Nov 14, 2022 - News

Seattle among top places to move, but some locals consider relocating

A suitcase with a money-sign handle

Just in case Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

The Emerald City remains among the nation's top destinations for people dreaming of a move.

Driving the news: College students chose Seattle as their No. 1 post-grad destination in a 2022 Axios poll. The city is also named among the 10 fastest growing urban areas in the The American Growth Project by the Kenan Institute of Private Enterprise.

Why it matters: None of the cities on the list are in the American Northeast. That means, according to the Keenan findings, the "center of gravity" for economic activity is moving west.

Among the fastest growing urban areas...

  • Four are on the Left Coast: San Francisco, Seattle, Denver and Salt Lake City;
  • Three are on the Third Coast: Austin, Dallas and New Orleans;
  • The remainder are in the Southeast: Raleigh and Durham, Charlotte, North Carolina, and Orlando.
  • The report notes that Seattle, home to Amazon and Microsoft, is a leader in clean energy, which researchers believe attracts young job seekers.

Our thought bubble: Though the cost of housing here is among the priciest in the country and we're clearly not immune to tech job losses, we have breathtaking mountain and water views for free, loads of places to play outside and jaw-droppingly great summer weather. (Let's put aside smoke season for the moment, shall we?)

What's next: Becoming a big city leads to big city problems: Homelessness, increased crime, worse traffic, more inequality, all of which can fuel unease in residents.

Data: American Housing Survey; Chart: Axios Visuals

Yes, and: Seattleites are more likely to consider moving elsewhere than residents of almost any other major U.S. city, according to data from the American Housing Survey.

What's happening: The U.S. Census Bureau estimated that 7.2% of households in the Seattle metro were thinking last year about moving to another city — the second highest percentage among major metros nationwide.

  • The poll asked residents in 15 of the country’s biggest cities if they were planning to move.
  • Only San Francisco, with 7.6%, had a higher percentage than Seattle.

The Census Survey did not ask people why they wanted to move, but opportunities to work remotely as well as concerns about crime and homelessness may play a role.

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