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.

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