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Monday, January 20, 2014

The 10 Best Cities in Washington: See How They Stack Up

At Movoto Real Estate, they've hopping from one state to another, bringing you the 10 very best cities in each. They've been East, South, and today, up to the Pacific Northwest to explore Washington.

So what is the best city in The Evergreen State? Sorry, Seattle, but it looks like Issaquah has you beat. According to the study, here are the 10 cities in Washington:

How did Issaquah manage to crest the top of this list? What is Seattle doing at the bottom? Why are there two communities in the No. 4 spot? No, it’s not a typo. Keep reading to find out how we came up with this ranking and where each city excelled.

Finding Washington’s Finest

It is clear that Washington is beautiful—practically the entire state looks like a postcard. We also know that the people in Washington are laid-back and welcoming. For our study, however, we needed some solid, measurable data to determine just which cities were the best. After all, we wanted to take something subjective and settle the score once and for all. So we selected the following 10 criteria:

  • Distance from five-star hiking
  • Number of coffee shops per capita
  • Number of seafood restaurants per capita
  • Total amenities
  • High school diploma attainment rate
  • Commute time to work
  • Average home value
  • Median household income
  • Crime rate
  • Cost of living (100 is the national average)

Just like our other Big Deal Lists, we started our study of Washington with a list of the state’s 50 most populous cities and towns, and then ranked each with a score from one to 50 in each criteria, based on our research—the lower the number, the better.

As far as amenities go, we chose distance to five-star hiking, coffee shops per capita, and seafood restaurants per capita, as these three things are pretty good representations of a happy life in the Evergreen State. Then we used the total number of such amenities as well, just to keep things balanced for those cities with larger populations.

After we rated each city, we averaged the criteria together and gave each city an overall score. The lower the overall score was, the better each city ranked. From a complete list of how each of the 50 cities ranked, hop down to the end of this post. Or, keep reading to take a tour of each of Washington’s finest cities—see where they excelled in our criteria, what else they have going on, and why they really are the 10 best cities in the state.

Full story here:

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