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Living in & Moving to Arlington, VA

Living in Arlington, VA (2024) | Is Moving to Arlington RIGHT For You?

Last Updated on: 11th January 2024, 08:25 pm

Are you planning on moving to Arlington? The second largest Washington DC suburb, Arlington is known as the home of the Pentagon and Arlington National Cemetery. It also boasts a thriving economy with one of the country’s densest tech industries. Arlington is one of the best cities for millennials and young professionals, with a great quality of life, superb schools, and world-class dining and entertainment.

Ready to find out what living in Arlington, Virginia is really like? Here’s everything you have to look forward to!

Where Is Arlington VA?

While usually considered a city, Arlington is a census-designated place (CDP) that’s coextensive (shares the same borders) with Arlington County. It’s the second-largest city of the Washington DC metro area, but it isn’t actually an incorporated town or independent city. Arlington is in Northern Virginia on the Potomac River across from Washington DC. It’s just 5 miles from Arlington VA to DC.

Arlington, Virginia is part of the larger Washington metro area, also known as the National Capital Region or DMV Area (for the District of Columbia, Maryland, and Virginia).

Towns and cities near Arlington VA include Alexandria and Bailey’s Crossroads to the south, Annandale and Seven Corners to the southwest, West Falls Church and Falls Church to the west, and McLean to the northwest.

Arlington Information

  • Arlington county: Arlington (coextensive with the Arlington CDP)
  • Area: 26 square miles
  • Zip codes: All zip codes beginning with 222
  • Area codes: 703 and 571
  • Elevation: 272 feet
  • Time zone: UTC-5 (Eastern)
  • Closest airport: Reagan National Airport (DCA), in Arlington

Arlington Virginia Population & Demographics

The Arlington VA population is 238,643 according to the 2020 census, up from 207,627. There are 9,180 people per square mile which makes it the 11th most densely populated county in the country. The Washington metro population is home to 6.4 million people.

One of the benefits of living in Arlington is its diversity. Arlington is 67.2% white (60.2% non-Hispanic), 15.5% Hispanic, 10.2% Asian, 9.4% Black or African American, and 7.7% two or more races. People of color make up more than 41% of the Arlington population and more than 1 out of every 5 residents were born outside the United States. About one-third of the foreign-born Arlington population come from Bolivia, China, El Salvador, Ethiopia, and India. The Arlington Public Schools system has students from 142 countries speaking 115 languages!


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Along with its diversity, Arlington is very affluent and highly educated. With a median household income of more than $125,000 and per capita income of almost $81,000, it has the 5th highest income per capita of all counties in the United States. Nearly 77% of adults over 25 have a bachelor’s degree or higher, almost 1.5x higher than the Washington DC metro area and more than twice the national level of education (37% bachelor’s degree or higher).

Most households in Arlington are single-person (33%) or two-person households (38%). Households with at least three people account for just 29% of all households in the county.

Additional demographics of Arlington VA:

  • Median age: 35.9 years (Virginia: 38.8)
  • Sex ratio: 50% male and 50% female over 18
  • Educational attainment: 76.6% bachelor’s degree or higher (Virginia: 41.8%)
  • Median household income: $125,651 (Virginia: $80,963)
  • Homeownership rate: 44% (Virginia: 68%)
  • Average commute: 22.2 minutes (Virginia: 26.4 minutes)
  • Moved in the past year: 24.3% (Virginia: 13.7%)
  • Foreign-born population: 22.1% (Virginia: 12.4%)
  • Veteran population: 6% (Virginia: 9.7%)

Famous people from Arlington include actress Sandra Bullock, Jim Morrison of The Doors, doctor Patch Adams, and journalist Katie Couric.

Arlington Transportation

While living in Arlington VA, you can live a car-free lifestyle if you want thanks to extensive public transportation options and over 100 miles of paved and on-street bike paths. 12% of Arlington households are completely car-free and 49% of households have at least one bicycle!

The Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority (Metro or WMATA) provides public transportation in the DMV Area with Arlington stations on the Silver, Blue, Yellow, and Orange lines of the Metro rail system. There’s also regional Metrobus service with the Metroway providing bus rapid transit for the DC area. Arlington Transit (ART) provides supplemental service and connects to the rail system. There is a single commuter rail station for the Virginia Railway Express in Arlington at Crystal City.

For commutes to the Pentagon, you can take advantage of services like Fairfax Connector, PRTC OmniRide, DASH, and the Loudoun County Commuter Bus.

Arlington is also served by two major highways: I-66 in the northern region, I-395 in the eastern region, and the George Washington Memorial Parkway. While driving in the city, you’ll find it easy to get around with a unified naming convention for streets. North-south streets have alphabetical names starting with one- then two-, three-, and four-syllable words beginning with Ball St. East-west streets are often numbered. Above Route 50, streets are usually North and streets below the route are South.


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Arlington Virginia Cost of Living

Living in Arlington doesn’t come cheap. The Arlington cost of living index is 161.6 or 61.6% more expensive than the national average. Healthcare and utilities in Arlington are both close to average, but transportation and groceries are 15-23% more expensive than average for the U.S. Housing is the biggest item on your budget and it’s far above average in the county.

According to the Economic Policy Institute, a family of four would need to earn $9,128 per month or $109,540 per year for modest Arlington VA living. The average household in the Washington, DC – Arlington metro area spends $88,767 per year, far above the national average of $64,187. This includes about 37% on housing or $33,242 per year.

Learn more about the Arlington VA cost of living with our in-depth guide!

Real Estate in Arlington | Home Prices & Average Rent

Planning to buy a house in Arlington? Brace yourself for a very competitive real estate market! The average home sells in 28 median days on market with three offers. The median price of Arlington, VA homes for sale is $680,000, up almost 5% year-over-year. Single-family homes sell very fast in just 12 median days on market with an average sale price of $1.3 million. You’ll pay a median $711,000 for a townhouse and $390,000 for condos in Arlington.

As a renter, you’ll find housing costs more affordable – but still higher than the national average. The average rent in Arlington Virginia is $2,427 according to Rentcafe.

Here’s a look at average rent vs median home prices in many Arlington neighborhoods.

Average Rent & Home Prices in Arlington VA Neighborhoods
Neighborhood Average Rent Median Home Price
Rosslyn $2,749 $1.07 million
East Falls Church $2,622 $1.6 million
Ballston–Virginia Square $2,563 $443,500
Arlington Ridge $2,558 $565,000
Crystal City $2,558 $605,000
Pentagon City $2,558 $338,500
Arlington Heights $1,872 $827,500
Glencarlyn $1,872 $875,000

Arlington Virginia Neighborhoods | Best Places to Live in Arlington VA

Ready to find the best neighborhood in Arlington VA for you? Whether you’re envisioning a walkable, urban community or something more residential with charming homes and mature trees, you’ll find a great place to call home. Here are just some of the best places to live in the city.

Rosslyn – One of the Best Neighborhoods for Young Professionals

Rosslyn is one of the best neighborhoods in Arlington VA for young professionals with the perfect location and a dense urban environment. Right on the Potomac, it’s the closest neighborhood to Washington, D.C. and known for its high-rise condos like Turnberry Tower and Belvedere Condominiums with amazing views. The neighborhood is served by the Silver, Orange, and Blue Metro lines for easy access to the surrounding DMV Area.


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Crystal City – One of the Top Arlington VA Neighborhoods to Live, Work & Play

Crystal City is one of the most unique neighborhoods in the city. A dense network of office buildings plus high-rise condos and apartments, much of the neighborhood is actually underground! You can easily travel between home, the office, and shopping without going above ground. Home to the airport and the future home of the new Amazon headquarters, Crystal City is a great place to live for tech workers and millennials.

Columbia Pike – Diverse Arlington Corridor Known for Ethnic Restaurants

Columbia Pike stretches 3.5 miles and is called the Main Street of Arlington. Home to about 40,000 people, it’s the most diverse area of Arlington with ethnic restaurants, shops, and diverse housing options. There are 10 of the 60 civic associations along Columbia Pike with everything from luxury condos and high-rises to garden apartments and smaller single-family homes. It’s also home to the annual Columbia Pike Blues Festival!

East Falls Church – Great Place to Live for Families

A western Arlington neighborhood next to the City of Falls Church, East Falls Church is a great place to live in the city for families looking for more space. It isn’t as walkable as more urban communities, but it’s served directly by I-66, Lee Highway, and Washington Blvd plus the East Falls Church Metro stop. You’ll find mostly single-family Colonial-style homes with some townhomes and newer construction.


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Arlington VA Weather & Climate

The Arlington climate is humid subtropical (Cfa Köppen classification) with hot, humid summers, mild to moderately chilly winters, and pleasant spring and fall weather. While living in Arlington, Virginia, you’ll get about 43” of annual rainfall and 15” of annual snowfall. The average temperature in Arlington is 59°F year-round with an average July high of 88°F and an average January low of 27°F. About 29 days every year have a high temperature of more than 90°F.

The best time to visit Arlington is May to June or September to avoid the height of summer humidity and excessive heat or the chilly winter months.

Best Restaurants in Arlington

It’s no surprise that Arlington has a great food scene with diverse ethnic cuisine, fine dining, and casual family-friendly restaurants. Here are just some of the best places to eat in Arlington!

Tupelo Honey Southern Kitchen & Bar

You’ll fall in love with their take on Southern comfort food with a popular breakfast menu, cocktails, and craft beer. It’s one of the best Arlington VA restaurants for brunch!

Tupelo Honey Southern Kitchen & Bar, 1616 N Troy St, Arlington, VA 22201 (703) 253-8140

The Liberty Tavern

Known for its lively nightlife, the Liberty Tavern has a bustling downstairs bar serving classic pub grub and an upstairs tavern with a rotating menu.

The Liberty Tavern, 3195 Wilson Blvd, Arlington, VA 22201 (703) 465-9360


This casual Tex-Mex restaurant is popular with families. They have outdoor seating, margaritas, and made-from-scratch “guapomole!”

Guapo’s, 4028 Campbell Ave, Arlington, VA 22206 (703) 671-1701

Things to Do in Arlington VA

Your weekends will never be boring while living in Arlington! You’ll be in the heart of the Washington metro area with the attractions of DC just minutes away. Despite being in a densely populated urban landscape, you’ll find it easy to escape the hustle and bustle too. The Arlington County Parks & Recreation department operates 157 nature centers and parks in Arlington which has the 4th Best Park System in America. You can also explore state and national parks in the area including Theodore Roosevelt Island between Arlington and DC.

Check out the Arlington events calendar to get inspired and find out what to do in Arlington VA this weekend!

Top Arlington Attractions

  • The Tomb of the Unknown Soldier is a sacred memorial and symbolic grave for deceased military members whose remains have not been identified or found.
  • Arlington National Cemetery is one of the world’s largest cemeteries with about 400,000 graves of active-duty and retired military members, widows, widowers, and family members.
  • US Marine Corps War Memorial depicts the famous 1945 photo of six Marines raising the U.S. flag during the World War II Battle of Iwo Jima.
  • The Pentagon, headquarters of the DoD, is the largest office building in the world with over 23,000 civilian and military employees. Tours are available on Tuesdays and Thursdays once guests are cleared by the Pentagon Force Protection Agency.

Arlington Museums, Entertainment & Arts

Arlington Parks & Outdoors

  • Long Bridge Park is a waterfront park along the Potomac and Pentagon City with walkways, fantastic views of DC, and the Long Bridge Aquatics & Fitness Center.
  • Theodore Roosevelt Island is an 88-acre island and national park in the Potomac River between Arlington and DC with miles of wooded trails.
  • Bon Air Park is one of the most beautiful parks in Arlington with a memorial rose garden with 120 varieties, ornamental tree gardens, and playgrounds.
  • Clencarlyn Park is a secluded 100-acre park with nature trails, playgrounds, a nature center, and rain garden.

Shopping in Arlington

Map of Arlington VA Things to Do

Arlington VA Crime Rate

Arlington is a very safe place to live with crime well below the national average! The Arlington crime rate is just 1,566 total crimes per 100,000 residents including 197 violent crimes and 1,369 property crimes per 100,000. By comparison, the national average is 2,357 total crimes and 399 violent crimes for every 100,000 people.

While living in Arlington VA, you’ll be served by the Arlington County Police Department. You can learn more about the Arlington VA crime rate with our complete guide!

Economy & Jobs in Arlington VA

The Arlington economy is diverse with major industries like government, tech, aerospace manufacturing, defense, professional services, and health care. Thanks to its location next to Washington, D.C. and as the home of the Pentagon, about 29% of people living in Arlington work for local, state, or federal government. Another 29% work in accommodation, food, and service industries and 19% work in tech and professional sectors. Arlington was recently named one of the top “most resilient economies” in the United States and boasts an incredibly low unemployment rate.

Major employers in Arlington, Virginia include:

  • Federal government
  • Arlington County
  • Accenture (professional services specializing in IT)
  • Deloitte (multinational professional services)
  • Virginia Hospital Center
  • Booz Allen Hamilton (government and military contractor)
  • Gartner (technology research and consulting)
  • Amazon
  • Bloomberg BNA
  • Lidl
  • State of Virginia
  • CACI (multinational professional services and IT)
  • Marymount University
  • Boeing
  • PBS
  • Nestle

There are more than 227,000 jobs in Arlington, VA – almost one job for every person in the county. About 14% of the workforce lives and works in Arlington; nearly 38,000 people commute to DC. Major job centers include the VA Tech Innovation Campus, Reagan National Airport, Amazon HQ, Pentagon, and the U.S. Capitol in DC.

Arlington is the headquarters for many major companies like Rosetta Stone, Nestle, AvalonBay Communities, the Conservation Fund, the Nature Conservancy, and Amazon, which has opened a second headquarters in the county. It’s also the global headquarters for Boeing and Raytheon, one of the world’s largest defense and aerospace manufacturers.

Mason Square, formerly the Arlington Campus for George Mason University in the Rosslyn-Ballston corridor, has become a major tech hub for the region. The university’s expansion supports the state’s Tech Talent Investment Program (TTIP) to add 20,000 new graduates in software engineering, computer science, and computer engineering. While known more for its government jobs, Northern Virginia or NOVA has the country’s second most concentrated tech market after San Francisco with tech jobs accounting for more than 8% of all jobs in the DC Metro area!

Ready to explore career opportunities? You can start with County or City of Arlington VA jobs and see Arlington jobs on Indeed. Another great source is Work in Northern Virginia from the Fairfax County Economic Development Authority with curated openings in top sectors.

Schools in Arlington | Public & Private Schools in Arlington Virginia

Families living in Arlington Virginia are served by Arlington Public Schools which operates three high schools, six middle schools, and 22 elementary schools. The county has an agreement with Fairfax County Public Schools that allows up to 26 Arlington students to attend Thomas Jefferson High School for Science and Technology, a magnet school in Fairfax, each year. Arlington public schools are highly rated with the top-rated school, Yorktown High School, boasting AP participation of 73% and one of Virginia’s highest scores for college readiness.

Planning to enroll children in private school after moving to Arlington VA? You’ll find many excellent options. For a Catholic education, the city is home to St. Thomas More Cathedral School (PK-8) and Bishop Denis J. O’Connell High School. Other options include Our Savior Lutheran Church and School, Veritas Collegiate Academy (K-12), The Village School, and Rivendell School.


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For higher education, you’ll find many options in Arlington and neighboring Washington, D.C. and Alexandria. The Catholic Marymount University is in Arlington along with satellite campuses of nearly one dozen colleges and universities like: Georgetown University, George Washington University, Northern Virginia Community College, Troy University, Schar School of Policy and Government, George Mason University’s Antonin Scalia Law School, and the Jimmy and Rosalynn Carter School for Peace and Conflict Resolution. You’ll find some of the country’s top universities within the Washington metro area, like Howard University and the University of the District of Columbia.

Is moving to Arlington in your future? Suburban Solutions is here to make your transition as easy and stress-free as possible with guaranteed delivery dates. Call our Arlington movers today for a free, personalized moving quote!


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