From Washington Guide 2021

Way Better in Washington

Washington State is No. 1 in the nation for quality of life.

Quality of Life
Birds-eye view of Bellingham in Snohomish County.
Photo courtesy of Washington Tourism Alliance


From coastal beaches to snow-capped peaks and world-class cuisine to thrilling black diamond ski runs and PGA Championship golf courses, Washington is a state with an abundantly high quality of life. 

According to World Population Review, Washington is the nation’s No. 1 state for quality of life in 2021. The ranking considered a variety of criteria including the state’s tax climate, job market, international business opportunities, economy, infrastructure, health care and education. 

In the last decade, Washington’s population has grown by 8.8% — outpacing the national average. The state offers a wide variety of communities to settle in from the metro areas of the Tri-Cities, Yakima and Spokane to more rural towns found along the coast. Many of the state’s residents enjoy a unique commute to the office, as Washington’s ferry system shuttles people living on one of the islands dotting the Puget Sound and the Salish Sea to and from work. 

With so many unique attributes, it can be difficult to get a clear picture of all the benefits to living in Washington. Below you’ll find five of the most compelling reasons why life in Washington is simply the best state in which to reside.  

  1. Scenic Natural Beauty: Few places in the world are as beautiful as the Pacific Northwest. Geographically formed by volcanic upheaval, Washington’s stunning vistas have an international reputation. A mecca for outdoors enthusiasts, Washington offers more than 50,000 miles of rivers and streams, 12,000 miles of hiking trails, 8,000 lakes, 3,200 miles of coastline. Additionally, Washington is home to 185 state parks, wildlife preserves and wilderness areas and 13 National Parks. The state’s national parks welcome 7.3 million visitors each year. 
  2. Affordability: Washington is one of the few states with no personal (or corporate) income tax, meaning more of your paycheck stays in your wallet.  While cost-of-living is higher in Seattle, there are a variety of communities across the state offering an affordable quality of life. According to Livability.com, the five most affordable cities in Washington are: Olympia, Richland, Bothell, Auburn and Redmond. 
  3. Thriving Job Market: Washington is among the top states in the nation for career seekers. Consider these rankings: No. 1 Best Place for Business and Careers (Forbes 2018), No. 1 Best State to Make a Living (MoneyRates.com, 2017). Additionally, for those working remotely, Washington is Technet’s No. 1 Best State for Broadband Connectivity. There are more than 500,000 businesses across the state from startups to global brands. 
  4. Higher Education: Washington is home to a highly educated and trained workforce. More than 91% of the state has a high school diploma (83% is the U.S. average) and 35.3% have at least a bachelor’s degree or higher. Washington is home to a wide variety of educational institutions including a national laboratory, six public universities, 27 private colleges and university and 34 community and technical colleges (13 of which offer four-year degrees.) Across the state, several integrated workforce training programs provide training in Washington’s high-growth sectors including, aerospace, agriculture/food processing, clean technology, life science, information and communication technology and more. 
  5. Cultural Amenities: From the fresh catch of the day to a strong cup of coffee, Washington is home to a vibrant food scene. In addition to some of the best restaurants, Washington offers an abundance of the arts, from arts festivals to symphonies. Birthed from a pioneer spirit, Washington is home to a fascinating blend of heritage and nature, inspiring generations of creatives — from rockstars and writers to innovators and world-changers. 

Savannah King
Managing Editor of Custom Content

Savannah King

Savannah King is managing editor of custom content for Conway Inc. She is an award-winning journalist and previously wrote for The Times in Gainesville, Ga. She graduated from the University of West Florida with a degree in Broadcast Journalism and lives near Atlanta.


As the No. 1 state in the nation, Washington’s economic strengths continue to earn top honors and attract new investments.

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