Moving to Washington State - A Complete Guide 2022

This is a complete guide for Moving to Washington.
Get all the information you need to know about moving to Washington.

Washigton state, also referred to as the Evergreen State is well-known for being eco-friendly, and having some of the most beautiful natural outdoor scenery in the United States. It is home to several breathtaking mountains and more than 8000 lakes.

In addition, it also houses many tech and innovative companies such as Boeing, Microsoft, Amazon, Digital Properties, Classmates, Starbucks, T-Mobile, and Nordstrom etc. So if you'd like to get the best of both worlds, moving to Washington isn't a bad idea.

Washington state is great for camping, hiking, off-road tours, rock climbing, and several other exciting outdoor adventures. If you're wondering if moving to Washington state is right for you or not, we've compiled all the information you need to know about the state before making up your mind.

Is moving to Washington state right for you or not? Let's find out!

Let's get you up to speed!

facts of Washington State

Quick facts to know before moving to Washington State

  • Washington is named in honor of President George Washington and it is the only state to be named after a President.
  • It’s nicknamed the Evergreen State because of its many forests, which cover over half the state
  • The majestic, 14,410-foot-tall Mount Rainier is the highest point in the state
  • The Olympic Peninsula is home to the only temperate rain forests in the continental United States
  • Hells Canyon is the deepest gorge in North America at 8,000 feet
  • Snoqualmie Falls is 100 feet higher than New York’s Niagara Falls
  • Washington has the cleanest as well as some of the most polluted air
  • Washington is one place in the world where people report the most UFO sightings
  • It is the second-largest wine-producing state in the US
  • Washington has more glaciers than any other state except Alaska
  • It is home to about 1,000 + dams and Grand Coulee Dam is the largest in the United States

What’s the population of Washington State?

About 7,705,281 people reside in Washington, making it the 13th most populous US state. The density of the state is 103/sq mi.

How is the weather like in Washington State?

Washington State has two different climate zones. In the western part where most people live, the weather is relatively mild. Summer days rarely rise above 79 ℉ and winter days are seldom below 45 ℉ during the day. Snow is rare, but winter temperatures can easily dip into the 20s and 30s.

Eastern Washington gets less annual rainfall than Western Washington. The climate is a blend of coastal and continental weather and rainfall is approximately 7 to 9 inches (18 to 23 cm) annually. Summers are much hotter and winters are much colder than in the Western part. The average summer highs are in the upper 80s to mid-90s and in winter, average daytime temperatures can range from the upper 30s to just above 0 ℉.

How fast can you commute in Washington State?

Washington residents spend an average of 27.6 minutes commuting to work, the 10th longest commute among the US states. About 9.9% of commuters in the state have one-way travel times exceeding one hour and the city with the lowest average commuting time is in North Fort Lewis.

move to washington

Top 10 Reasons to move to Washington

Here are the top 10 reasons why moving to Washington is a great idea:

  • Washington state has a great job market

    Washington’s booming economy contributes to the sharp rise in job opportunities. Backed by a tax-friendly policy, the industries in Washington continue to reap big profits, and moving to Washington State for a job can be one of your wise decisions

  • The state is surrounded by nature

    Washington State is home to an abundance of natural wonders, owing much to its amazingly diverse climate and spectacular geography left behind by the Ice Age. Active volcanic peaks, alpine slopes, lush rainforests, flushed canyons, and desert plains – the state is breathtaking from every angle.

  • Washington has some of the best hiking trails in the U.S.

    Washington is perhaps the best state in the US to do hiking. Whether you're looking for waterfalls, mountain tops, or a glimpse of the geological past, Washington has enough trails to keep your calves burning throughout the year.

    Here’s a list o the best hiking trails in Washington State

    • The Enchantments Trail
    • Skyline Trail
    • Cascade Pass Trail
    • Hoh River Trail
    • Goat Rocks Crest Trail
    • Wallace Falls Trail
    • Steamboat Rock Trail
    • Wonderland Trail
    • Sol Duc Falls Trail
    • Lake Ann Trail

  • You'll have access to thousands of lakes and rivers

    Washington State is famous for its diverse and spectacular topography. It is not just dense forests and mountains that mark the state but there are also plenty of lakes, rivers, and many other water bodies.

    Some of the popular rivers and lakes in Washington are:

    • Columbia River
    • Snake River
    • Yakima River
    • Grande Ronde River
    • Kettle River
    • Palouse River
    • Crab Creek
    • Skagit River
    • Lake Crescent
    • Lake Chelan
    • Lake Wenatchee
    • Lake Washington
    • Ross Lake & Diablo Lake
    • Pearrygin Lake
    • Mowich Lake
    • Colchuck Lake

  • You'll enjoy a wide variety of great tasty foods

    It is not just the topography that is catchy in Washington but even the state’s food scene is alluring. To help you, we’ve got a list of mouth-watering authentic delicacies from the Evergreen State.

    • Cream cheese hot dog
    • Razon clams
    • Geoduck
    • Fair scones
    • Teriyaki
    • Oysters on the Half Shell

  • The state is eco-friendly

    Washington State is one the greenest states in the US and the first state to allow human composting. It also ranks high in energy consumption from renewable sources. Moving to Washington State, you will realize that the state stands 7th in alternative fuel stations per capita and 8th in green consumption.

  • Washington is a great place for outdoor enthusiast

    In Washington, the natural world seems larger than life and there is an unlimited list of places to explore. From trailing to hiking to biking and fests, Washington has got a lot on offer.

    We’ve compiled a list of the best outdoor places to explore in the state.

    • Olympic National Park
    • Seattle Center
    • San Juan Islands
    • Mount Rainier National Park
    • Leavenworth
    • North Cascades National Park
    • Puget Sound
    • Mount St. Helens National Volcanic Monument
    • Deception Pass State Park
    • Port Angeles
    • Mount Baker-Snoqualmie National Forest

  • Washington state has no income tax

    One of the best factors about living in Washington is the absence of income tax. However, people or businesses that engage in business are subject to business and occupation (B&O) and/or public utility tax. The average effective property tax rate in Washington is also lower than the national – 1.03% against the US average of 1.08%.

  • Stunning state parks

    Washington stuns visitors with its majestic and mesmerizing green vistas. The fabulous topography plays a major role in making the state strikingly green. The state is home to 132 state parks, one of the most in the US.

    Here’s a list of some of the must-see state parks in Washington.

    • Alta Lake State ParkAnderson Lake State Park
    • Battle Ground Lake State Park
    • Beacon Rock
    • Bridgeport
    • Centennial Trail
    • Clark Island
    • Cutts Island
    • Fields Spring
    • Fort Flagler
    • Forks of the Sky
    • Ginkgo Petrified Forest

  • Various academic opportunities

    One of the best things about moving to Washing State is the abundance of educational opportunities. The state is home to some of the institutions, especially for higher education in the country. Check for Washington’s top-rated schools and colleges.

pros and cons of washington

Pros & Cons of Living in Washington

Before making up your mind about moving to Washington, we are sure that you'd like to consider the pros and cons of living in the state. Here's a simple list to help you weigh your options better.

Pros of living in Washington State Cons of living in Washington State
Booming job marketThe cost of living is higher than many other states
Environmentally friendlyTraffic is terrible in Washington
No state income taxHousing is expensive in Washington
Top-rated universities and collegesWashington's weather isn't so great
A vibrant and diversified growing economyCrime rates are high in Washington
An ultra high quality of livingMeeting new people and making friends is hard
Breathtaking outdoor scenery and activitiesState and local sales tax rates are high
Washington is home to over 8000 lakesCities are getting crowded as population grows
The state is a bikers' paradiseWashington is home to many active volcanoes
The state has the highest minimum wage in the country The state has one of the highest property crimes rates in the U.S.
Most Washingtonians are living a healthy lifestyleThere's a high chance of experiencing storms and hurricanes

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palce to live in washington

What are the best places to live in Washington state?

Washington is home to many beautiful cities, towns, and neighborhoods. To help you choose the best place to live in the state, we've compiled data from Home Snacks to let you make a fair comparison. Here are the 10 best places to live if you're moving to Washington:

Place Population Median Home Value Unemployment Rate
Mercer Island25,492$1,135,2003.6%
Sammamish64,049$749,0003.1% (8th best)
Brier6,819$454,7003.1%
Snoqualmie13,317$582,0003.3%
Redmond63,197$631,7003.9%
Duvall7,811$452,2004.7%
Mill Creek 20,164$486,6003.2%
Kirkland88,079$607,8003.6%
Lake Forest Park13,378$559,0004.3%
Bellevue142,242$737,0004.0%

Washington's Cities Moving Guides

cost of living in illinois

What's the Cost of Living in Washington?

Before moving to Washington, the cost of living in the state is one of the key things to consider. The cost of living in Washington state is 118.7%. This means the cost of living in the state is 18.7% higher than the U.S. average.

Washington's cost of living index is based on a national average of 100. Rankings lower than 100 means the state is less expensive than the national average. Ranking above 100 means the state is more expensive to live in.

How is the rental market like in Washington state?

Renting a home in Washington state is fairly easy. The state is home to many beautiful cities and towns including Seattle, Leavenworth, Spokane, Vancouver, Bellevue and a lot more. Up to 33.8% of Washingtonians are renters. About 1.4% of houses and apartments in the state are available to rent.

Here's a quick summary of the average costs of renting a home in Washington state:

  • Washington Studio Apartment is $1,011. The U.S. average is $821
  • Washington 1 Bedroom is $1,127. The U.S. average is $930
  • Washington 2 Bedroom is $1,401. The U.S. average is $1,148
  • Washington 3 Bedroom is $2,006. The U.S. average is $1,537
  • Washington 4 Bedroom is $ $2,374. The U.S. average is $1791

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How expensive are homes in Washington state?

You may decide to buy a home if you're moving to Washington state. So, we compiled the most important data (from Zillow) about the state's housing market to help you make an informed decision.

  • The median home value in Washington state is $428,896
  • The median list price per square foot in Washington state is $237
  • The median price of homes currently listed in Washington is $415,000
  • The median price of homes that sold in Washington state is $408,400
  • The median rent price in Washington state is $1,995
  • Per 10,000, 0.8 homes are foreclosed in Washington, lower than the US average of 1.2
  • 4.3% of homeowners in Washington are underwater on their mortgage
jobs in arizona

How is the job market in Washington state?

If you move to Washington, getting a job will be fairly easy. The state is home to some of the largest companies in the U.S. Here's a top 10 list of the largest companies in Washington according to Zippia:

  • Amazon
  • Starbucks
  • Costco Wholesale
  • Microsoft
  • Barrett Business Services
  • Nordstrom
  • T-Mobile
  • The Hotel Group
  • University of Washington
  • Fortive

Here's a simple analysis of Washington's job market:

  • The unemployment rate of Washington state is 4.5%. US average is 3.9
  • Washington has witnessed a job market boost of 1.8 in the last year
  • Washington's future job growth is projected to hit 39.1% in the next 10 years.
  • The US future job projection is expected to 33.5% in the next 10 years.

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What are the largest industries in Washington State?

What industry are you most likely to get a job in if you relocate to Washington? There are several large industries in Washington state including Aerospace, information technology and trade etc. Here's a list of the leading industries in the state:

  • Food And Agriculture
  • Aerospace And Construction
  • Information And Communication Technology
  • Forestry
  • Trade
  • Forest Products
  • Life Science/Global Health
  • Military and Defense
  • Maritime
  • Clean Technology
  • Agriculture and food manufacturing

What are the best jobs for recent college grads in Washington State?

If you're a recent college grad and are serious about moving to Washington State, you'll most likely be interested in the best jobs you can get in the state. To help you, we have collated the 10 best jobs for recent college grads in Washington State.

  • Police officer
  • Remote outbound sales representative
  • Entry-level environmental scientist
  • Production support systems engineer
  • Entry-level customer training specialist
  • Computer scientist – entry level
  • Recruiting coordinator
  • Entry-level weight engineer
  • Sales development representative
  • Field property claims adjuster

What are the top paid jobs in Washington State?

If you have a plan to move to Washington State, you would be curious to know the best-paid jobs there. To help you, we’ve listed the 10 best-paid jobs in the state.

  • Vice President, Products Marketing
  • Chief Executive Officer/Chief Technology Officer
  • Vice President, Product Management
  • Senior Vice President, Engineering
  • Pain Management Physician
  • Executive Vice President Of Sales
  • Senior Director, Product Management
  • President Chief Technology Officer
  • Senior Vice President of Marketing
  • Acute Care Physician

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How much are you likely to earn when you get a job in Washington?

Using data from ZipRecruiter, Credit Bureau and Data.io, here's how much money you're likely to earn when you move to Washington:

  • The median household income in Washington is $70,116
  • Average salaries in Washington range within $22,118 to $146,733
  • The Per capita income of Washingtonians is $36,888
  • 10.3% of Washington residents are living in poverty
  • Average jobs category range between $53,406 to $79,839

What are the fastest-growing jobs in Washington State?

Moving to Washington, you will realize that there is a demand for specific jobs and if you fall into this special group, your chances to grab a job is higher. If you are curious to know the fastest-growing jobs in Washington State, here are them.

  • Web Developer
  • Chiropractic Physician
  • Massage Therapist
  • Physical Therapy Aide
  • Hardware Engineer
  • Software Developer
  • Optician
  • Security Technician
  • Pest Control Technician
  • Grounds Maintenance Supervisor
washington taxes

Are Washingtonians paying more or less in taxes?

Moving to Washington probably means you'd be paying a different amount of money in taxes compared to what you were paying previously. So, will you be more or less in tax if you move to Washington?

Here's a simple analysis of Washington taxes using data from SmartAsset:

  • Washington has no personal income tax
  • Washington's bases tax rate is 6.5% and it can extend to 7% - 10.5%
  • The average effective property tax rate in Washington is 1.03%, U.S. average is 1.08
  • Washington residents pay an average property tax rate of $2,958
  • Washington's real estate sales tax (REET) is 1.28% of the sold property price
  • Washington's gas tax is 49.4 cents per gallon of normal diesel and gasoline
washington state

What is Washington state most known for?

The state of Washington is known for many things. While it's hard to mention everything, we've selected some of the key ones from various spheres of the state. Here they are:

  • Washington is home to over 40,000 miles of rivers, streams, and more than 8,000 lakes.
  • Mount Rainier National Park, the fifth oldest national park in the U.S. It hosts over 1.5 million tourists per year.
  • Washington is well-known for its apples. The state is the leading producer of apples in the country.
  • Washington has more glaciers than the other 47 neighboring states put together.
  • The world's largest building is in Washington, known as Everest. The building is Boeing's final assembly plant.
  • The world's longest floating bridge is in Washington. It's called the Governor Albert D. Rosellini Bridge located at Evergreen Point. The bridge connects Seattle and Medina across Lake Washington.
  • Starbucks, the biggest coffee chain in the world was founded in Seattle, Washington.
  • Washington is the U.S. leading producer of pears, red raspberries, spearmint oil, and sweet cherries.
  • Up to eighty percent of the glacial ice in the U.S is found in Washington State.
  • The Washington State Ferry System is the largest Ferry System in the US and the state's number one tourist attraction.
  • Washington has some of the best hiking trails in the entire U.S.

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schools and university in washington

What are the Best Schools and Universities in Washington State?

There are tons of top-rated elementary, middle and high schools in Washington state. Washington is also home to some of the best universities and colleges in the U.S. Here's a list of the top-rated schools in the state:

Best Elementary Schools in Washington

  • Bennett Elementary School
    Bellevue School District,Public, PK-5 | 435 students

  • Somerset Elementary School, Bellevue School District, Public, K-5 | 721 students

  • Coe Elementary School, Seattle Public Schools, Public, K-5 | 560 students

  • Timber Ridge Elementary School
    Snoqualmie Valley School District,Public, K-5 | 656 students

  • Capt Johnston Blakely Elementary School
    Bainbridge Island School District, Public, K-4 | 367 students

Best Public Middle Schools

  • Davenport Senior High School
    Davenport School District, Public, 6-12 | 330 students

  • Pine Lake Middle School
    Issaquah School District, Public, 6-8 | 939 students

  • Inglewood Junior High School
    Lake Washington School District, Public, 6-8 | 1207 students

  • International Community School
    Lake Washington School District, Public, 6-12 | 438 students

  • Jefferson Middle School
    Olympia School District, Public, 5-8 | 432 students

Best Public High School

  • Anacortes High School
    Anacortes School District, Public, 9-12 | 795 students

  • Newport Senior High School
    Bellevue School District, Public, 9-12 | 1834 students

  • Skyline High School
    Issaquah School District, Public, 9-12 | 2194 students

  • Eastlake High School
    Lake Washington School District, Public, 9-12 | 1871 students

  • Kamiak High School
    Mukilteo School District, Public, 9-12 | 2082 students

Universities and Colleges

  • Georgetown University

  • University of Maryland

  • George Washington University

  • American University

  • George Mason University

  • Howard University

  • Catholic University of America

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