The 10 Best Seattle Suburbs To Live For 2021


We analyzed over 53 places around Seattle to identify the most in demand places to live.

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Editor’s Note: Data has been updated for 2021. This is our seventh time ranking the best Seattle suburbs.

Big city living isn't for everyone--but at the same time, urban areas certainly have their perks.

There's the culture, the food, the arts, the food, the energy, and you know, the food. But there are drawbacks. There's traffic, expensive parking, expensive housing--pretty much, expensive everything, depending on which big city you're looking at.

But that's where the suburbs come in--they have all of the benefits of being near big cities, without actually having to be big cities.

Of course, not all suburbs of Seattle are created equally, which is precisely why we set out to find the best ones. So without further ado...

Here are the 10 best suburbs to live around Seattle for 2021:

  1. Sammamish
  2. Clyde Hill
  3. Mercer Island
  4. Snoqualmie
  5. Lake Forest Park
  6. Medina
  7. Bainbridge Island
  8. Redmond
  9. Kirkland
  10. Duvall

What's the best suburb of Seattle? Sammamish ranks as the best suburb of Seattle for 2021 based on the most recent Census and FBI data. If you happen to be a resident of Sammamish, you're probably not too surprised to find it on the top our list.

We'll tell you what makes each of these 10 Seattle 'burbs better than the rest--but first, a bit about our methodology.

Note: This result may differ from our state wide data as we did not include commute times and crime for this analysis to allow for a larger selection of suburbs.

Feel free to check out some more reading about Washington:

The 10 Best Seattle Suburbs To Live For 2021

Sammamish, WA

Overall SnackAbility

10
/10

Population: 64,674
Rank Last Year: 2 (Up 1)
Median Income: $174,003
Unemployment Rate: 2.8%
Poverty Rate: 2.4%
More on Sammamish: Real Estate | Data | Photos

Sammamish is always mentioned as one of the best suburbs in the Seattle area. We'll tell you the good about "Awesome Sammamish."

Everyone here is rich; families average $174,003 a year, which is the 3rd highest in the Seattle region. And only 2.77% are out of work. Homes average more than $830,000 each.

Clyde Hill, WA

Overall SnackAbility

8
/10

Population: 3,329
Rank Last Year: 4 (Up 2)
Median Income: $238,958
Unemployment Rate: 3.6%
Poverty Rate: 4.5%
More on Clyde Hill: Real Estate | Data | Photos

Clyde Hill is the second best 'burb we looked at near Seattle for 2021.

It ranks 1st for incomes in the area and only 0.6% of residents lack insurance, good for best.

Mercer Island, WA

Overall SnackAbility

10
/10

Population: 25,675
Rank Last Year: 1 (Down 2)
Median Income: $147,566
Unemployment Rate: 4.0%
Poverty Rate: 5.6%
More on Mercer Island: Real Estate | Data | Photos

Here in Mercer Island, it's really safe, and residents are just about as rich as you'll see in the Seattle metro area.

The bad side? Schools are more crowded, and the cost of living puts a large part of the city out of reach for most families.

But price is based on demand and a lot of people want to live in Mercer Island.

Snoqualmie, WA

Overall SnackAbility

10
/10

Population: 13,480
Rank Last Year: 5 (Up 1)
Median Income: $145,580
Unemployment Rate: 3.1%
Poverty Rate: 1.5%
More on Snoqualmie: Real Estate | Data | Photos

Snoqualmie ranks as the 4th best suburb of Seattle for 2021.

You won't find many better places to raise your kids in the region than in Snoqualmie and the schools are some of the best around.

Lake Forest Park, WA

Overall SnackAbility

9.5
/10

Population: 13,430
Rank Last Year: 7 (Up 2)
Median Income: $126,750
Unemployment Rate: 4.0%
Poverty Rate: 3.4%
More on Lake Forest Park: Real Estate | Data | Photos

Coming in as the fifth best is Lake Forest Park.

Lake Forest Park gets kudos for having the 13th most expensive homes in the Seattle area, where houses sell for an average of $623,500. However, the cost of living here is among the highest in the area.

Medina, WA

Source: Public domain
Overall SnackAbility

8
/10

Population: 3,267
Rank Last Year: 3 (Down 3)
Median Income: $212,337
Unemployment Rate: 2.5%
Poverty Rate: 5.1%
More on Medina: Real Estate | Data | Photos

Medina is proud of its 6th place finish on this list. And here's why.

Most residents have great jobs and the unemployment rate sits at 2.54% which is 3rd best in the area.

According to online reports, Medina is quickly becoming one of the more affluent suburbs in the Seattle area, meaning you need to get in soon.

Bainbridge Island, WA

Overall SnackAbility

9.5
/10

Population: 24,486
Rank Last Year: 8 (Up 1)
Median Income: $117,990
Unemployment Rate: 3.1%
Poverty Rate: 3.6%
More on Bainbridge Island: Real Estate | Data | Photos

The 7th best suburb on our list goes to Bainbridge Island.

Bainbridge Island schools are some of the best in the region, and crime is really low. The cost of living makes it a lot more desirable for many families, especially first-time home buyers.

And, it's only 7.5 miles to downtown, which is a good thing.

Redmond, WA

Source: Public domain
Overall SnackAbility

9.5
/10

Population: 65,558
Rank Last Year: 6 (Down 2)
Median Income: $132,188
Unemployment Rate: 3.5%
Poverty Rate: 5.4%
More on Redmond: Real Estate | Data | Photos

Redmond is growing quickly, and for a good reason. Crime is far below average, and most residents are gainfully employed. Even the cost of living is reasonable.

A solid 2.94% of people lack insurance, good for 8th in the area.

Kirkland, WA

Overall SnackAbility

9.5
/10

Population: 89,438
Rank Last Year: 10 (Up 1)
Median Income: $117,190
Unemployment Rate: 3.3%
Poverty Rate: 6.1%
More on Kirkland: Real Estate | Data | Photos

Is 'Everything Better In Kirkland?'

Almost.

It placed 9th on our list thanks to the fact that it's really expensive to live here, but the schools are great, so you get what you pay for in that regard.

Duvall, WA

Overall SnackAbility

10
/10

Population: 7,901
Rank Last Year: 9 (Down 1)
Median Income: $159,597
Unemployment Rate: 3.3%
Poverty Rate: 1.8%
More on Duvall: Real Estate | Data | Photos

And rounding out the top ten for 2021 is Duvall.

This city is far above average in every category, and the best part? It's far more affordable than the other cities listed above. So, you get a big bang for your buck here.

How We Determined The Best Suburbs Around Seattle for 2021

Figuring out the best suburbs around Seattle was pretty simple; we just needed to list several things that people like, and then find out which cities have the most of those things.

We threw a lot of criteria at this one in order to get the best, most complete results possible:

  • Low unemployment rate
  • High Median household incomes
  • Population density (lots of things to do)
  • High home values
  • A lot of college educated people
  • Low poverty
  • High rate of insured families

Then we used the newest American Community Survey data for 2015-2019 to research each suburb.

FYI: We defined a suburb as being within 30 miles of Seattle.

Additionally, we limited the analysis to places that have over 3,000 people. This left us with a grand total of 53 suburbs to evaluate around Seattle.

We ranked each place with scores from 1 to 53 in each category, where 1 was the "best.

Next, we averaged the rankings for each place to create a quality of life index.

And finally, we crowned the city with the best quality of life index the "Best Suburb near Seattle." We're lookin' at you, Sammamish. You can download the data here.

Read on below to learn more about what it's like to live in the best of the best. Or skip to the end to see the list of all the suburbs ranked from best to worst.

Welcome to the Best Seattle 'Burbs of 2021

We said it once and we'll say it again--life in the big city isn't for everyone. At least not all the time.

So if you're hankering for some of the amenities of a larger city like Seattle, but don't want to deal with the drawbacks, one of these suburbs might just be for you.

For more Washington reading, check out:

Detailed List Of The Best Seattle Suburbs

Rank City Population Median Income
1 Sammamish, WA 64,674 $174,003
2 Clyde Hill, WA 3,329 $238,958
3 Mercer Island, WA 25,675 $147,566
4 Snoqualmie, WA 13,480 $145,580
5 Lake Forest Park, WA 13,430 $126,750
6 Medina, WA 3,267 $212,337
7 Bainbridge Island, WA 24,486 $117,990
8 Redmond, WA 65,558 $132,188
9 Kirkland, WA 89,438 $117,190
10 Duvall, WA 7,901 $159,597
11 Newcastle, WA 11,750 $129,828
12 Mill Creek, WA 20,553 $103,750
13 Bellevue, WA 144,403 $120,456
14 Brier, WA 6,843 $131,293
15 Woodinville, WA 12,383 $106,145
16 Edmonds, WA 42,040 $89,229
17 Maple Valley, WA 26,352 $114,159
18 Kenmore, WA 22,724 $109,810
19 Mukilteo, WA 21,336 $108,536
20 Covington, WA 20,825 $105,154
21 Edgewood, WA 11,264 $100,110
22 Issaquah, WA 37,965 $109,676
23 Black Diamond, WA 4,476 $108,490
24 Mountlake Terrace, WA 21,210 $72,955
25 Shoreline, WA 56,267 $86,827
26 Gig Harbor, WA 9,854 $84,335
27 Normandy Park, WA 6,670 $89,313
28 Fircrest, WA 6,795 $80,839
29 Bothell, WA 45,749 $99,965
30 University Place, WA 33,326 $71,697
31 Lake Stevens, WA 32,487 $93,381
32 Renton, WA 101,484 $77,739
33 North Bend, WA 6,983 $114,840
34 Poulsbo, WA 10,602 $73,388
35 Monroe, WA 18,865 $85,896
36 Milton, WA 7,715 $74,394
37 Lynnwood, WA 38,143 $63,743
38 Pacific, WA 7,215 $60,565
39 Snohomish, WA 9,976 $71,800
40 Des Moines, WA 31,734 $70,222
41 Burien, WA 51,477 $67,402
42 Federal Way, WA 96,526 $67,347
43 Auburn, WA 80,134 $72,822
44 Kent, WA 131,118 $72,062
45 Tacoma, WA 212,869 $62,358
46 Sumner, WA 10,053 $63,043
47 Everett, WA 109,766 $60,759
48 Port Orchard, WA 14,062 $69,962
49 Algona, WA 3,211 $74,844
50 Fife, WA 10,096 $66,144
51 Seatac, WA 29,019 $63,009
52 Bremerton, WA 40,631 $52,716
53 Tukwila, WA 20,196 $58,097

How Is Your Town 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.