Thinking about moving to Seattle?
You’ll be in good company. Seattle is currently growing quickly, with over 15,000 people relocating to Seattle each year. New residents are attracted to the area’s thriving tech scene, hip ambiance and emphasis on work-life balance.
The Seattle metro area is home to over 3.6 million people, but less than 700,000 live within the city’s borders. Those that do live in well-defined neighborhoods, each with their own distinct character. Read our guide to top Seattle neighborhoods, then consult our list of best Seattle realtors to help make your search easy.
Seattle’s reputation as Rain City proceeds it, but the news isn’t as bad as you think. In reality, Seattle receives less average rainfall than Atlanta, New York and Houston. However, Seattle excels at overcast days, with more heavily clouded days than any other city in the country.
What redeems Seattle is its golden summers when rainfall is almost nonexistent and temperatures stay in the balmy 70’s. By October, the cloud cover sets in and you can expect a wet and mild winter. Temperatures typically remain above freezing and snow is rare.
Summer average (June – Aug): 74°F high, 54°F low
Winter average (Dec – Feb): 47°F high, 36°F low
As Seattle’s population booms, the city is experiencing serious growing pains as the traffic problem worsens. Hour-long commutes are quickly becoming the norm for those that live outside the city limits.
The upside is that Seattle is a terrific city for pedestrians, with many residents opting to bike or walk to work. The public transit system consists of buses, light rail and streetcars and is extensive, particularly in the downtown area.
Beat the commute: Many Seattleites have opted out of owning cars completely. Instead they use public transit, bicycles and car sharing sites like Zipcar to get around.
Seattle’s current economic boom can be contributed to a mix of established industrial giants like Boeing and fast growing internet start ups like Amazon. Several Fortune 500 countries have their headquarters in Seattle including Starbucks, Nordstrom and Expeditors International of Washington. Even more are based in the metropolitan area including Microsoft (Redmond), Costco (Issaquiah), Expedia and T-Mobile (Bellevue).
The fastest growing industries in Seattle are the technology and biotech sectors. Seattle is also the first city in the U.S. to test out a $15 per hour minimum wage.
Unemployment rate: 4.5% (as of October 2015)
Average weekly wages for all industries: $1,268 (first quarter 2015)