Seattle continues its population explosion, but how residents feel about it is mixed

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SEATTLE — Whether you’re newer to Seattle or have been here your whole life, it comes as no surprise to you that our area is booming. What it all means, well, according to a new Allstate Regional Renewal poll, people aren’t quite sure. The survey asked 400 people from King, Pierce, Snohomish, and Kitsap counties their thoughts on living here and what the future may look like.

  • 46 percent of people say they grew up here.
  • 44 percent say they moved here as an adult.

When asked about what’s best for their career and family life:

  • 75 percent say it would be better for them to stay where they are now.
  • 19 percent say it would be better to move out of the area.

Important factors for staying or moving to the Puget Sound region:

  • 92 percent said job opportunities that provide a livable wages  was very or somewhat important to them.
  • 81 percent cited the weather and year-round outdoor recreation.

The region’s tendency toward tolerance as well as its feelings on the environment and a climate-neutral vision all rates well. As for where the city is heading:

  • 69 percent say it’s positive.
  • 23 percent say the direction of the area is negative.

An even higher number say the quality of life has gone down.

  • 31 percent say it’s become worse since they began living here.
  • 38 percent it’s better.
  • 29 percent believe it’s about the same.

As for the impact all this growth has had on the area:

  • Half say it’s been negative.
  • 41 percent call the impact, positive.


And a whopping 70 percent say western Washington is unprepared to handle the growth over the next few years. Only 25 percent call the region prepared.

  • 26 percent agree that the area is growing in a way that will increase opportunity and the quality of life here.
  • But 70 percent disagree, believing that the growth only benefits a few and actually makes it harder for the average family to live here.

Another interesting data point is the impact of Seattle’s $15 Minimum Wage:

  • 47 percent call it very or somewhat positive.
  • 35 percent call it negative.

So what does it all mean? Our news partners at the Seattle Times believe that while it’s obvious to people that the city is seeing a big boom, they’re not quite sure exactly what to make of it all.

One interesting tidbit from the poll, when asked what attraction they would highlight for friends or family heading to town on vacation, almost everyone — 96 percent — mentioned Pike Pace and the Waterfront.

You have to admit, watching people throw fish never gets old.