2017 Best Places to Raise a Family in Washington, D.C. Metro

Explore the best places to raise a family based on public schools, crime rates, cost of living, and family-friendly amenities. Ranking based on data from the U.S. Census, FBI, BLS, CDC, and other data sources.

See how this ranking was calculated
  • National
  • By State
  • By Metro
Viewing 1-25 of 100
  1. 1

    Belmont

    • Suburb in Virginia
    • 21 reviews
    Niche User:I grew up in this area, and have watched it developed from quiet, rural suburbia to progressively up-and-coming town. It'll be interesting to see how the Ashburn, Virginia, area ends up in 3-5 years.
    More about Belmont
  2. 2

    Hawthorne

    • Neighborhood in Washington, D.C.
  3. 3

    North Potomac

    • Suburb in Maryland
    • 67 reviews
    Current Resident:North Potomac is a great place for the whole family! There are excellent parks and playgrounds. North Potomac is situated in an area surrounded by various entertainment facilities such as movie theaters and bowling alleys. There are many great restaurants only a short walk or drive away. North Potomac is also close to two metro stations on the Red Line - perfect for commuting to Washington, D.C.
    More about North Potomac
  4. 4

    Broadlands

    • Suburb in Virginia
    • 14 reviews
    Current Resident:Broadlands is an incredible place to grow up. I have lived in Broadlands for 17 years couldn't imagine growing up in any other place. The schools are nationally ranked, the neighborhoods are beautiful, and location is perfect. Broadlands is located very close to attractions such as dozens of Vinyards, Dulles Airport, and beautiful shopping centers. Even after finishing college, I decided to come back to Broadlands because it's such an easy place to feel comfortable. My only complaint is the area is very populated which often means there is traffic.
    More about Broadlands
  5. 5

    Brambleton

    • Suburb in Virginia
    • 14 reviews
    Niche User:The area in which I live is often reffered to as NoVa (Northern Virginia) or the DMV area (DC-metro/Virginia or DC/Maryland/Virginia). This area is very interesting economically. In the past 10 years, Loudoun County's population has absolutely EXPLODED, which mandated conversion of the area from rural farmland and nothingness to a buzzing high-class suburb that is quickly filling with poeple. Loudoun County was found by the most recent US Census to be the county with the "Highest Income Per Capita" in the whole nation. Loudoun County's unemployment rate is 0.5%. A large amount of NoVa residents work for the government or are contracted by the government, and work in DC 30 minutes away. (I have Army retirees across the street, an IRS employee next door, an Oil Industry Lobbyist down the street, CIA employee down the street, DEA officer on the next street over, etc, etc. No joke!) The atmosphere in NoVa is very professional. The quality of life here is very high. Crime rates are low, the streets are clean and safe. Neighbors are friendly, well-educated, and involved in their communities.

    The quality weather in NoVa is up for interpretation. There is a lot of precipitation here, year-round. Summers can be very hot and winters can be very cold.

    I would choose to live here again if I could.

    I used to live in La Palma, CA, where the unemployment rate was very high, the streets were dirty and unsafe, and the general area felt poor. I would choose NoVa over SoCal any day.

    The future of this area is bright. I am a college student living in my parents' home here in VA, and I plan to purchase my own home in the area after grad school. I love this area.
    More about Brambleton
  6. 6

    Derwood

    • Suburb in Maryland
    • 6 reviews
    Former Resident:Derwood is a nice, quiet suburb that offers a lot of recreational and educational opportunities for families. I really loved growing up in my neighborhood.
    More about Derwood
  7. 7

    Loudoun Valley Estates

    • Suburb in Virginia
    • 1 review
  8. 8

    Somerset

    • Suburb in Maryland
  9. 9

    Kensington

    • Suburb in Maryland
    • 6 reviews
    Current Resident:Kensington is a small suburb about eight miles from the Capitol dome as a bird flies. It has lots of schools and churches etc., and most people are pretty well off (not everyone). It does not have a lot of diversity. And people can pretty much ignore what is going on in the world around them if they want to. There are parks and a pretty nice downtown you can walk to from most parts of town. (Finally got a Chipotle and Five Guys - now there are three places to hang out, including Continental PIzza - at least til 8 pm.) That 's one problem; no place to hang out unless you go down to Bethesda or out to one of the malls, and that means driving or getting a ride. I have good friends in Kensington, and I have had a good life there. I just wish it were more welcoming to more kinds of people. Maybe it is just time to move out of the little pond and into the big wide ocean!
    More about Kensington
  10. 10

    Travilah

    • Suburb in Maryland
    • 11 reviews
    Nearby Resident:Travilah is the classic American suburban neighborhood. The town is surrounded by some of the best learning centers in America, from John Hopkins University, which is down the street, from a combination of 13 top universities in Maryland molded together to become, The universities of Shady Grove.
    More about Travilah
  11. 11

    Darnestown

    • Suburb in Maryland
    • 15 reviews
    Niche User:I love this area, and I couldn't think of a better place to live. Everyone is very neighborly, and extremely kind and generous. There is virtually no crime, great school systems, and overall a very high quality of lifestyle, while not being overly luxurious.
    More about Darnestown
  12. 12

    South Riding

    • Suburb in Virginia
    • 31 reviews
    Current Resident:I have lived my entire life in South Riding and overall I can say that it has given me a positive experience and helped build the right foundation for me as I more forward in life. Although this may seem odd, as South Riding is essentially a bubble, the diversity and experiences that I have had while going to school and living in this community have been overall beneficial to me.
    More about South Riding
  13. 13

    South Kensington

    • Suburb in Maryland
  14. 14

    Chevy Chase Town

    • Suburb in Maryland
  15. 15

    Franklin Farm

    • Suburb in Virginia
    • 11 reviews
    Niche User:There is rarely any crime nearby, and whenever there is, the police are on it and it is taken care of in a timely manner. Nothing serious has happened in a long time. My community also has neighborhood watch and is always on the look out for suspicious characters and will not hesitate to involve police if need be.
    More about Franklin Farm
  16. 16

    Barnaby Woods

    • Neighborhood in Washington, D.C.
    • 1 review
    Niche User:We moved hear from the heart of the city and this allows for both suburban life away from the noise, but quick access to public transportation to get into the city again.
    More about Barnaby Woods
  17. 17

    Potomac

    • Suburb in Maryland
    • 38 reviews
    Current Resident:Living in Potomac has been great. When my family moved here from Gaithersburg 8 years ago I didn't know what to expect. The people here are great and there is no bad choice as far as high school goes. Public or private they are all great schools!
    More about Potomac
  18. 18

    Stone Ridge

    • Suburb in Virginia
    • 8 reviews
    Niche User:In general, Northern Virginia is quite safe, the largest concern is that of vandalisim, which has been on the rise since the summer. Petty crimes occasionally occur, but law inforcment is quick to act and take care of the situation in a swift manner.
    More about Stone Ridge
  19. 19

    Lowes Island

    • Suburb in Virginia
    • 3 reviews
    Parent:I love it here, most people are vey friendly
    More about Lowes Island
  20. 20

    Ashburn

    • Suburb in Virginia
    • 137 reviews
    Current Resident:I live in a very wealthy community, so everything around us is very nice and convenient. The only problem with where I live is there is ALWAYS construction going on because the community is continuously growing. Another great thing about where I live is the schools are amazing! I wouldn't change my experience in Ashburn at all.
    More about Ashburn
  21. 21

    Clarksburg

    • Suburb in Maryland
    • 16 reviews
    Current Resident:Clarksburg is a really nice neighborhood, surrounded by good people. The amenities are nice, and the new town center is a great attraction. The only thing I would recommend, is widening the road in the new future, and possibly making multiple lanes going back and forth.
    More about Clarksburg
  22. 22

    Bethesda

    • Town in Maryland
    • 41 reviews
    Current Resident:Bethesda is one of the most wonderful cities to live in in the Washington DC suburbs, it's very close to downtown D.C. Good public and private schools very diverse and open minded people!
    More about Bethesda
  23. 23

    Chevy Chase Village

    • Suburb in Maryland
    • 4 reviews
    Niche User:It is a very safe area with a very small amount of crime. We have our own police force that is very responsive and effective at catching criminals. Sometimes they can be a pest though when they hide behind corners waiting for folks to roll through a stop sign, that always becomes annoying.
    More about Chevy Chase Village
  24. 24

    Floris

    • Suburb in Virginia
    • 22 reviews
    Niche User:Being so close to the District of Columbia, there are so many government contractors in the area. Everyone is busy, everyone needs to get somewhere. There's so much pressure to succeed, to land the next big contract, to hit the best college. The area is basically one big pressure cooker.

    There are upsides to this. This area has some of the smartest people in the country, and there are plenty of places for entertainment and education. The only downside is the enormous, constant pressure and horribly high cost of living.
    More about Floris
  25. 25

    Wesley Heights

    • Neighborhood in Washington, D.C.