News In Brief
November 7, 2019
Those who work in Washington enjoy the fourth-highest median wage in the nation, but it turns out that money only goes so far... Business.org compared each state's (plus the District of Columbia) median wage to the cost of renting a 1 bedroom apartment and found that as a whole, Washington ranks 46th in the nation for rent affordability. Workers earn a median $46,100 per year, but the average cost of renting that 1 bedroom apartment is $1,783/month. All told, it means the average Washingtonian will have to work 80.4 hours to pay off that monthly rent. Only New York, California, Massachusetts, Florida and Hawaii rank worse. Wyoming rated the best where you get the most housing for your work dollar. It's a similar story for just the city of Seattle where the median wage is $50,860 but average rent is $1,890/month meaning it'll take 77.3 hours of pay per month to pay off that rent.
Vaccines remain a hot-button topic across the nation, but a new study finds those living in Washington are among those most likely to have been vaccinated against a number of illnesses. The Evergreen State ranked 10th overall, according to data by WalletHub, when compared across 18 key metrics, ranging from share of vaccinated children to share of people without health insurance to presence of reported measles outbreaks. In particular, Washington ranked 2nd overall in flu vaccination coverage and well above average in share of adults with the Zoster Vaccination (5th) and who have a tetanus shot (11th). The state ranked just above average in the flu vaccination rate among children (20th) and children under 6 participating in an immunization information system. The 18 key metrics were combined into three categories: 1) Children & Teenagers Immunization Rates, 2) Adult & Elderly Vaccination Rates and 3) Immunization Uptake Disparities & Influencing Factors. Put all together and Washington came in at No. 10 - though No. 2 in the Adult & Elderly Vaccination Rates category. Massachusetts was found to top the ranking, followed by Vermont, Rhode Island, North Dakota and New Hampshire. Worst on the list was Mississippi, with Texas and Florida rounding out the bottom 3.
If you're living in the Evergreen State but looking for the best place to raise a family, a study suggests heading east - be it the Eastside or Eastern Washington. Wallethub compared 114 of the state's largest cities across 21 key indicators of a suitable environment for raising children across four key dimensions: 1) Family Life & Fun, 2) Education, Health & Safety, 3) Affordability and 4) Socioeconomics. Some of the data researched include median family income to school-system quality to housing affordability. The top city in the state to raise a family? West Richland, which ranked tops in affordability and well above average in the other categories. A pair of Eastside Seattle suburbs duked it out for No's 2 and 3 with Snoqualmie just edging Sammamish. Bainbridge Island came in at No. 4. But looking at the Top 15 is a who's who of Seattle's Eastside, with Woodinville (6), Kirkland (11), east Bothell (12), Newcastle (13), Redmond (14) and Issaquah (15) peppering the list. Bellevue came in a 29th.
The University of Washington ranks as the fifth most innovative university in the world, according to Reuters. Reuters has been ranking institutions who advance science, invent new technologies and help drive global technology for the past five years. The UW maintains its position as the top-ranked U.S. public institution on the list - placing in the top 10 since the ranking began in 2015.
Sammamish has been named among the best small cities in America, according to a recent study. WalletHub compared more than 1,200 U.S. cities with populations between 25,000 and 100,000 across 42 key indicators of livability for the study, ranging from housing costs to school-system quality to restaurants per capita. The indicators were then grouped into 5 major categories: Affordability, Economic Health, Education & Health, Quality of Life and Safety. Sammamish scored 5th best in the nation for Economic Health and also scored above average in Safety and Education & Health. Overall, Sammamish ranked No. 3 in the nation, coming in only behind Leawood, Kansas and Brentwood, Tennessee, according to the study. Other Puget Sound area suburbs scored well too, including Bothell and Kirkland, who were in a virtual tie for 27th, with Redmond and Issaquah also finishing in the top 10th percentile.
Most people who remodel feel a major sense of accomplishment and have a greater desire to be in their home, according to a recent survey by the National Association of Realtors. Based on responses to 20 types of projects, homeowners said they got the most joy from interior projects, such as kitchen and closet renovations. Number three on the "joy" list is a complete interior paint job, followed by a new fiberglass front door and new vinyl windows.