Aug 10, 2022 - News

Where young Seattleites go when they leave

Where young residents of Seattle moved
Note: The analysis includes U.S. Social Security Number holders born 1984–1992 measuring their childhood locations at age 16 and young adult locations at age 26; Data: Center for Economic Studies, et al., 2022, "The Radius of Opportunity: Evidence from Migration and Local Labor Markets"; Chart: Skye Witley/Axios

The average young adult who grew up in Seattle and left here moved about 283 miles away, according to data from the U.S. Census Bureau's Center for Economic Studies

  • That's 102 miles above the national average of 181 miles.

Why it matters: The migration patterns of young people can help us understand regional labor markets nationwide, with comings and goings reflecting where opportunity is, according to a July report by the bureau and Harvard University.

  • The research found migration distances of those from Seattle are longer for Black people, as well as those from the highest-income families, among other findings.

State of play: California is the top out-of-state destination for young adults relocating from Seattle, with Los Angeles ranking as the top metro area where they move.

By the numbers: About 75% of young people stayed in the Seattle area.

  • Those from the lowest-earning families stayed at a slightly higher rate on average — about 75% — than youths from the highest-earning families (72%).
  • Black youths and young adults who left Seattle typically moved farther away for their jobs (403 miles) than youths of other racial and ethnic groups.
  • Asian youths who moved away traveled an average of 242 miles, while Hispanic and White youths who left both moved about 279 miles away.

Of note: The research used Census, survey and tax data for people born between 1984 and 1992 to measure the migration patterns during childhood and young adulthood.

See the interactive map.


Get more local stories in your inbox with Axios Seattle.


Support local journalism by becoming a member.

Learn more

More Seattle stories

No stories could be found


Get a free daily digest of the most important news in your backyard with Axios Seattle.


Support local journalism by becoming a member.

Learn more