10 Best & Safest Places To Live In Washington State

Cyril Balahadia
by Cyril Balahadia

Washington State is located in the magnificent Pacific Northwest. It’s known for having some of the most beautiful landscapes and abundant evergreen forests – thus it was nicknamed “The Evergreen State”.

But what does is it like living in Washington State? It depends on which part you are talking about – the Western part of the state is absolutely different from the Eastern part. Western Washington is filled with mountains and verdant greenery. There are gorgeous rivers and never a shortage of state parks. Seattle is also located here, so this area can be a bit crowded.

On the other hand, the Eastern part is for you if you’re not the city type and don’t enjoy too much rain. This also focuses on agriculture. Both sides, however, offer great places to live for anyone who wants to transplant to Washington State.

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Top 10 Best Places to Live in Washington State

Rank

Location

Population

Crime Rate per 1,000 People

1

Liberty Lake

8,566

1,576

2

Sammamish

62,136

639

3

Brier

6,530

990

4

Mill Creek

19,372

1,437

5

Mercer Island

24,467

1,435

6

West Richland

13,407

769

7

Redmond

59,268

2,758

8

Bainbridge Island

23,576

941

9

Duvall

7,534

619

10

Maple Valley

25,093

1,177

If you’re lucky enough to have the privilege of moving to Washington State, this article is for you. Below, I listed the top 10 best places to live in the Evergreen State. To come up with this list, I consider each place’s safety and crime rates, convenience and amenities, and cost of living.

1. Liberty Lake

  • Median Household Income: $70,658
  • Median Home Price: $417,901
  • Average Rental Rate for 1-BR Apartment: $1,085

The first on the list is Liberty Lake. This city is a great location and carry some up and coming neighborhoods all over the area that is also worth checking out.

As you can easily tell by the name, a lake is found here. And although it’s a city, it will give you a small-town vibe to it. Aside from hiking on the lake trail, many people here enjoy playing the golf course within the vicinity.

When it comes to amenities, there are two grocery stores, a library, two elementary schools, and a new high school facility. This is absolutely a great place to raise a family.

The sense of community, however, is one of the best things about living in Liberty Lake. Meeting people shouldn’t be too hard as you’ll find that most people that you’ll encounter are nice and genuinely care about the community and its residents.

If safety is one of your main priorities, don’t worry as the police and fire department are also ready to rescue if needed. A beautiful place full of friendly people, Liberty Lake is certainly a great place to live.

2. Sammamish

  • Median Household Income: $165,318
  • Median Home Price: $994,886
  • Average Rental Rate for 1-BR Apartment: $1,808

A city in King County, Sammamish is another sought-after location in Washington State among homebuyers. This city is located on a plateau and is bordered by Lake Sammamish and the Snoqualmie Valley.

Living in Sammamish, you’ll be able to experience some of the most beautiful sceneries in the state. Set in between a magnificent mountain range, heavily wooded boulders, and wildflower-strewn glades, Sammamish provides its residents with the type of picturesque vistas.

In terms of amenities, this place also offers its residents a top-notch school system, exceptional recreational and public amenities, a reliable transportation network, and one of the highest median incomes in Washington State.

3. Brier

  • Median Household Income: $139,215
  • Median Home Price: $673,268
  • Average Rental Rate for 1-BR Apartment: $1,695

Brier is a small, quaint city located in Snohomish County. It is surrounded by Lynnwood to the north, Mountlake Terrace to the west, Lake Forest Park to the south, and Bothell to the east.

It is a rural setting with huge residential lots and forested parks which are popular for jogging, walking, as well as horseback riding. The local government does its best to preserve open space and the natural landscapes within the city, making it one of the best places to live in the state.

The city boasts a couple of parks, a good selection of restaurants, a convenience store, and friendly people. Overall, it’s an ideal place to raise a family. The city is also filled with growing businesses and expanding local colleges. And while it’s a smaller city, its location is very convenient. A few minutes of driving brings you to Downtown and even Seattle.

4. Mill Creek

  • Median Household Income: $88,770
  • Median Home Price: $632,129
  • Average Rental Rate for 1-BR Apartment: $1,595

Also located in Snohomish County, Mill Creek is a safe place to live and raise a family. This city is located between the cities of Lynnwood and Everett, nearly 20 miles northeast of Seattle.

Mill Creek is a remarkably diverse city and has a melting pot of cultures, which can easily make you feel at home right away. If you hate traffic, then you’ll be happy living here. This place also has a lot of local restaurants that allow you to eat something new every day.

Aside from good places to eat, it also has a nice walking trail. If you have kids, Mill Creek also offers several schools that offer high-quality education. The fact that this place has low crime and drug rates will also give you peace of mind about your public safety.

5. Mercer Island

  • Median Household Income: $142,413
  • Median Home Price: $1,702,224
  • Average Rental Rate for 1-BR Apartment: $1,559

Mercer Island is a city in King County, located on an island of the same name in the southern part of Lake Washington. This city is in the Seattle Metropolitan Area, with Seattle located in the west and Bellevue in the east.

Some of the highlights of Mercer Island include beautiful parks, excellent schools, and a great sense of community. Mercer Island has also achieved nationwide fame as Business Insider ranked it #27 best suburb in the US in 2015 and Money Magazine rated it as the best place to live in the state.

In the past years, the city has tried to revive the community’s town center. The city’s downtown is now the island’s go-to gathering place for dining and shopping.

If you want to live a walking distance away from restaurants and coffee shops, the downtown neighborhood has a lot of condominiums and apartment business. There are also several convenient grocery stores and the Mercer Island Farmers Market where locals can get their goods. They no longer have to travel to Seattle or Bellevue to find what they need.

6. West Richland

  • Median Household Income: $92,952
  • Median Home Price: $375,970
  • Average Rental Rate for 1-BR Apartment: $1,129

West Richland is a 22-square-mile city located in Benton County. This city is situated within the Tri-Cities metropolitan area that is centered around the cities of Kennewick, Richland, and Pasco.

Known all over the world as a technology hub, the job prospects here are some of the best in Washington, which makes it a popular place among young professionals. That said, there is more than enough on offer to make it also draw families and retirees.

One of the main reasons why this place has been a choice among homebuyers is the affordable cost of living. Multitudes of activities like biking and hiking, and even golfing and watersports.

West Richland also offers a lively cultural scene that includes a yearly renaissance fair, a family-friendly classic car event, and numerous music and arts festivals. The place is absolutely beautiful and exciting.

7. Redmond

  • Median Household Income: $99,586
  • Median Home Price: $911,374
  • Average Rental Rate for 1-BR Apartment: $1,898

Located in King County, 15 miles east of Seattle, this is another great place to live in Washington State. Just like Richland, it’s also a tech hub, being home to Microsoft and Nintendo of America. If you are a tech guy or aspiring to be one, this is a place for you. But of course, that does not only want Redmond has to offer.

With many interesting things to do, bars and restaurants to explore, a low crime rate, an excellent school system, and believe it not, the prestigious title of “Bicycle Capital of the Northwest”, it’s surely a great place for everyone to live in.

Despite its title, however, the main form of transportation in Redmond is the automobile. The city is mostly suburban.

8. Bainbridge Island

  • Median Household Income: $95,976
  • Median Home Price: $880,620
  • Average Rental Rate for 1-BR Apartment: $2,123

Bainbridge Island is a small city located in the western part of the state. This city is connected to Seattle by ferry.

It has the forested Bloedel Reserve which has landscaped trails and gardens. Not too far is the coastal Fay Bainbridge Park and Campground, which features an east-facing beach with the sights of the Cascade Mountains and Puget Sound.

Aside from its spectacular beauty, many families choose to live here due to its highly regarded school system and an exceptionally low crime rate. The community has kept tight control over commercial and residential development throughout the years, to the effect that real estate is more expensive than the state’s average.

9. Duvall

  • Median Household Income: $156,205
  • Median Home Price: $684,099
  • Average Rental Rate for 1-BR Apartment: $1,973

Duvall is a city in King County, located on SR 203, halfway between Carnation and Monroe. Duvall has been one of the safest cities to live in not only in Washington State but also in the country.

Duvall is a charming old city, with deep Washington culture and roots. If you’re starting or raising a family, this could be great for you. All while being close to many bigger cities and towns where most workplaces are located.

This city also boasts fantastic public schools, a healthy economy, a wealth of jobs, and incredibly low crime rates. If you’re looking to move to Washington State, you must not forget to look into this beautiful place.

10. Maple Valley

  • Median Household Income: $107,299
  • Median Home Price: $541,931
  • Average Rental Rate for 1-BR Apartment: $1,593

Last, but absolutely not least is the beautiful city of Maple Valley. This city is also located in King County, and functions as a commuter town for people living here, though there’s a growing amount of commercial activity taking place in the area.

Living here, you can enjoy the beautiful trails and hiking areas as much as you want. This place will truly show you why Washington State is known to be one of the most beautiful states in the country.

Maple Valley is far enough away from the chaotic cities but close enough to commute to Seattle or Bellevue to get what you need. All in all, if you’re searching for a beautiful place to live, this has to be on your list.

Is it Safe to Live in Washington State?

If you’re planning to move to Washington State, you’re probably interested to know about the safety of the state. Unfortunately, according to the State of Safety survey, the safety concern among the residents of the Evergreen State has increased in 2020. 52% of surveyed individuals said they’re concerned about safety daily, while only 46% throughout the country said the same.

This year, the crime situation in the state is a little strange. The state has a violent crime rate significantly below the national average, but the property crime issue – mainly in Seattle and its other large cities – is significantly higher.

Washington’s Crime Rates

Here is Washington’s crime rate in comparison to the US national average.

Crime Washington State (per 1000 persons)National Average (per 1000 persons)
Murder0.030.05
Rape0.450.43
Robbery0.740.86
Assault1.892.47
Burglary5.333.76
Theft20.4515.95
Motor Vehicle Theft3.672.29
Total Crime Rate per 1000 People32.5841.29

Most Dangerous Places to Live in Washington State

Just like any other place in the world, Washington State has places that are more dangerous than others. To decrease your chances of becoming a victim of any crime, try to avoid these places.

Rank

City

Population

Total Crime Rate Per 100,000 People

1

Tukwila

20,195

16,321

2

Burlington

8,680

12,304

3

Union Gap

6,031

12,254

4

Chehalis

7,417

634

5

Clarkston

7,330

583

6

Fife

10,134

787

7

Tacoma

209,914

15,749

8

Lynnwood

37,217

2,767

9

Puyallup

40,167

6,715

10

Kelso

11,897

6,800

Safest Places to Live in Washington State

Of course, despite the reports indicated above living in the state is dangerous. The state has a lot of places that are safer than the national average.

Rank

City

Population

Violent crime

Property crime

Total crimes

Crime rate per 1,000

Violent crimes per 1,000

Property crimes per 1,000

1

Oak Harbor

23,330

24

162

186

7.97

1.03

6.94

2

West Richland

15,012

11

125

136

9.06

0.73

8.33

3

Camas

23,865

19

219

238

9.97

0.80

9.18

4

Snoqualmie

13,947

3

169

172

12.33

0.22

12.12

5

Bainbridge Island

24,739

25

242

267

10.79

1.01

9.78

6

Pullman

33,896

41

371

412

12.15

1.21

10.95

7

Lake Stevens

33,491

63

356

419

12.51

1.88

10.63

8

Liberty Lake

10,272

10

125

135

13.14

0.97

12.17

9

Enumclaw

11,882

9

229

238

20.03

0.76

19.27

10

Grandview

11,163

7

205

212

18.99

0.63

18.36

Is Washington State Expensive?

Washington State can be cheap or expensive, depending on where you choose to live. Seattle, for example, is 80% higher than the national average, while other places like Richland and Olympia are lower than the national average.

Now, let’s look deeper at Washington State’s cost of living. This data is based on a US average of 100. An amount lower than 100 means Washington is cheaper compared to the US average. A cost of living index of more than 100 means more expensive than the national average.

  • The cost of living in Washington State is 118.7
  • The median home price in Washington isĀ $381,300

Expenses

Washington

United States

Grocery

101.1

100

Health

83.8

100

Housing

164.9 ($381,300)

100 ($231,200)

Utilities

74

100

Transportation

113.6

100

Miscellaneous

99.4

100

Overall

118.7

100

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Final Thoughts

There are a lot of reasons why Washington State is highly in demand among homebuyers. With its beauty and job opportunities, anyone living here is lucky enough to have opportunities right under their nose.

Hopefully, you use this article as a guide in finding the best place for you to live in Washington State. If you have further questions, let us know about it in the comment section below!

Cyril Balahadia
Cyril Balahadia

Coming from a family of woodcarvers, Cyril has always been fascinated with wooden interiors and home decorating. While she followed the path of writing as her career, her interests in home improvements still remain.

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