Arlington, VA

Population: 226,092 livability score shield

Key findings

  • Arlington has a Livability Score of 83/100, which is considered exceptional
  • Arlington crime rates are 46% lower than the Virginia average
  • Cost of living in Arlington is 52% higher than the Virginia average
  • Arlington real estate prices are 151% higher than the Virginia average
  • Rental prices in Arlington are 64% higher than the Virginia average

Best Places to Live in and Around Arlington

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      Arlington Real estate & Rental prices

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      Arlington, VA

      Arlington is an unincorporated city known for its federal government-driven economy and the beautiful Potomac River. It is directly across from Washington, D.C and was once a part of the capitol. As a result, the city is full of historical sites and government agencies, all of which make Arlington a wonderful place to live, especially for government workers.

      Arlington is home to the Pentagon, Arlington National Cemetery, Reagan International Airport and, soon, Amazon HQ2. These businesses and agencies have fueled the local economy and made Arlington a very important city in the United States. For anyone interested in living here, Arlington has plenty of options for recreation and education, as well as a booming job industry.

      The one downside to Arlington is the high cost of living. The average rent in the city is over $2,000 per month. It is important to make sure that you are able to support that high cost of living before moving here but, if you can, Arlington has many beautiful neighborhoods to choose from. Aurora Highlands and Crystal City are some of the safest communities in the US. Groceries and other necessities are around the same price as anywhere else, thanks to supermarkets, so housing will be the main cost of living in Arlington.

      Those wishing to start a family can find excellent options for education in Arlington and D.C. For children, Arlington Public Schools provides an excellent education. Furthermore, some of the best institutions for higher education in the country are in the area, including Marymount University and Georgetown.

      Public transportation is readily available in Arlington, mainly through the Washington Metro rail system, which connects it to Washington, D.C. A car is optional, though helpful and Arlington has plenty of bike lanes for those who are interested. The close proximity to Washington, D.C gives residents constant access to historical places and museums, including the Washington Monument, Capitol Hill, the White House and the Smithsonian Institute. Those interested in shopping can find everything they need in Pentagon City and Crystal City Shops. At the end of the day, there is something for almost everyone in Arlington.

      Arlington is a city rich in history and its population has been skyrocketing for decades. Many of its neighborhoods have their own unique stories and the people are exceedingly friendly. If you are able to afford the steep cost of living, it will likely be worth it to live in one of the safest and prettiest cities on the East Coast. Arlington is the perfect start to a new life and you would be joining a community of responsible, trustworthy citizens in the very heart of the United States.

      Top Rated Schools in Arlington

      Name Grades Students Proficiency
      Arlington TraditionalPK - 554097%
      Tuckahoe Elementary SchoolPK - 553895%
      Jamestown Elementary SchoolPK - 561095%
      Taylor Elementary SchoolPK - 567494%
      Arlington Science Focus SchoolPK - 568194%
      Williamsburg Middle6 - 81,31694%
      Yorktown High9 - 122,19094%
      Nottingham Elementary SchoolKG - 552394%
      See all Arlington schools

      Arlington Reviews

      Write a review about Arlington Tell people what you like or don't like about Arlington…
      The Best Place to Live in the DMV
      My experience with Arlington has been incredible. It's consistently ranked as one of the fittest cities in the US along with its neighbor, Alexandria. I found that to be extremely true as you constantly see people jogging, walking their dogs, and enjoying the parks outside. There is a lot of opportunity nearby as Amazon is building their new HQ here. The vibe is urban in some areas like Rosslyn, Crystal City, Ballston, etc but, suburban behind the Pentagon. Home to the region's airport and the Pentagon, there is a lot in this area. DC has a height restriction on buildings but, Arlington does not so there are a number of skyscrapers in the downtown area.

      As other reviewers have pointed out, the cost of living in Arlington, and broadly the area surrounding DC, is very expensive. That said, it's an urban area. There are costs associated with living in urban areas. This is one of the largest metropolitan areas in the nation and has a cost of living that makes logical sense if you're from a major American city. Because of the cost of living, many of the residents here are high earners and work for consulting or contracting but, if you had to commute to DC, it would be easy. You can also enjoy virtually nonexistent crime, great shopping, and a nice climate; the weather in Northern Virginia is quite lovely.

      Word to the wise, Arlington is sprawling so, each neighborhood is relatively different in suburban vs urban. If you're moving here, or anywhere, I would recommend visiting the prospective neighborhood in person before moving. Additionally, there is the WMATA which controls the Metro and buses throughout the region but, there is also ART which is a local bus transit system. So, if your home isn't near a Metro stop, it may be near an ART stop.
      0 0
      Living here is just not worth it
      First off, a $100k+ salary here is the same as a $40k salary in an average US city. This is one of the few places where someone with a graduate degree from an ivy league school needs to work a 2nd or 3rd job just to afford rent, WITH roommates no less. The horrendous cost of living, lack of affordable housing, exacerbated by high city, county, &, state taxes far outweigh any positive aspects of living here. There's the annual "car tax," which is basically like paying sales tax on any vehicle you own every single year. If you move, Arlington County will chase you down for any car tax owed with compounding interest and late fees, like a mafia shakedown. They don't care if you leave the state, they will continue assessing this tax until you mail them proof of registration in another state. On paper you will think you're getting a great high paying job and decide to move here. Then after moving & getting a guage on cost of living, you will feel like you're barely earning above poverty level.Accompanying this enduring sense of resource scarcity is the work culture which prioritizes and values work above all other aspects of life, including health and happiness. If you prefer work-life balance, this place isn't for you. The high stress, work-centric lifestyle makes it harder to make friends and have a healthy dating or social life. In short, the area is like Miami - there's the initial novelty of living here that quickly wears off; it's okay to visit, terrible to reside in long term.
      10 -4
      Great for millennials
      Our home straddles the Clarendon-Courthouse and Ballston-Virginia Square neighborhoods. We moved here in the 1990s. Back then, there were still lots of small mom and pop shops that used to be private homes, and even some open spaces. It was pretty cool walking into an old home that had been converted into a bank, cafe or used book store. But that started changing when entire blocks began disappearing to mid-rise condos and pricey boutiques. The flight path from Reagan National used to be more to the east over the Potomac River, but flight paths have shifted west so there is now a lot more jet noise. And they seem to cram in more and more flights. Wailing emergency vehicles up and down 10th Street and RT 50 is almost an hourly occurrence now. There's more traffic congestion, and they now shutdown streets on weekends for art shows and marathons which is inconvenient for those who drive and have only the weekend to run errands. The area is expensive, but that's to be expected. On the whole, crime doesn't seem to be an issue, though our car was broken into once.
      0 -1
      Arlington, VA: A Great Historical City
      As a lawyer, I frequently travel to Washington D.C. on business ventures. Every time I am in D.C., I try to meet up with close friends in Arlington, Virginia. I am truly in love with this beautiful, historical city. In my opinion, Arlington, VA is upper-class and is all around gorgeous.

      Arlington is an incredibly safe area to raise children, and is rather peaceful. The city of Arlington, VA has some of the lowest crime rates in the country. Wherever you are in Arlington, you just get that safe feeling. I have had the pleasure of visiting the Williamsburg neighborhood (to see my friends), which is a gorgeous neighborhood. The homes all have such a historical "feel" in Virginia.

      The Arlington Cemetery is another must-see if you are in the Virginia/D.C. area. This National cemetery will bring tears to your eyes for the heroic soldiers and marines that fought for our country throughout various wars. The Iwo Jima Memorial is also located nearby, and is also a must-see.

      The Mystery Dinner Playhouse in Arlington, VA is a great place to visit for dinner if you are in the area. I had one of the most fun times of my life visiting the city of Arlington and seeing the play. You simply must go! Overall Virginia is a great place to visit or live.
      1 0
      Source: The Arlington, VA data and statistics displayed above are derived from the 2016 United States Census Bureau American Community Survey (ACS).