Best counties to raise a family in Washington

Written by:
June 3, 2021
kan_khampanya // Shutterstock

Best counties to raise a family in Washington

Known in other parts of the world as shires, provinces, or territories, the United States’ counties (also known in certain states as boroughs or parishes) date back to the 1600s, when settlers first came to find freedom from British rule. Today, those counties remain, with the 50 states divided into several, each with its own unique makeup.

For people looking to find a home to raise a family in, choosing a county is an important decision. Most families place affordable homes, safe neighborhoods, a quality school system, and family-friendly activities at the top of their wishlists.

Stacker compiled a list of the best counties to raise a family in Washington using data from Niche. Niche ranks counties based on a variety of factors including cost of living, schools, healthcare, recreation and weather.

The list features counties that boast some of the top schools and fun, family-friendly activities for every season. Keep reading to explore the best counties to raise a family. Maybe you’ll find one that suits your brood.

1 / 17
Irra // Shutterstock

#17. Grant County

- Population: 95,502
- Median home value: $177,500 (63% own)
- Median rent: $785 (37% rent)
- Median household income: $55,556
- Top public schools: Coulee City Elementary School (B+), Grant Elementary School (B+), Parkway School (B+)
- Top private schools: Moses Lake Christian Academy (B), St. Rose of Lima Catholic School (unavailable), New Life Christian School (unavailable)
- Top places to live: Ephrata (B+), Moses Lake (B-), Quincy (C+)
2 / 17
Bouldernavigator // Wikimedia Commons

#16. Okanogan County

- Population: 41,842
- Median home value: $182,700 (66% own)
- Median rent: $711 (34% rent)
- Median household income: $47,240
- Top public schools: Liberty Bell Junior/Senior High School (B+), Omak High School (B-), Tonasket High School (B-)
- Top private schools: Little Star Montessori School (unavailable), Brewster Adventist School (unavailable), A Is 4 Apple Christian School (unavailable)
- Top places to live: Okanogan (B-), Omak (B-), Winthrop (B+)
3 / 17
Williamborg // Wikimedia Commons

#15. Asotin County

- Population: 22,421
- Median home value: $198,100 (71% own)
- Median rent: $797 (29% rent)
- Median household income: $53,715
- Top public schools: Asotin Elementary School (A-), Asotin Junior/Senior High School (B+), Heights Elementary School (B)
- Top private schools: Holy Family Elementary School (unavailable), Monarch Academy (unavailable), The Ohana Education Center (unavailable)
- Top places to live: Clarkston (B-)
4 / 17
Williamborg // Wikimedia Commons

#14. Franklin County

- Population: 92,009
- Median home value: $202,400 (68% own)
- Median rent: $913 (32% rent)
- Median household income: $63,584
- Top public schools: Ruth Livingston Elementary School (B), Edwin Markham Elementary School (B), Chiawana High School (B)
- Top private schools: Tri-Cities Prep Catholic High School (A), St. Patrick Catholic School (unavailable), Riverview Baptist Christian Schools (unavailable)
- Top places to live: West Pasco (B+), Pasco (B), Connell (B-)
5 / 17
Joe Mabel // Wikimedia Commons

#13. Island County

- Population: 82,866
- Median home value: $358,800 (71% own)
- Median rent: $1,218 (29% rent)
- Median household income: $68,604
- Top public schools: Broadview Elementary School (A-), Coupeville Elementary School (A-), Hillcrest Elementary School (A-)
- Top private schools: Whidbey Island Waldorf School (unavailable), Oak Harbor Christian School (unavailable), Der Kinderhuis Montessori School (unavailable)
- Top places to live: Oak Harbor (B), Camano (B-), Coupeville (A-)
6 / 17
Jennifer Gottwald // Wikicommons

#12. Chelan County

- Population: 76,229
- Median home value: $292,900 (64% own)
- Median rent: $909 (36% rent)
- Median household income: $58,795
- Top public schools: Icicle River Middle School (A-), Vale Elementary School (A-), Cashmere High School (B+)
- Top private schools: The River Academy (B), Cascade Christian Academy (A), St. Joseph School - Wenatchee (unavailable)
- Top places to live: Leavenworth (B+), Sunnyslope (B+), Cashmere (B+)
7 / 17
Squarestate7 // Wikicommons

#11. Walla Walla County

- Population: 60,365
- Median home value: $224,800 (65% own)
- Median rent: $926 (35% rent)
- Median household income: $57,858
- Top public schools: Walla Walla High School (B+), College Place High School (B), Prospect Point Elementary School (B)
- Top private schools: DeSales Catholic High School (A-), Walla Walla Valley Academy (B+), Rogers Adventist School (unavailable)
- Top places to live: College Place (B+), Walla Walla (B+), Garrett (B)
8 / 17
Jelson25 // Wikimedia Commons

#10. San Juan County

- Population: 16,788
- Median home value: $488,800 (75% own)
- Median rent: $1,000 (25% rent)
- Median household income: $63,622
- Top public schools: Orcas Island High School (A), Friday Harbor High School (A-), Friday Harbor Middle School (A-)
- Top private schools: Spring Street International School (A), Orcas Christian School (unavailable), Salmonberry School (unavailable)
- Top places to live: Friday Harbor (A-)
9 / 17
SounderBruce // Wikimedia Commons

#9. Pierce County

- Population: 877,013
- Median home value: $303,200 (62% own)
- Median rent: $1,250 (38% rent)
- Median household income: $72,113
- Top public schools: Drum Intermediate School (A), Evergreen Primary School (A), University Place Primary School (A)
- Top private schools: Annie Wright Schools (A+), Charles Wright Academy (A+), Bellarmine Preparatory School (A+)
- Top places to live: DuPont (A), North End (A), Steilacoom (A-)
10 / 17
SounderBruce // Wikimedia Commons

#8. Snohomish County

- Population: 798,808
- Median home value: $403,000 (67% own)
- Median rent: $1,438 (33% rent)
- Median household income: $86,691
- Top public schools: Woodinville High School (A+), Sunrise Elementary School (A+), Shelton View Elementary School (A+)
- Top private schools: Archbishop Murphy High School (A), Cedar Park Christian School - Mountlake Terrace Campus (A), Grace Academy (A-)
- Top places to live: Woodway (A), Brier (A), Mukilteo (A)
11 / 17
formulanone // Wikimedia Commons

#7. Benton County

- Population: 197,518
- Median home value: $235,800 (69% own)
- Median rent: $974 (31% rent)
- Median household income: $69,023
- Top public schools: Hanford High School (A), White Bluffs Elementary School (A), Orchard Elementary School (A)
- Top private schools: Liberty Christian School of the Tri-Cities (B-), Christ the King School (unavailable), Bethlehem Lutheran School (unavailable)
- Top places to live: Richland (A), West Richland (A), Kennewick (B+)
12 / 17
Steve Morgan // Wikimedia Commons

#6. Clark County

- Population: 473,252
- Median home value: $327,000 (67% own)
- Median rent: $1,261 (33% rent)
- Median household income: $75,253
- Top public schools: Skyridge Middle School (A), Camas High School (A), Dorothy Fox Elementary School (A)
- Top private schools: St. Elizabeth Ann Seton Catholic High School (A), Cedar Tree Christian Classical School (A-), Kings Way Christian Schools (B+)
- Top places to live: Camas (A), Fisher's Creek (A), Fisher's Landing East (A)
13 / 17
Joe Mabel // Wikicommons

#5. Thurston County

- Population: 279,711
- Median home value: $287,900 (65% own)
- Median rent: $1,218 (35% rent)
- Median household income: $72,003
- Top public schools: Olympia High School (A), Jefferson Middle School (A), Centennial Elementary School (A)
- Top private schools: Pope John Paul II High School (A-), Northwest Christian High School (B+), Evergreen Christian School (unavailable)
- Top places to live: Olympia (A-), Tumwater (A-), Lacey (B+)
14 / 17
Ron Reiring // Wikicommons

#4. Spokane County

- Population: 505,505
- Median home value: $224,800 (62% own)
- Median rent: $913 (38% rent)
- Median household income: $56,904
- Top public schools: Lewis & Clark High School (A), Libby Center (A), North Central High School (A)
- Top private schools: St. George's School (A+), Gonzaga Preparatory School (A), The Oaks Academy (A)
- Top places to live: Liberty Lake (A-), Country Homes (B+), Spokane (B+)
15 / 17
Dcoetzee // Wikimedia Commons

#3. Kitsap County

- Population: 265,882
- Median home value: $329,900 (68% own)
- Median rent: $1,249 (32% rent)
- Median household income: $75,411
- Top public schools: Bainbridge High School (A+), Capt. Johnston Blakely Elementary School (A+), Capt. Charles Wilkes Elementary School (A+)
- Top private schools: West Sound Academy (A), Crosspoint (A-), Peace Lutheran School (unavailable)
- Top places to live: Bainbridge Island (A), Silverdale (A-), Lofall (B+)
16 / 17
Ilyaunfois // Wikimedia Commons

#2. Whitman County

- Population: 49,231
- Median home value: $217,600 (44% own)
- Median rent: $814 (56% rent)
- Median household income: $42,745
- Top public schools: Franklin Elementary School (A), Pullman High School (A), St. John Elementary School (A-)
- Top private schools: Pullman Christian School (B), Montessori School of Pullman (unavailable), Guardian Angel-St. Boniface School (unavailable)
- Top places to live: Pullman (A), Colfax (A-), Palouse (A)
17 / 17
kan_khampanya // Shutterstock

#1. King County

- Population: 2,195,502
- Median home value: $549,200 (57% own)
- Median rent: $1,606 (43% rent)
- Median household income: $94,974
- Top public schools: Tesla STEM High School (A+), International Community School (A+), Interlake Senior High School (A+)
- Top private schools: Lakeside School (A+), The Overlake School (A+), Eastside Preparatory School (A+)
- Top places to live: Sammamish Valley (A+), Wilburton (A+), North Redmond (A+)

Trending Now