The 10 Best Washington, DC Suburbs To Live In For 2024

The best Washington suburbs are University Park and Falls Church for 2024 based on Saturday Night Science.

While big cities like Washington 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 Washington. These burbs have all of the benefits of being near Washington without actually having to be in the city.

Of course, not all suburbs of Washington 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 Washington area.

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

What’s the best suburb of Washington? University Park ranks as the best suburb of Washington for 2024 based on the most recent Census and FBI data. If you happen to be a resident of University Park, you’re probably not too surprised to find it on the top our list.

We’ll tell you what makes each of these 10 Washington ‘burbs better than the rest–but first, a bit about our methodology.

Feel free to check out some more reading about District Of Columbia:

The 10 Best Washington Suburbs To Live For 2024

1. University Park, MD

University Park, MD

Source: Public domain
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Population: 2,610
Median Income: $191,205
Unemployment Rate: 0.7%
Poverty Rate: 2.0%
More on University Park: Real Estate

University Park is always mentioned as one of the best suburbs in the Washington area. We’ll tell you the good about “Awesome University Park.”

Everyone here is rich; families average $191,205 a year, which is the 3rd highest in the Washington region. And only 0.68% are out of work. Homes average more than $644,596 each.

Falls Church, VA

Source: Wikipedia User Payton Chung | CC BY 2.0
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Population: 14,576
Median Income: $164,536
Unemployment Rate: 6.0%
Poverty Rate: 2.3%
More on Falls Church: Data | Real Estate

Falls Church is the second best ‘burb we looked at near Washington for 2024.

It ranks 4th for incomes in the area and only 0.94% of residents lack insurance, good for 2nd best.

Vienna, VA

Source: Wikipedia User Idawriter | CC BY-SA 3.0
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Population: 16,401
Median Income: $215,556
Unemployment Rate: 3.6%
Poverty Rate: 4.9%
More on Vienna: Data | Real Estate

Here in Vienna, it’s really safe, and residents are just about as rich as you’ll see in the Washington 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 Vienna.

Review Of Vienna by HomeSnacks User

I have lived all over the country from the mid-west to up and down the coats and Vienna, VA has been our favorite place. Vienna is a Wonderful area where there is a bit of everything. Great place to raise kids in a small town environment while being just 20 minutes away from the nation’s capital. Access to everything while being far away from the big city inconveniences that we all forget about.

It’s a close knit community where neighbors know each other and take pride in their town. The community is involved in a lot of activity planning and involved deeply in keeping the town beautiful.

Poolesville, MD

Source: Wikipedia User Famartin | CC BY-SA 4.0
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Population: 5,686
Median Income: $215,025
Unemployment Rate: 6.0%
Poverty Rate: 3.1%
More on Poolesville: Data | Real Estate

Poolesville ranks as the 4th best suburb of Washington for 2024.

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

Chesapeake Beach, MD

Source: Wikipedia User PierreSelim | CC BY-SA 3.0
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Population: 6,358
Median Income: $130,175
Unemployment Rate: 1.2%
Poverty Rate: 3.2%
More on Chesapeake Beach: Data | Real Estate

Coming in as the fifth best is Chesapeake Beach.

Chesapeake Beach gets kudos for having the 2most expensive homes in the Washington area, where houses sell for an average of $432,240. However, the cost of living here is among the highest in the area.

6. Kensington, MD

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Population: 2,241
Median Income: $143,021
Unemployment Rate: 5.8%
Poverty Rate: 5.7%
More on Kensington: Real Estate

Kensington 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 5.77%.

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

Alexandria, VA

Source: Wikipedia User ALXCHO | CC BY-SA 4.0
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Population: 157,594
Median Income: $113,179
Unemployment Rate: 3.2%
Poverty Rate: 8.8%
More on Alexandria: Data | Real Estate

The 7th best suburb on our list goes to Alexandria.

Alexandria 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 6.8 miles to downtown, which is a good thing.

Review Of Alexandria by HomeSnacks User

No crime. At all. Just silly middle school and high school kids pulling pranks. Beautiful, charming city. 7 minutes to DC. Great schools. Great community. Educated people. Diverse.

Old Town is fun and beautiful, especially by the water. Good restaurants. Arlington is right next door, and it’s a pretty awesome city, too.

Bowie, MD

Source: Wikipedia User Andrew Bossi | CC BY-SA 2.5
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Population: 57,922
Median Income: $138,797
Unemployment Rate: 5.1%
Poverty Rate: 3.4%
More on Bowie: Data | Real Estate

Bowie 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 3.72% of people lack insurance, good for 7th in the area.

La Plata, MD

Source: Wikipedia User FlickreviewR | CC BY-SA 2.0
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Population: 10,283
Median Income: $117,065
Unemployment Rate: 3.0%
Poverty Rate: 3.7%
More on La Plata: Data | Real Estate

Is ‘Everything Better In La Plata?’


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.

Rockville, MD

Source: Wikipedia User Wikipedian1234 | CC BY-SA 3.0
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Population: 67,142
Median Income: $122,470
Unemployment Rate: 3.6%
Poverty Rate: 8.3%
More on Rockville: Data | Real Estate

And rounding out the top ten for 2024 is Rockville.

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 Washington for 2024

Figuring out the best suburbs around Washington 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 Washington.

Additionally, we limited the analysis to places that have over 2,000 people. This left us with a grand total of 36 suburbs to evaluate around Washington.

We ranked each place with scores from 1 to 36 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 Washington.” We’re lookin’ at you, University Park.

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 Washington suburbs. Skip to the end to see the list of all the suburbs ranked from best to worst.

Summary: Welcome to the Best Washington ‘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 Washington are .

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

For more District Of Columbia reading, check out:

Table: Best Washington Suburbs

Rank City Population Median Income Average Home Price
1 University Park, DC 2,610 $191,205 $644,596
2 Falls Church, DC 14,576 $164,536 $693,453
3 Vienna, DC 16,401 $215,556 $1,007,468
4 Poolesville, DC 5,686 $215,025 $664,155
5 Chesapeake Beach, DC 6,358 $130,175 $432,240
6 Kensington, DC 2,241 $143,021 $756,458
7 Alexandria, DC 157,594 $113,179 $611,500
8 Bowie, DC 57,922 $138,797 $495,660
9 La Plata, DC 10,283 $117,065 $458,131
10 Rockville, DC 67,142 $122,470 $606,807
11 Herndon, DC 24,456 $133,403 $679,629
12 Takoma Park, DC 17,542 $95,316 $667,796
13 Cheverly, DC 6,132 $119,625 $468,015
14 Fairfax, DC 24,242 $128,708 $702,237
15 Annapolis, DC 40,719 $97,219 $571,003
16 Manassas, DC 42,620 $110,559 $514,283
17 Gaithersburg, DC 69,016 $104,544 $498,395
18 North Beach, DC 2,646 $78,442 $385,369
19 Glenarden, DC 6,335 $100,179 $412,112
20 Indian Head, DC 3,931 $77,948 $323,189
21 Mount Rainier, DC 8,262 $64,170 $471,063
22 Hyattsville, DC 20,851 $90,329 $396,591
23 Manassas Park, DC 17,123 $91,673 $410,921
24 Berwyn Heights, DC 3,312 $132,625 $427,367
25 Laurel, DC 29,581 $92,035 $443,952
26 Landover Hills, DC 2,118 $100,739 $355,664
27 New Carrollton, DC 13,580 $76,386 $385,956
28 Capitol Heights, DC 4,033 $89,167 $313,153
29 Forest Heights, DC 2,641 $94,555 $336,362
30 College Park, DC 34,416 $76,973 $418,488
31 Riverdale Park, DC 7,284 $105,250 $457,160
32 Seat Pleasant, DC 4,544 $54,613 $299,746
33 Dumfries, DC 5,697 $75,629 $537,443
34 Brentwood, DC 3,782 $78,494 $386,783
35 Bladensburg, DC 9,574 $58,619 $315,966
36 Greenbelt, DC 24,646 $82,019 $273,558
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.