James City and York counties in top 10 list of best Virginia counties to raise a family

Virginia

(Photo: Courtesy Skye Marthaler // Wikimedia Commons via Stacker)

(STACKER) — 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 Virginia 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.

AgnosticPreachersKid // Wikimedia Commons

#25. Frederick County

– Population: 86,415
– Median home value: $251,200 (78% own)
– Median rent: $1,125 (22% rent)
– Median household income: $78,002
– Top public schools:
– Top private schools: Mountain View Christian Academy (B), Lighthouse Baptist Academy (unavailable), The Independent School of Winchester (unavailable)
– Top places to live: Stephens City (A-), Lake Holiday (B+), Middletown (B+)

Raul654 // Wikimedia Commons

#24. Prince George County

– Population: 38,114
– Median home value: $213,300 (68% own)
– Median rent: $1,338 (32% rent)
– Median household income: $71,912
– Top public schools: South Elementary School (A-), L.L. Beazley Elementary School (A-), J.E.J. Moore Middle School (B+)
– Top private schools:
– Top places to live: Prince George (B-)

Rutke421 // Wikimedia Commons

#23. Washington County

– Population: 54,071
– Median home value: $151,800 (75% own)
– Median rent: $716 (25% rent)
– Median household income: $48,495
– Top public schools: Greendale Elementary School (A-), High Point Elementary School (A-), Watauga Elementary School (A-)
– Top private schools: Sullins Academy (unavailable), Cornerstone Christian Academy (unavailable), Victory Children’s Center (unavailable)
– Top places to live: Abingdon (A-), Emory (A), Glade Spring (B+)

Nyttend // Wikimedia Commons

#22. New Kent County

– Population: 21,686
– Median home value: $281,100 (86% own)
– Median rent: $1,010 (14% rent)
– Median household income: $87,904
– Top public schools: New Kent High School (B+), New Kent Elementary School (B+), New Kent Middle School (B)
– Top private schools: Cumberland Academy (unavailable)
– Top places to live: New Kent (B-)

Wyatt Greene // Wikimedia Commons

#21. Appomattox County

– Population: 15,707
– Median home value: $158,800 (78% own)
– Median rent: $691 (22% rent)
– Median household income: $58,696
– Top public schools: Appomattox Middle School (A-), Appomattox County High School (B), Appomattox Elementary School (B-)
– Top private schools: Cornerstone Christian Academy (B)
– Top places to live: Appomattox (B)

Ser Amantio di Nicolao // Wikimedia Commons

#20. Powhatan County

– Population: 28,815
– Median home value: $279,200 (90% own)
– Median rent: $980 (10% rent)
– Median household income: $89,090
– Top public schools: Powhatan Elementary School (A-), Powhatan High School (B+), Flat Rock Elementary School (B+)
– Top private schools: The Blessed Sacrament Huguenot School (B+)
– Top places to live: Powhatan (C)

Nyttend // Wikimedia Commons

#19. Isle of Wight County

– Population: 36,627
– Median home value: $266,800 (76% own)
– Median rent: $1,045 (24% rent)
– Median household income: $73,991
– Top public schools: Georgie D. Tyler Middle School (A-), Windsor Elementary School (B+), Carrsville Elementary School (B+)
– Top private schools: Isle of Wight Academy (B)
– Top places to live: Carrollton (B+), Smithfield (B), Windsor (B-)

Cecouchman // Wikimedia Commons

#18. Fauquier County

– Population: 69,728
– Median home value: $395,500 (78% own)
– Median rent: $1,281 (22% rent)
– Median household income: $100,783
– Top public schools: Kettle Run High School (A), P.B. Smith Elementary School (B+), Grace Miller Elementary School (B+)
– Top private schools: Wakefield School (A+), Highland School (A+), Fresta Valley Christian School (B)
– Top places to live: New Baltimore (B+), Warrenton (B), Bealeton (B)

Famartin // Wikimedia Commons

#17. Rockingham County

– Population: 80,284
– Median home value: $211,500 (74% own)
– Median rent: $907 (26% rent)
– Median household income: $61,864
– Top public schools:
– Top private schools: Calvary Christian Academy (B), Blue Ridge Christian School (B), Berea Christian School (unavailable)
– Top places to live: Bridgewater (A+), Dayton (A), Belmont Estates (A)

Jerrye & Roy Klotz, MD // Wikimedia Commons

#16. Botetourt County

– Population: 33,343
– Median home value: $227,700 (86% own)
– Median rent: $908 (14% rent)
– Median household income: $71,110
– Top public schools: Read Mountain Middle School (A-), Central Academy Middle School (A-), Colonial Elementary School (B+)
– Top private schools:
– Top places to live: Blue Ridge (A-), Cloverdale (A-), Daleville (A-)

Mojo Hand // Wikimedia Commons

#15. King George County

– Population: 26,229
– Median home value: $307,900 (79% own)
– Median rent: $1,208 (21% rent)
– Median household income: $94,274
– Top public schools: Potomac Elementary School (B+), King George High School (B+), King George Middle School (B)
– Top private schools:
– Top places to live: Dahlgren (B+), King George (B+), Fairview Beach (B)

Wikipelli // Wikimedia Commons

#14. Spotsylvania County

– Population: 132,833
– Median home value: $284,000 (78% own)
– Median rent: $1,477 (22% rent)
– Median household income: $88,628
– Top public schools: Riverbend High School (A-), Chancellor Elementary School (A-), Courtland High School (B+)
– Top private schools: Fredericksburg Academy (A+), St. Michael the Archangel High School (A-), Fredericksburg Christian School (B+)
– Top places to live: Spotsylvania Courthouse (B)

Skye Marthaler // Wikimedia Commons

#13. Montgomery County

– Population: 98,140
– Median home value: $227,100 (55% own)
– Median rent: $992 (45% rent)
– Median household income: $57,977
– Top public schools: Blacksburg High School (A+), Gilbert Linkous Elementary School (A-), Margaret Beeks Elementary School (A-)
– Top private schools: Dayspring Christian Academy (B), Pathway Christian Academy (unavailable), Blacksburg New School (unavailable)
– Top places to live: Blacksburg (A+), Merrimac (A-), Christiansburg (A-)

Jscott // Wikimedia Commons

#12. Goochland County

– Population: 22,865
– Median home value: $375,200 (85% own)
– Median rent: $1,208 (15% rent)
– Median household income: $93,994
– Top public schools: Goochland High School (A-), Randolph Elementary School (B+), Goochland Elementary School (B+)
– Top private schools: Saint Gertrude High School (A), Benedictine College Preparatory (A), Richmond Academy (A)
– Top places to live: Goochland (A-)

Mojo Hand // Wikimedia Commons

#11. Hanover County

– Population: 105,537
– Median home value: $282,900 (83% own)
– Median rent: $1,159 (17% rent)
– Median household income: $89,390
– Top public schools: Atlee High School (A-), Rural Point Elementary School (A-), Oak Knoll Middle School (A-)
– Top private schools: Atlee Christian Academy (unavailable), Heritage Christian Academy (unavailable), Liberty Christian School (unavailable)
– Top places to live: Mechanicsville (A-), Ashland (A-), Hanover (B)

Jerrye & Roy Klotz, MD // Wikimedia Commons

#10. Roanoke County

– Population: 93,823
– Median home value: $199,800 (75% own)
– Median rent: $956 (25% rent)
– Median household income: $68,948
– Top public schools: Hidden Valley High School (A), Cave Spring High School (A), Green Valley Elementary School (A)
– Top private schools: North Cross School (A+), Faith Christian School (A), Roanoke Valley Christian Schools (B-)
– Top places to live: Cave Spring (A+), Hollins (A-), Vinton (B+)

Rifleman 82 // Wikimedia Commons

#9. Henrico County

– Population: 327,535
– Median home value: $242,600 (63% own)
– Median rent: $1,170 (37% rent)
– Median household income: $70,307
– Top public schools: Deep Run High School (A+), Mills E. Godwin High School (A+), Glen Allen High School (A)
– Top private schools: Collegiate School (A+), The Steward School (A+), Grove Christian School (A-)
– Top places to live: Innsbrook (A+), Short Pump (A+), Wyndham (A+)

Idawriter // Wikimedia Commons

#8. Prince William County

– Population: 461,423
– Median home value: $382,400 (73% own)
– Median rent: $1,713 (27% rent)
– Median household income: $107,132
– Top public schools: Battlefield High School (A), Patriot High School (A), Charles J. Colgan Senior High School (A)
– Top private schools: Saint John Paul the Great Catholic High School (A), Evangel Christian School (A-), Heritage Christian School (A-)
– Top places to live: Occoquan (A+), Gainesville (A), Montclair (A)

Mark Lagola and Ben Lunsford // Wikimedia Commons

#7. Albemarle County

– Population: 107,405
– Median home value: $356,100 (63% own)
– Median rent: $1,273 (37% rent)
– Median household income: $79,880
– Top public schools:
– Top private schools: Miller School of Albemarle (A+), Tandem Friends School (A+), Charlottesville Catholic School (A+)
– Top places to live: Crozet (A), Hollymead (A), Pantops (A)

Mojo Hand // Wikimedia Commons

#6. Stafford County

– Population: 146,773
– Median home value: $346,100 (77% own)
– Median rent: $1,546 (23% rent)
– Median household income: $111,108
– Top public schools: Colonial Forge High School (A), Mountain View High School (A), Rodney E. Thompson Middle School (A-)
– Top private schools: Grace Preparatory School (B+), Holy Cross Academy (unavailable), Ferry Farm Baptist Church Preschool & Kindergarten (unavailable)
– Top places to live: Falmouth (A-), Aquia Harbour (A-), Southern Gateway (B)

James Shelton32 // Wikimedia Commons

#5. Chesterfield County

– Population: 343,551
– Median home value: $241,200 (76% own)
– Median rent: $1,251 (24% rent)
– Median household income: $82,599
– Top public schools: Clover Hill High School (A), Midlothian High School (A), Cosby High School (A)
– Top private schools: Banner Christian School (A-), Richmond Christian School (B+), Millwood School (B+)
– Top places to live: Woodlake (A+), Brandermill (A+), Bon Air (A+)

Mojo Hand // Wikimedia Commons

#4. James City County

– Population: 74,916
– Median home value: $340,500 (76% own)
– Median rent: $1,327 (24% rent)
– Median household income: $87,678
– Top public schools:
– Top private schools: Providence Classical School (A), Williamsburg Christian Academy (A), Williamsburg Montessori School (unavailable)

Mojo Hand // Wikimedia Commons

#3. York County

– Population: 67,982
– Median home value: $327,100 (71% own)
– Median rent: $1,480 (29% rent)
– Median household income: $92,069
– Top public schools: Tabb High School (A+), Grafton High School (A), Tabb Elementary School (A)
– Top private schools: Summit Christian Academy (B+), Little Log Cabin CC & Learning Center (unavailable), Grace Episcopal Day School (unavailable)
– Top places to live: Yorktown (A-)

Munich // Wikimedia Commons

#2. Fairfax County

– Population: 1,145,862
– Median home value: $563,100 (68% own)
– Median rent: $1,881 (32% rent)
– Median household income: $124,831
– Top public schools: Thomas Jefferson High School for Science & Technology (A+), McLean High School (A+), Langley High School (A+)
– Top private schools: The Potomac School (A+), The Madeira School (A+), Flint Hill School (A+)
– Top places to live: Franklin Farm (A+), Wakefield (A+), Oakton (A+)

Nicole Glass Photography // Shutterstock

#1. Loudoun County

– Population: 395,134
– Median home value: $508,100 (78% own)
– Median rent: $1,870 (22% rent)
– Median household income: $142,299
– Top public schools: Riverside High School (A+), Briar Woods High School (A+), Rock Ridge High School (A+)
– Top private schools: Foxcroft School (A+), Loudoun School for Advanced Studies (A+), Fairfax Christian School (A+)
– Top places to live: Stone Ridge (A+), Cascades (A+), Broadlands (A+)

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