In Virginia?

Rank City Population Amenities Score
1 Falls Church, VA 14,128 60
2 Leesburg, VA 52,994 74
3 Williamsburg, VA 14,927 52
4 Culpeper, VA 18,342 57
5 Winchester, VA 27,897 57
6 Harrisonburg, VA 53,273 62
7 Vienna, VA 16,489 50
8 Alexandria, VA 157,613 91
9 Radford, VA 17,691 54
10 Martinsville, VA 12,852 41

How Is The Area In ?

About Chris Kolmar

Chris Kolmar has been in the real estate business for almost ten years now. He originally worked for Movoto Real Estate as the director of marketing before founding HomeSnacks.

He believes the key to finding the right place to live comes down to looking at the data, reading about things to do, and, most importantly, checking it out yourself before you move.

If you've been looking for a place to live in the past several years, you've probably stumbled upon his writing already.

You can find out more about him on LinkedIn or his website.