The 10 Best Counties To Live In Washington For 2022


Using science and data, we can tell you which counties in Washington have the most for people looking to make the move to Washington.

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Some of you might be asking yourself, at this very moment: is Washington a good place?

The answer is unequivocally yes… if you know where to locate the best places to live in Washington.

Lucky for you, we’re here to help you identify the best counties to live in the Evergreen State based on the most recently available data from the Census. And this isn’t our first rodeo — we’ve been helping people find the best places to live in America for years.

So, the question becomes, if you wanted to relocate to the best part of Washington, where would you go? To answer that we looked at crime, cost of living, and demographic data for all 39 counties in the state.

After the analytic dust settled, we identified the 10 best counties to live in Evergreen State for 2022.

Island County is the county to be when it comes to living the good life in Washington. And you might want to avoid Ferry County if you can — at least according to the data.

So if you’re thinking of making the move Washington, we’ve got you covered. Keep on reading for a detailed methodology.

Or, check out the best places to live in Washington and the cheapest places to live in Washington.

The Best Counties To Live In Washington For 2022

1. Island County

Coupeville, WA

Source: Public domain

Biggest Place: Oak Harbor

Population: 84,187
Median Income: $70,765.0 (9th best)
Median Home Price: $382,900.0 (4th best)
Unemployment Rate: 5.8% (24th best)
More on Island County: PhotosData

2. Kitsap County

Bainbridge Island, WA

Biggest Place: Bremerton

Population: 268,945
Median Income: $78,969.0 (3rd best)
Median Home Price: $362,700.0 (6th best)
Unemployment Rate: 4.4% (8th best)
More on Kitsap County: PhotosData

3. Snohomish County

Arlington, WA

Source: Public domain

Biggest Place: Everett

Population: 811,572
Median Income: $89,273.0 (2nd best)
Median Home Price: $440,100.0 (3rd best)
Unemployment Rate: 4.1% (5th best)
More on Snohomish County: PhotosData

4. San Juan County

Friday Harbor, WA

Source: Public domain

Biggest Place: Friday Harbor

Population: 16,953
Median Income: $64,753.0 (14th best)
Median Home Price: $535,200.0 (2nd best)
Unemployment Rate: 2.1% (2nd best)
More on San Juan County: PhotosData

5. King County

Algona, WA

Biggest Place: Seattle

Population: 2,225,064
Median Income: $99,158.0 (best)
Median Home Price: $601,100.0 (best)
Unemployment Rate: 4.3% (7th best)
More on King County: PhotosData

6. Clark County

Camas, WA

Source: Public domain

Biggest Place: Vancouver

Population: 481,950
Median Income: $77,184.0 (4th best)
Median Home Price: $355,000.0 (8th best)
Unemployment Rate: 5.1% (11th best)
More on Clark County: PhotosData

7. Thurston County

Olympia, WA

Biggest Place: Olympia

Population: 284,698
Median Income: $75,867.0 (6th best)
Median Home Price: $315,600.0 (13th best)
Unemployment Rate: 6.1% (26th best)
More on Thurston County: PhotosData

8. Skamania County

Biggest Place: Carson

Population: 11,906
Median Income: $69,296.0 (10th best)
Median Home Price: $335,600.0 (11th best)
Unemployment Rate: 5.8% (23rd best)
More on Skamania County: Data

9. Pierce County

Auburn, WA

Biggest Place: Tacoma

Population: 891,862
Median Income: $76,438.0 (5th best)
Median Home Price: $336,600.0 (10th best)
Unemployment Rate: 5.0% (9th best)
More on Pierce County: PhotosData

10. Skagit County

Anacortes, WA

Biggest Place: Mount Vernon

Population: 127,442
Median Income: $71,021.0 (8th best)
Median Home Price: $341,600.0 (9th best)
Unemployment Rate: 5.1% (10th best)
More on Skagit County: PhotosData

Methodology: How do you determine which Washington county is the best?

To give you the best county in Washington, we have to look at a handful of metrics that signal the quality of a place. To do that, we need to make some assumptions about what’s a “best county” and what isn’t. And, for reference, we are trying to make the kind of argument you’d make at a bar using facts, don’t take this analysis to court.

With that in mind, we went to two of the best sources of data on the internet; the American Community Survey data and FBI Crime data for the most recent time period.

We paid particular attention to:

  • Violent Crime Rates
  • Property Crime Rates
  • Median Home Values
  • Median Income
  • Unemployment Rates
  • Adult Education Levels
  • Health Insurance Coverage
  • Poverty Rates

We then ranked each county in Washington across each of the criteria from one to 39, with one being the best.

Taking the average rank across all criteria, we created a quality of life score with the county posting the lowest overall score being the “Best County To Live In Washington”.

The result is some of the safest, quiet, and best counties to raise a family in the Evergreen State.

Read on to see why Island County is the best county, while Ferry County is probably in contention for being the worst county in Washington.

Summary: The Best Counties In Washington To Call Home For 2018

It turns out living in Washington can vary from one part of the state to the next — who woulda thought?

But now you the know the really good parts and the parts to avoid and that’s why you came here to learn at the end of the day. And for that, you are welcome.

Here’s a look at the worst counties in Washington according to the data:

  1. Ferry County
  2. Yakima County
  3. Adams County

For more Washington reading, check out:

Detailed List Of The Best Counties In Washington

County Rank Population Median Income Median Home Price
Island County 1 84,187 $70,765.0 $382,900.0
Kitsap County 2 268,945 $78,969.0 $362,700.0
Snohomish County 3 811,572 $89,273.0 $440,100.0
San Juan County 4 16,953 $64,753.0 $535,200.0
King County 5 2,225,064 $99,158.0 $601,100.0
Clark County 6 481,950 $77,184.0 $355,000.0
Thurston County 7 284,698 $75,867.0 $315,600.0
Skamania County 8 11,906 $69,296.0 $335,600.0
Pierce County 9 891,862 $76,438.0 $336,600.0
Skagit County 10 127,442 $71,021.0 $341,600.0
Wahkiakum County 11 4,318 $54,524.0 $228,600.0
Jefferson County 12 31,825 $57,693.0 $362,300.0
Douglas County 13 42,520 $65,730.0 $284,900.0
Chelan County 14 76,653 $61,304.0 $311,900.0
Benton County 15 200,715 $72,046.0 $255,000.0
Lincoln County 16 10,732 $58,584.0 $173,000.0
Whatcom County 17 224,538 $65,420.0 $369,000.0
Kittitas County 18 47,097 $59,703.0 $315,800.0
Columbia County 19 4,024 $61,779.0 $199,600.0
Whitman County 20 49,577 $42,288.0 $230,200.0
Pend Oreille County 21 13,588 $55,021.0 $243,100.0
Spokane County 22 513,402 $60,101.0 $245,400.0
Stevens County 23 45,233 $54,426.0 $219,500.0
Walla Walla County 24 60,785 $60,615.0 $244,400.0
Garfield County 25 2,258 $56,923.0 $152,400.0
Klickitat County 26 22,055 $56,667.0 $281,600.0
Pacific County 27 22,121 $50,873.0 $185,600.0
Cowlitz County 28 108,399 $58,791.0 $245,500.0
Mason County 29 65,326 $60,565.0 $249,100.0
Franklin County 30 93,681 $66,904.0 $226,500.0
Clallam County 31 76,482 $55,090.0 $267,900.0
Asotin County 32 22,636 $53,941.0 $211,900.0
Lewis County 33 79,430 $54,970.0 $231,900.0
Grays Harbor County 34 73,769 $50,665.0 $192,600.0
Okanogan County 35 42,080 $48,528.0 $205,300.0
Grant County 36 96,648 $59,165.0 $191,600.0
Adams County 37 19,702 $51,601.0 $159,600.0
Yakima County 38 250,649 $54,917.0 $191,400.0
Ferry County 39 7,643 $41,685.0 $183,000.0
Editor’s Note: We updated this article for 2022. This is our ninth time ranking the best counties to live in Washington.

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.