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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 Tacoma 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 Tacoma for 2022:
What's the best suburb of Tacoma? Mercer Island ranks as the best suburb of Tacoma for 2022 based on the most recent Census and FBI data. If you happen to be a resident of Mercer Island, you're probably not too surprised to find it on the top our list.
We'll tell you what makes each of these 10 Tacoma '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 Tacoma Suburbs To Live For 2022
Mercer Island is always mentioned as one of the best suburbs in the Tacoma area. We'll tell you the good about "Awesome Mercer Island."
Everyone here is rich; families average $150,506 a year, which is the 4th highest in the Tacoma region. And only 2.23% are out of work. Homes average more than $1,386,300 each.
Rank Last Year: 2 (Up 1)
Median Income: $150,506
Unemployment Rate: 2.2%
Poverty Rate: 5.3%
More on Mercer Island: Real Estate | Data | Photos
Medina is the second best 'burb we looked at near Tacoma for 2022.
It ranks 2nd for incomes in the area and only 0.67% of residents lack insurance, good for 2nd best.
Rank Last Year: 3 (Up 1)
Median Income: $185,163
Unemployment Rate: 1.6%
Poverty Rate: 3.5%
More on Medina: Real Estate | Data | Photos
Here in Clyde Hill, it's really safe, and residents are just about as rich as you'll see in the Tacoma 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 Clyde Hill.
Rank Last Year: 1 (Down 2)
Median Income: $250,001
Unemployment Rate: 3.8%
Poverty Rate: 4.5%
More on Clyde Hill: Real Estate | Data | Photos
Newcastle ranks as the 4th best suburb of Tacoma for 2022.
You won't find many better places to raise your kids in the region than in Newcastle and the schools are some of the best around.
Rank Last Year: 6 (Up 2)
Median Income: $155,933
Unemployment Rate: 2.7%
Poverty Rate: 3.0%
More on Newcastle: Real Estate | Data | Photos
Coming in as the fifth best is Bellevue.
Bellevue gets kudos for having the 4th most expensive homes in the Tacoma area, where houses sell for an average of $887,700. However, the cost of living here is among the highest in the area.
Rank Last Year: 7 (Up 2)
Median Income: $129,497
Unemployment Rate: 3.5%
Poverty Rate: 6.8%
More on Bellevue: Real Estate | Data | Photos
Bainbridge Island 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 3.25% which is 11th best in the area.
According to online reports, Bainbridge Island is quickly becoming one of the more affluent suburbs in the Tacoma area, meaning you need to get in soon.
Rank Last Year: 4 (Down 2)
Median Income: $125,861
Unemployment Rate: 3.2%
Poverty Rate: 3.7%
More on Bainbridge Island: Real Estate | Data | Photos
The 7th best suburb on our list goes to Maple Valley.
Maple Valley 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 21.4 miles to downtown, which is a good thing.
Rank Last Year: 5 (Down 2)
Median Income: $117,706
Unemployment Rate: 5.7%
Poverty Rate: 4.4%
More on Maple Valley: Real Estate | Data | Photos
Normandy Park 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 2.68% of people lack insurance, good for 8th in the area.
Rank Last Year: 16 (Up 8)
Median Income: $102,212
Unemployment Rate: 3.7%
Poverty Rate: 4.9%
More on Normandy Park: Real Estate | Data | Photos
Is 'Everything Better In Issaquah?'
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.
Rank Last Year: 10 (Up 1)
Median Income: $122,053
Unemployment Rate: 3.4%
Poverty Rate: 7.2%
More on Issaquah: Real Estate | Data | Photos
And rounding out the top ten for 2022 is Black Diamond.
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.
Rank Last Year: 17 (Up 7)
Median Income: $111,250
Unemployment Rate: 1.8%
Poverty Rate: 2.7%
More on Black Diamond: Real Estate | Data | Photos
Methodology: How We Determined The Best Suburbs Around Tacoma for 2022
Figuring out the best suburbs around Tacoma 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 2016-2020 to research each suburb.
FYI: We defined a suburb as being within 30 miles of Tacoma.
Additionally, we limited the analysis to places that have over 2,000 people. This left us with a grand total of 45 suburbs to evaluate around Tacoma.
We ranked each place with scores from 1 to 45 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 Tacoma." We're lookin' at you, Mercer Island. 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.
Summary: Welcome to the Best Tacoma 'Burbs of 2022
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 Tacoma, but don't want to deal with the drawbacks, one of these suburbs might just be for you.
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