The 10 Best Tacoma Suburbs To Live In For 2024

The best Tacoma suburbs are Mercer Island and Clyde Hill for 2024 based on Saturday Night Science.

While big cities like Tacoma offer culture, cuisine, and charisma, they also deliver terrible traffic, towering expenses, and a taxing quality of life.

With that in mind, we wanted to uncover the best suburbs around Tacoma. These burbs have all of the benefits of being near Tacoma without actually having to be in the city.

Of course, not all suburbs of Tacoma are created equally, which is precisely why we set out to find the best ones. Using Saturday Night Science, we delve into the factors that matter most, from commutes and housing costs to community vibes, to help you uncover the perfect suburban spots in the Greater Tacoma area.

Table Of Contents: Top Ten | Methodology | Summary | Table

What’s the best suburb of Tacoma? Mercer Island ranks as the best suburb of Tacoma for 2024 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.

Feel free to check out some more reading about Washington:

The 10 Best Tacoma Suburbs To Live For 2024

Mercer Island, WA

Source: Flickr User rutlo | CC BY 2.0
Overall SnackAbility


Population: 25,464
Median Income: $190,985
Unemployment Rate: 2.6%
Poverty Rate: 5.3%
More on Mercer Island: Data | Crime | Cost Of Living | Real Estate

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 $190,985 a year, which is the 3rd highest in the Tacoma region. And only 2.57% are out of work. Homes average more than $2,093,811 each.

Clyde Hill, WA

Source: Flickr User KurtClark | CC BY 2.0
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Population: 3,108
Median Income: $250,001
Unemployment Rate: 3.2%
Poverty Rate: 2.1%
More on Clyde Hill: Data | Crime | Real Estate

Clyde Hill is the second best ‘burb we looked at near Tacoma for 2024.

It ranks 1st for incomes in the area and only 0.42% of residents lack insurance, good for best.

3. Medina, WA

Medina, WA

Source: Public domain
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Population: 2,923
Median Income: $244,740
Unemployment Rate: 2.2%
Poverty Rate: 2.7%
More on Medina: Crime | Real Estate

Here in Medina, 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 Medina.

Issaquah, WA

Source: Wikipedia User Joe Mabel | GFDL
Overall SnackAbility


Population: 39,400
Median Income: $143,006
Unemployment Rate: 3.2%
Poverty Rate: 6.7%
More on Issaquah: Data | Crime | Cost Of Living | Real Estate

Issaquah ranks as the 4th best suburb of Tacoma for 2024.

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

Bainbridge Island, WA

Source: Wikipedia User Casey Yee | CC BY-SA 2.0
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Population: 24,681
Median Income: $151,290
Unemployment Rate: 2.9%
Poverty Rate: 2.9%
More on Bainbridge Island: Data | Crime | Cost Of Living | Real Estate

Coming in as the fifth best is Bainbridge Island.

Bainbridge Island gets kudos for having the 6th most expensive homes in the Tacoma area, where houses sell for an average of $1,164,814. However, the cost of living here is among the highest in the area.

Review Of Bainbridge Island by HomeSnacks User

Just moved to Bainbridge Island last year and we think it’s fabulous! Weak reasons for BI to appear on this list! And I’ll take 35 minute ferry ride any day instead of sitting in my car in traffic!

That 35 minutes; read the paper, check emails, and a fabulous Happy Hour on the ride home! Are you kidding me!!! Who made up this list- BTW, there’s plenty to do on the island! Hiking, kayaking, horseback riding, shopping, boating, golf, tennis, should I go on-

Maple Valley, WA

Source: Wikipedia User Joe Mabel | GFDL
Overall SnackAbility


Population: 27,889
Median Income: $137,595
Unemployment Rate: 4.9%
Poverty Rate: 4.8%
More on Maple Valley: Data | Crime | Cost Of Living | Real Estate

Maple Valley 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 4.93%.

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

Black Diamond, WA

Source: Wikipedia User Joe Mabel | GFDL
Overall SnackAbility


Population: 5,314
Median Income: $134,076
Unemployment Rate: 0.9%
Poverty Rate: 0.9%
More on Black Diamond: Data | Crime | Real Estate

The 7th best suburb on our list goes to Black Diamond.

Black Diamond 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 21.2 miles to downtown, which is a good thing.

Bellevue, WA

Source: Wikipedia User Jelson25 | CC BY-SA 3.0
Overall SnackAbility


Population: 150,606
Median Income: $149,551
Unemployment Rate: 4.0%
Poverty Rate: 7.2%
More on Bellevue: Data | Crime | Cost Of Living | Real Estate

Bellevue 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 4.3% of people lack insurance, good for 18th in the area.

Newcastle, WA

Source: Wikipedia User Japs 88 | CC BY-SA 3.0
Overall SnackAbility


Population: 12,931
Median Income: $151,007
Unemployment Rate: 4.9%
Poverty Rate: 3.4%
More on Newcastle: Data | Crime | Cost Of Living | Real Estate

Is ‘Everything Better In Newcastle?’


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.

Normandy Park, WA

Source: Wikipedia User Joe Mabel | GFDL
Overall SnackAbility


Population: 6,697
Median Income: $122,467
Unemployment Rate: 3.8%
Poverty Rate: 6.8%
More on Normandy Park: Data | Crime | Cost Of Living | Real Estate

And rounding out the top ten for 2024 is Normandy Park.

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.

Methodology: How We Determined The Best Suburbs Around Tacoma for 2024

Figuring out the best suburbs around Tacoma was simple. We used Saturday Night Science to find things people like about living in the suburbs and then locate the suburbs with those things.

We analyzed the newest American Community Survey data for 2018-2022 to research each suburb. We decided upon the following criteria:

  • 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

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.

Finally, we crowned the city with the best quality of life index, the “Best Suburb near Tacoma.” We’re lookin’ at you, Mercer Island.

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 more extensive selection of suburbs.

We updated the data for 2024. This report is our tenth time ranking the best Tacoma suburbs. 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 2024

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.

The best suburbs of Tacoma are .

So if you’re craving the amenities of a larger city like Tacoma but don’t want to deal with the drawbacks, one of these suburbs might be for you.

For more Washington reading, check out:

Table: Best Tacoma Suburbs

Rank City Population Median Income Average Home Price
1 Mercer Island, WA 25,464 $190,985 $2,093,811
2 Clyde Hill, WA 3,108 $250,001 $3,898,869
3 Medina, WA 2,923 $244,740 $4,292,352
4 Issaquah, WA 39,400 $143,006 $1,042,395
5 Bainbridge Island, WA 24,681 $151,290 $1,164,814
6 Maple Valley, WA 27,889 $137,595 $750,316
7 Black Diamond, WA 5,314 $134,076 $730,492
8 Bellevue, WA 150,606 $149,551 $1,314,283
9 Newcastle, WA 12,931 $151,007 $1,200,663
10 Normandy Park, WA 6,697 $122,467 $960,307
11 Bonney Lake, WA 22,590 $123,462 $637,988
12 Edgewood, WA 12,397 $115,325 $673,664
13 Covington, WA 20,814 $123,065 $614,981
14 Gig Harbor, WA 11,917 $103,688 $758,110
15 Seattle, WA 734,603 $116,068 $827,235
16 Buckley, WA 5,191 $120,707 $594,115
17 Steilacoom, WA 6,680 $94,708 $592,049
18 University Place, WA 34,696 $89,658 $621,099
19 Dupont, WA 9,955 $106,695 $564,984
20 Enumclaw, WA 12,630 $110,789 $605,326
21 Fircrest, WA 7,098 $99,032 $587,271
22 Orting, WA 8,898 $114,458 $531,870
23 Renton, WA 105,355 $92,292 $700,607
24 Pacific, WA 7,097 $98,148 $521,184
25 Eatonville, WA 2,845 $104,583 $551,628
26 Puyallup, WA 42,610 $90,592 $540,014
27 Yelm, WA 10,438 $88,818 $449,840
28 Burien, WA 51,505 $84,583 $605,886
29 Milton, WA 8,543 $90,372 $535,284
30 Auburn, WA 85,623 $87,406 $570,116
31 Tumwater, WA 25,617 $84,177 $479,190
32 Sumner, WA 10,589 $83,285 $540,052
33 Federal Way, WA 99,614 $80,360 $558,348
34 Kent, WA 135,169 $86,966 $603,965
35 Lacey, WA 56,263 $79,874 $469,149
36 Port Orchard, WA 15,820 $82,650 $506,119
37 Olympia, WA 55,151 $73,851 $506,104
38 Des Moines, WA 32,667 $81,362 $564,875
39 Fife, WA 10,887 $84,538 $530,444
40 Lakewood, WA 63,142 $65,531 $476,344
41 Rainier, WA 2,707 $89,659 $466,166
42 Seatac, WA 30,927 $79,433 $538,091
43 Bremerton, WA 43,983 $68,556 $451,154
44 Algona, WA 3,264 $81,474 $490,301
45 Tukwila, WA 21,569 $76,331 $535,251
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.