The 10 Best Places To Live In Washington For 2022

These are the cream of the crop in the Evergreen State.

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Ah Washington, home of Starbucks, Grunge music, soaring mountains and enough rain to make California extremely jealous.

But what makes Washington really great is its down-to-earth people and creative, friendly communities. While the whole place is downright lovely, some spots in the Evergreen State deserve special attention for standing out as truly extraordinary. This is why HomeSnacks created a list of the top ten best places to live in Washington for 2022.

We are not surprised that Washington has a huge demand for people moving to it as it ranks in the top 20 states to live in America. So Mercer Island has a ton of people knocking down the door to get in.

After analyzing 121 of the state’s most populous cities, we came up with this list of the top ten best places to live in Washington in 2022 based on crime, quality of life, and things to do.

What’s the best place to live in Washington state? According to the most recent FBI and Census data, Mercer Island ranks as the best place to live in Washington for 2022.

To be fair, any place mentioned in the top ten would be a great place to call home, although some places are definitely on the pricer side of Seattle. But that’s what you get for your money: a safe, awesome place to live.

Read on for a detailed take on the top ten and a thorough explanation of how we figured out where to live in Washington.

If you’re looking for something more national, check out the best states in America or the best places to live in America.

For more Washington reading, check out:

The 10 Best Places To Live In Washington For 2022

Big congratulations to Mercer Island for holding onto the title of best place to live in Washington for the second year running. Located smack dab in the middle of Lake Washington between Seattle and Bellevue, Mercer Island has a lot going for it. Like the 5th highest median household income in the state at $150,506/year. And the 3rd lowest rate of violent crime in Washington.

People in Mercer Island didn’t wind up so awesome accidentally. The local public school system scored a 9/10 on GreatSchools, so you know the next generation is well-situated to pick up the mantle of excellence Mercer Island has established. And with over 40% of adults having a master’s degree or higher, this early insistence on the importance of education definitely has an impact later in life. One thing to note about Mercer Island though is that the cost of living here is nearly three times as high as the Washington average, so you might want some savings and/or a lucrative job lined up before starting your island life.

Speaking of island life, an extra thing that makes Mercer Island special is the access to awesome beaches. The one at Luther Burbank Park is the most popular, but the west-coast Groveland Beach is the spot to be if you’re hunting gorgeous sunsets.

Overall SnackAbility


Population: 25,820
Rank Last Year: 1 (No Change)
Median Home Value: $1,386,300
Unemployment Rate: 2.2%
More on Mercer Island: Real Estate | Crime Report | Cost Of Living

Mercer Island, WA

Sammamish is no stranger to the Homesnacks spotlight — we’ve already named it the best city for families in Washington for 2022, and a lot of those same factors come into play here. Like having a perfect 10/10 education score on our SnackAbility ratings. And being the place with the 5th lowest crime rate in the state, with the 5th lowest incidence of violent crime. Or having awesome family-friendly activities around like camping and boating at Lake Sammamish.

Word to the wise though, Sammamish is also the richest place in Washington, so we hope you’re comfortable rubbing elbows with the state’s elite. Homes in Sammamish are the 3rd most expensive in the state at $878,000. That’s no biggie for most residents though since Sammamish also has the highest median household income in Washington at $181,464/year. Along with the normal perks of wealth, Sammamish also has the 7th highest rate of health insurance coverage in the state at 98.1%. And it’s not like some people are getting left in the dust here, because Sammamish has a poverty level of just 3.1%, the 7th lowest in the state.

The secret is out on Sammamish and the city’s population has grown by almost 50% since 2010, so be sure to move quickly if you want to get in on the good times.

Overall SnackAbility


Population: 65,265
Rank Last Year: 2 (No Change)
Median Home Value: $878,000
Unemployment Rate: 2.6%
More on Sammamish: Real Estate | Crime Report | Cost Of Living

Sammamish, WA

The first thing to know before moving to Duvall is that people here like to celebrate. Between the June Duvall Days celebration, the weekly SummerStage concerts in McCormick Park every summer, and the annual Sandblast Festival of the Arts, it’s fair to say you’ll never be bored in Duvall during the summer months.

Partying is great and all, but it’s not what lands Duvall in the #3 spot for best places to live in Washington. That would be thanks to having the 6th lowest crime rate, the 2nd lowest poverty level (1.7%), and the 13th lowest high school dropout rate in Washington.

Here’s the really sweet thing about Duvall: it has the 2nd highest median household income in the state at $162,622/year, but only the 22nd priciest homes. That combination of statistics is part of the reason why the cost of living in Duvall is on the lower end of cities listed here.

Overall SnackAbility


Population: 7,979
Rank Last Year: 7 (Up 4)
Median Home Value: $543,200
Unemployment Rate: 1.9%
More on Duvall: Real Estate | Crime Report | Cost Of Living

Duvall, WA

Snoqualmie is a King County city of 13,550 located about 30 miles east of Seattle. If you’re moving here, expect a lot of random visitors, because Snoqualmie Falls draws more than 1.5 million tourists each year. Those visitors are pretty respectful though because even with all the randoms coming and going, Snoqualmie experienced only 5 violent crimes in 2022, the 8th lowest in the state.

Aside from crime, the economy of Snoqualmie is cause for considerable envy for other Washingtonians. The absurdly teeny poverty level of 0.6% is the lowest in the state. Unemployment is at incredibly low levels and 98.7% of residents have health insurance, the 4th highest rate in Washington. Lastly, Snoqualmie’s median household income of $159,450/year is the 3rd highest statewide.

Overall SnackAbility


Population: 13,550
Rank Last Year: 5 (Up 1)
Median Home Value: $640,700
Unemployment Rate: 2.4%
More on Snoqualmie: Real Estate | Crime Report | Cost Of Living

Snoqualmie, WA

Overall SnackAbility


Population: 12,078
Rank Last Year: 12 (Up 7)
Median Home Value: $780,100
Unemployment Rate: 2.7%
More on Newcastle: Real Estate | Crime Report | Cost Of Living

Newcastle, WA

Located about 15 miles north of Seattle, Brier comes in as the 6th best place to call home in Washington. Brier is one of the safest places in Washington, with a crime rate roughly 80% lower than the statewide average.

Brier residents enjoy the 10th highest median household income in Washington at $124,651/year. And with home prices at a relatively reasonable $619,600, the cost of living in Brier only about 25% higher than the Washington average. Not to mention that, with an unemployment rate at 3.7%, the 26th lowest in the state, you shouldn’t have any trouble locking down a job here.

One thing to note is that, at 46, Brier is the oldest place we’re covering, which can be a positive or a negative depending on your priorities. One definite positive, though, is having easy access to Saint Edward State Park, a popular picnic destination for Seattleites.

Overall SnackAbility


Population: 6,899
Rank Last Year: 6 (No Change)
Median Home Value: $619,600
Unemployment Rate: 3.7%
More on Brier: Real Estate | Crime Report | Cost Of Living

Brier, WA

Overall SnackAbility


Population: 6,643
Rank Last Year: 18 (Up 11)
Median Home Value: $685,800
Unemployment Rate: 3.7%
More on Normandy Park: Real Estate | Cost Of Living

Normandy Park, WA

We’re sticking around Lake Washington but heading to the north shore to visit the 8th best place in Washington, Lake Forest Park. Here you’ll find the 5th lowest poverty level in the state at 3.0%. Lake Forest Park also has the 59th lowest crime rate in Washington, so safety is hardly an issue.

Just know that to keep up with the Joneses in Lake Forest Park, you’ll want your household to earn at least $138,043/year. Especially with home prices up around $676,400. If you do decide to settle down here, you can get great views from the city’s highest point at Horizon View Park. And if that’s not cutting it, the Space Needle is just 20 minutes down the road.

Overall SnackAbility


Population: 13,455
Rank Last Year: 3 (Down 5)
Median Home Value: $676,400
Unemployment Rate: 4.1%
More on Lake Forest Park: Real Estate | Crime Report | Cost Of Living

Lake Forest Park, WA

Overall SnackAbility


Population: 22,969
Rank Last Year: 15 (Up 6)
Median Home Value: $617,000
Unemployment Rate: 3.2%
More on Kenmore: Real Estate | Crime Report | Cost Of Living

Kenmore, WA

We’re sticking around King County for our 10th best city in Washington, Redmond. Known as the home to both Microsoft and Nintendo of America, Redmond has a rock-solid economic base to work with. Which helps explain why Redmond residents earn the 7th highest median household income in Washington, $132,770/year. You kind of need to be earning big bucks to get by here, though, because homes go for around $788,500.

Redmond is also the youngest city we’ll be covering, with a median age of 34. These young-uns don’t have to go far to get to work, because at 24 minutes, Redmond also has the shortest commute of cities on this list. And if you’d rather do your part for the environment, Redmond is a highly-bikeable community and has been described as “the bicycle capital of the Northwest.”

Feel free to ride your bike down the Sammamish River Trail and return to a concert at Maymoor Park after you’re done.

Overall SnackAbility


Population: 67,959
Rank Last Year: 4 (Down 6)
Median Home Value: $788,500
Unemployment Rate: 4.0%
More on Redmond: Real Estate | Crime Report | Cost Of Living

Redmond, WA

Source: Public domain

Mapping The Best And Worst Places To Live in Washington

The Pressing Question: Size

Before we even started to collect data, we had to answer a tough question: Is it fair to pit Olympia with a population of 52,290 against places with a population of 18?

We firmly decided no, that just isn’t fair.

So to create our ranking, we broke places to live into three tiers:

  • Cities — Populations over 5,000
  • Towns — Populations between 1,000 and 5,000
  • Small Towns — Populations below 1,000

This left us with 121 cities, 194 towns, and 169 small towns.

We then decided, no matter how much anyone loves their town, the best cities to live in Washington have more of everything and therefore you need to have over 5,000 people to truly be ‘the best’.

Now we also realize that city living might not be your cup of tea, so we ran the following analysis on towns and then again for small towns.

You can see those two top tens at the bottom of the post.

Methodology: How We Calculated The Best Cities To Live In Washington

Now that we had our set of cities, it was time to rank them.

We ranked each place in Washington across a number of criteria from one to 121, with one being the best.

We then took the average rank across all criteria, with the city posting the lowest overall score being crowned the winner of the title “Best Place To Live In Washington”.

The criteria we looked at were:

  • Median Home Values
  • Median Income
  • Population Density (Higher better)
  • Unemployment Rate
  • Commute Time
  • Crime
  • Education Levels
  • Health Insurance Coverage
  • Poverty rates

Sources of criteria include the New Census Data and FBI Crime Data. You can download the data here.

After the dust settled, what was the best place to live in Washington? That would be Mercer Island.

If your city or town isn’t among the top 10, jump down to the bottom of the post to see a detailed chart of the best places in Washington.

Otherwise, buckle up for a ride down good living lane with Mercer Island at the end of the cul-de-sac.

Summary: The Best Places When It Comes To Living In Washington

If you’re looking at areas in Washington with the best economic situations, where there’s lower than average crime, and a lot to do, this is an accurate list.

Mercer Island made a strong showing to take in the overall number one spot for the best place to live in Washington for 2022.

Best Towns To Live In Washington

  1. Yarrow Point (Pop. 1,149)
  2. Medina (Pop. 3,169)
  3. Clyde Hill (Pop. 3,197)
  4. Woodway (Pop. 1,367)
  5. Walla Walla East (Pop. 1,729)
  6. Wilderness Rim (Pop. 1,332)
  7. Monroe North (Pop. 1,784)
  8. Chico (Pop. 2,463)
  9. Browns Point (Pop. 1,187)
  10. Canterwood (Pop. 3,409)

Best Small Towns To Live In Washington

  1. Raft Island (Pop. 342)
  2. Keyport (Pop. 442)
  3. Beaux Arts Village (Pop. 368)
  4. Hunts Point (Pop. 461)
  5. Colton (Pop. 418)
  6. Ruston (Pop. 969)
  7. Bay View (Pop. 700)
  8. Cherry Grove (Pop. 447)
  9. Uniontown (Pop. 377)
  10. Dollars Corner (Pop. 798)

If you’re curious enough, here are the worst places to live in Washington according to the data:

  1. Aberdeen (Pop. 16,571)
  2. Union Gap (Pop. 6,167)
  3. Shelton (Pop. 10,467)

For more Washington reading, check out:

Where Are The Best Places To Live In Washington?

Rank City Population Unemployment Rate Home Value
1 Mercer Island 25,820 2.2% $1,386,300
2 Sammamish 65,265 2.6% $878,000
3 Duvall 7,979 1.9% $543,200
4 Snoqualmie 13,550 2.4% $640,700
5 Newcastle 12,078 2.7% $780,100
6 Brier 6,899 3.7% $619,600
7 Normandy Park 6,643 3.7% $685,800
8 Lake Forest Park 13,455 4.1% $676,400
9 Kenmore 22,969 3.2% $617,000
10 Redmond 67,959 4.0% $788,500
11 Bellevue 146,145 3.5% $887,700
12 Kirkland 91,146 4.5% $724,700
13 Camas 24,043 3.3% $458,000
14 Bainbridge Island 24,859 3.2% $783,600
15 Mill Creek 20,750 3.5% $584,400
16 Maple Valley 26,739 5.7% $451,900
17 Mukilteo 21,414 3.6% $624,900
18 Issaquah 38,707 3.4% $677,500
19 Woodinville 13,038 4.2% $685,500
20 Bothell 46,386 4.9% $587,900
21 Liberty Lake 10,381 7.1% $334,200
22 Stanwood 7,228 1.1% $366,900
23 Edmonds 42,347 3.7% $587,200
24 Steilacoom 6,366 4.5% $394,500
25 Fircrest 6,844 8.1% $375,600
26 Shoreline 56,835 3.7% $582,000
27 Bonney Lake 21,247 2.5% $372,200
28 Edgewood 12,010 2.6% $430,600
29 Ridgefield 8,751 4.6% $406,400
30 Lake Stevens 33,470 4.9% $384,400
31 Poulsbo 10,869 4.6% $389,300
32 Gig Harbor 10,280 1.3% $509,800
33 West Richland 14,842 5.0% $292,500
34 Anacortes 17,231 4.5% $446,000
35 Covington 21,131 2.8% $386,900
36 Mountlake Terrace 21,328 3.0% $424,700
37 Marysville 69,629 4.5% $353,100
38 Battle Ground 20,931 3.9% $317,700
39 University Place 33,661 4.7% $387,800
40 Lynden 14,700 4.4% $362,400
41 Seattle 741,251 4.1% $713,600
42 Dupont 9,514 4.8% $343,400
43 Monroe 19,403 3.9% $395,500
44 Pullman 33,974 10.2% $287,700
45 Oak Harbor 23,358 6.9% $297,000
46 Enumclaw 12,062 6.3% $333,600
47 Selah 7,957 3.7% $249,400
48 Arlington 19,947 2.7% $345,800
49 Lacey 50,827 5.2% $286,200
50 North Bend 7,161 4.0% $628,100
51 East Wenatchee 14,012 4.7% $283,800
52 Orting 8,267 6.0% $293,800
53 Washougal 15,927 8.2% $349,300
54 Richland 57,353 5.0% $283,200
55 Wenatchee 34,249 3.4% $273,100
56 Sultan 5,330 4.6% $281,800
57 Pacific 7,122 2.4% $305,200
58 Port Townsend 9,710 10.2% $352,400
59 Renton 101,871 3.5% $442,600
60 Ferndale 14,591 5.9% $329,800
61 Tumwater 23,390 7.8% $312,600
62 Bellingham 90,821 4.5% $405,700
63 Milton 8,211 5.0% $340,600
64 College Place 9,311 6.1% $205,500
65 Snohomish 10,141 5.6% $392,000
66 Puyallup 41,666 6.0% $352,800
67 Lynnwood 38,538 3.9% $443,100
68 Federal Way 96,812 4.9% $359,000
69 Sedro-Woolley 11,919 4.7% $276,400
70 Connell 5,518 5.3% $161,400
71 Yelm 9,262 4.7% $270,900
72 Vancouver 182,792 5.0% $318,200
73 Des Moines 31,983 7.1% $379,300
74 Olympia 52,290 6.9% $330,800
75 Everett 110,840 4.9% $359,900
76 Walla Walla 32,951 6.2% $225,700
77 Cheney 12,455 11.8% $225,900
78 Blaine 5,427 12.7% $333,900
79 Spokane Valley 99,275 5.5% $226,800
80 Kennewick 82,633 5.5% $239,200
81 Burien 51,588 5.7% $419,500
82 Ellensburg 20,679 8.1% $235,800
83 Sequim 7,441 5.8% $231,200
84 Auburn 80,914 4.5% $356,200
85 Sumner 10,246 5.1% $347,500
86 Port Orchard 14,303 4.8% $357,500
87 Quincy 7,815 2.5% $165,700
88 Kent 130,038 6.8% $378,800
89 Tacoma 215,766 4.9% $311,700
90 Fife 10,345 3.8% $325,500
91 Mount Vernon 35,502 5.8% $308,900
92 Pasco 74,266 5.4% $222,000
93 Spokane 219,185 5.9% $205,500
94 Mattawa 5,040 10.0% $112,700
95 Woodland 6,223 5.8% $276,200
96 Port Angeles 20,071 5.6% $231,900
97 Ocean Shores 6,196 2.7% $250,800
98 Hoquiam 8,570 7.8% $128,200
99 Longview 37,914 6.0% $212,300
100 Ephrata 8,081 7.5% $169,000

How Is Your Town In ?

Editor’s Note: We updated this article for 2022. This is our ninth time ranking the best places 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.