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July 2018

45,000 newcomers move to Seattle each year

Seattle was the destination for more than 45,000 newcomers who relocated here each year from 2012 to 2016, and many of them are affluent, according to an analysis by columnist Gene Balk, the "FYI Guy" at The Seattle Times.

While the perception may be they're all tech workers, the reality is only about 10 percent of them were. That was enough to rank software developers tops in the number of new jobs, averaging about 50 per week. "Managers not elsewhere classified" claimed second spot, followed by business operations specialists.

Balk reported "there aren't any truly low-wage jobs among the top occupations." Also on the list of top 10 new Seattleite jobs were physicians and surgeons at No. 4, followed by registered nurses, engineers "not elsewhere classified," first-line supervisors of sales workers, management consultants, customer service representatives, and postsecondary teachers.

College-age kids (ages 18-21) account for 12 percent of the new residents. More than half the newcomers (55.2 percent) were ages 22-to-34, and nearly half (48.3 percent) reported household income of $100,000 or higher. At the other end of the spectrum, about 14 percent had income of $30,000 or lower.

The FYI Guy found that of those who lived in another state or another country before moving to Seattle, the highest number, around 7,900 per year (approximately 17.5 percent) came from California. That's about twice as many Oregonians who moved here. New York claimed the No. 3 spot. China was No. 6.

Balk's analysis of census data also found "newcomers, as a group, are a bit more racially diverse than the existing population of Seattle." He also reported a slight gender imbalance, with 52 percent of the new residents being men, which he attributed in part to the disproportionate number of software developers (four out of five) being men.

"There aren't a whole lot of families with kids moving here," Balk reported, noting just 8 percent of the newly arrived were under the age of 18.