Best Cities to Live in Virginia

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Virginia has several distinct regions: the quaint, peaceful coastal communities of Chesapeake Bay and coal mining towns in the western mountainous regions are worlds apart from Northern Virginia, which is strongly within Washington D.C.’s sphere of influence. Where you choose to live in Virginia depends on your tastes, but reading our overview of Old Dominion’s five best cities to live in should help you narrow down your choice.

1. Reston

Virginia’s best city to live in is Reston, a community of about 60,000 in Fairfax County with a unique origin as part of the Garden City movement, a push to design communities with the perfect balance of homes, businesses, and parks. Today, Reston fulfills that promise with its beautiful homes, thriving businesses, and marvelous tree canopy.  

2. Arlington

Although many refer to it as a city (and for most intents and purposes it is one), #2 Arlington is technically a county. Arlington is one of the wealthiest communities in the United States because of its booming economy housing many governmental agencies and contractors.

3. Herndon

Herndon, also located in Fairfax County, is a modestly sized suburb of Washington, D.C. with low unemployment and a high median household income due to the presence of many large tech companies in what is known as the Dulles Technological Corridor.

4. Christiansburg

For the #4 spot on the list, we head southwest to Christiansburg, a delightful little community in Montgomery County. In its early history, George Washington, Davy Crockett, and Daniel Boone all spent time in Christiansburg.

5. Henrico

Henrico is another “technically a county but essentially a city” entry. The presence of financial companies like Capital One and Bank of America keep its economy chugging along.

Best Cities to Live in Virginia

RankCity
1Reston
2Arlington
3Herndon
4Christiansburg
5Henrico
6Glen Allen
7Blacksburg
8Sterling
9Burke
10Midlothian
11Springfield
12Ashburn
13Centreville
14Mc Lean
15Salem
16Chantilly
17Fairfax
18Alexandria
19Chester
20Williamsburg
21Mechanicsville
22Staunton
23Vienna
24Yorktown
25Lynchburg
26Harrisonburg
27Leesburg
28Lorton
29Roanoke
30Richmond
31Bristol
32Abingdon
33Waynesboro
34Chesterfield
35Virginia Beach
36Dumfries
37Annandale
38Bristow
39Winchester
40Gainesville
41Woodbridge
42Danville
43Falls Church
44Warrenton
45Martinsville
46Charlottesville
47Norfolk
48Hopewell
49Hampton
50Stafford
51Manassas
52Front Royal
53Newport News
54Chesapeake
55Fredericksburg
56Culpeper
57Spotsylvania
58Portsmouth
59Suffolk
60Petersburg

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Best Cities To Live Virginia 2019 badge

Methodology

We ranked a total of 2,509 qualified cities (those with populations above 25,000 and enough data for analysis) by five factors: employment (number of establishments, median earnings); housing (owner-occupied housing with a mortgage, monthly housing costs); quality of life (work commute, poverty levels); education (percentage with a bachelor’s degree or higher); and health (obesity ratios).

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