Seattle Population, Kids, & Ownership vs. Top 100 Cities

Some of us were talking a few weeks ago about how important schools are to buyers in the Seattle area relative to other cities and what percentage of families here have children. I decided to pull that data as well as some additional population and home ownership data on each of the 100 largest cities in the United States from the US Census Bureau’s American FactFinder for 2010 Census data.

Here’s where Seattle falls when you sort the top 100 cities by various measures:

  • Population: #23
  • Square Miles: #62
  • Density: #15
  • Household Size: #100
  • % with Children: #97
  • Home Ownership Rate: #69

I have to say, I expected it to be low, but I was surprised to see Seattle all the way at the bottom when it comes to household size, especially when we’re so high up the list when it comes to density. I guess Seattle’s anti-social tendencies even extend to our own families…

With just under half of homes in Seattle being owner-occupied, it’s not surprising that our home prices are higher compared to median household incomes compared to say, Scottsdale Arizona, where 68% of homes are owner-occupied.

This is a good reminder that it’s much more informative to compare a city’s housing prices to its own local fundamentals and historic trends than it is to compare one city to another, where the local demographics and economics may be quite different.

Hit the full post for the entire table of all top 100 largest cities.

Click on any column header to sort by that column.

City State Pop. Sq. Mi. Density Households HH Size w/ Kids Ownership
New York NY 8,175,133 302.6 27,016 3,109,784 2.57 26.7% 31.0%
Los Angeles CA 3,792,621 468.7 8,092 1,318,168 2.81 29.4% 38.2%
Chicago IL 2,695,598 227.6 11,844 1,045,560 2.52 25.2% 44.9%
Houston TX 2,099,451 599.6 3,501 782,643 2.64 30.2% 45.4%
Philadelphia PA 1,526,006 134.1 11,380 599,736 2.45 24.9% 54.1%
Phoenix AZ 1,445,632 516.7 2,798 514,806 2.77 33.6% 57.6%
San Antonio TX 1,327,407 460.9 2,880 479,642 2.71 32.1% 56.5%
San Diego CA 1,307,402 325.2 4,020 483,092 2.60 27.5% 48.3%
Dallas TX 1,197,816 340.5 3,518 458,057 2.57 29.1% 44.1%
San Jose CA 945,942 176.5 5,359 301,366 3.09 36.2% 58.5%
Jacksonville FL 821,784 747.0 1,100 323,106 2.48 29.2% 61.7%
Indianapolis IN 820,445 361.4 2,270 332,199 2.42 28.2% 55.8%
San Francisco CA 805,235 46.9 17,169 345,811 2.26 16.0% 35.8%
Austin TX 790,390 297.9 2,653 324,892 2.37 26.0% 45.1%
Columbus OH 787,033 217.2 3,624 331,602 2.31 26.0% 47.0%
Fort Worth TX 741,206 339.8 2,181 262,652 2.77 36.5% 59.2%
Charlotte NC 731,424 297.7 2,457 289,860 2.48 31.1% 57.4%
Detroit MI 713,777 138.8 5,142 269,445 2.59 27.6% 51.1%
El Paso TX 649,121 255.2 2,544 216,894 2.95 37.6% 60.4%
Memphis TN 646,889 315.1 2,053 250,344 2.52 27.8% 51.9%
Baltimore MD 620,961 80.9 7,676 249,903 2.38 22.3% 47.7%
Boston MA 617,594 48.3 12,787 252,699 2.26 20.4% 33.9%
Seattle WA 608,660 83.9 7,255 283,510 2.06 18.1% 48.1%
Washington DC 601,723 61.0 9,864 266,707 2.11 17.2% 42.0%
Nashville TN 601,222 475.1 1,265 249,002 2.31 24.9% 55.4%
Denver CO 600,158 153.3 3,915 263,107 2.22 22.3% 50.0%
Louisville KY 597,337 325.2 1,837 246,438 2.37 27.0% 61.6%
Milwaukee WI 594,833 96.1 6,190 230,221 2.50 29.6% 43.6%
Portland OR 583,776 134.3 4,347 248,546 2.28 22.7% 53.7%
Las Vegas NV 583,756 135.8 4,299 211,689 2.71 31.3% 56.5%
Oklahoma City OK 579,999 606.4 956 230,233 2.47 29.4% 59.7%
Albuquerque NM 545,852 187.7 2,908 224,330 2.40 28.1% 60.3%
Tucson AZ 520,116 226.7 2,294 205,390 2.43 26.6% 51.9%
Fresno CA 494,665 112.0 4,417 158,349 3.07 38.0% 49.1%
Sacramento CA 466,488 97.9 4,765 174,624 2.62 29.0% 49.4%
Long Beach CA 462,257 50.3 9,190 163,531 2.78 31.1% 41.6%
Kansas City MO 459,787 315.0 1,460 192,406 2.34 26.4% 56.2%
Mesa AZ 439,041 136.5 3,216 165,374 2.63 30.2% 63.2%
Virginia Beach VA 437,994 249.0 1,759 165,089 2.60 32.3% 65.3%
Atlanta GA 420,003 133.2 3,153 185,142 2.11 19.2% 44.9%
Colorado Springs CO 416,427 194.5 2,141 167,788 2.44 30.5% 60.1%
Omaha NE 408,958 127.1 3,218 162,627 2.45 28.3% 58.3%
Raleigh NC 403,892 142.9 2,826 162,999 2.36 29.0% 53.5%
Miami FL 399,457 35.9 11,127 158,317 2.47 22.7% 32.3%
Cleveland OH 396,815 77.7 5,107 167,490 2.29 25.2% 44.1%
Tulsa OK 391,906 196.8 1,991 163,975 2.34 27.0% 53.5%
Oakland CA 390,724 55.8 7,002 153,791 2.49 25.1% 41.1%
Minneapolis MN 382,578 54.0 7,085 163,540 2.23 21.4% 49.2%
Wichita KS 382,368 159.3 2,400 151,818 2.48 30.2% 61.3%
Arlington TX 365,438 95.9 3,811 133,072 2.72 35.8% 57.4%
Bakersfield CA 347,483 142.2 2,444 111,132 3.10 41.6% 59.7%
New Orleans LA 343,829 169.4 2,030 142,158 2.33 22.7% 47.8%
Honolulu HI 337,256 60.5 5,574 129,408 2.51 20.4% 43.8%
Anaheim CA 336,265 49.8 6,752 98,294 3.38 38.9% 48.5%
Tampa FL 335,709 113.4 2,960 135,955 2.38 26.2% 51.7%
Aurora CO 325,078 154.7 2,101 121,901 2.65 33.5% 59.9%
Santa Ana CA 324,528 27.3 11,887 73,174 4.37 46.5% 47.5%
Saint Louis MO 319,294 61.9 5,158 142,057 2.16 20.9% 45.4%
Pittsburgh PA 305,704 55.4 5,518 136,217 2.07 17.8% 47.6%
Corpus Christi TX 305,215 160.6 1,900 112,795 2.66 30.5% 59.3%
Riverside CA 303,871 81.1 3,747 91,932 3.18 36.5% 55.7%
Cincinnati OH 296,943 77.9 3,812 133,420 2.12 22.2% 38.9%
Lexington KY 295,803 283.6 1,043 123,043 2.30 25.7% 55.9%
Anchorage AK 291,826 1,704.7 171 107,332 2.64 33.2% 59.9%
Stockton CA 291,707 61.7 4,728 90,605 3.16 39.0% 51.6%
Toledo OH 287,208 80.7 3,559 119,730 2.33 26.6% 55.5%
Saint Paul MN 285,068 52.0 5,482 111,001 2.47 27.7% 51.3%
Newark NJ 277,140 24.2 11,452 94,542 2.76 33.7% 22.1%
Greensboro NC 269,666 126.5 2,132 111,731 2.31 27.2% 52.5%
Buffalo NY 261,310 40.4 6,468 112,536 2.24 24.7% 40.7%
Plano TX 259,841 71.6 3,629 99,131 2.61 35.8% 63.0%
Lincoln NE 258,379 89.1 2,900 103,546 2.36 27.7% 58.6%
Henderson NV 257,729 107.7 2,393 101,314 2.53 28.0% 65.8%
Fort Wayne IN 253,691 110.6 2,294 101,585 2.44 30.1% 63.3%
Jersey City NJ 247,597 14.8 16,730 96,859 2.53 27.3% 29.5%
Saint Petersburg FL 244,769 61.7 3,967 108,815 2.19 21.4% 60.7%
Chula Vista CA 243,916 49.6 4,918 75,515 3.21 42.0% 58.1%
Norfolk VA 242,803 54.1 4,488 86,485 2.43 27.0% 45.4%
Orlando FL 238,300 102.4 2,327 102,521 2.29 25.1% 39.5%
Chandler AZ 236,123 64.4 3,667 86,924 2.71 36.7% 66.3%
Laredo TX 236,091 88.9 2,656 63,545 3.66 48.8% 63.7%
Madison WI 233,209 76.8 3,037 102,516 2.17 20.8% 49.3%
Winston-Salem NC 229,617 132.4 1,734 92,337 2.38 28.5% 56.3%
Lubbock TX 229,573 122.4 1,876 88,506 2.48 27.4% 54.6%
Baton Rouge LA 229,493 76.9 2,984 91,474 2.40 24.1% 49.3%
Durham NC 228,330 107.4 2,126 93,441 2.34 27.5% 49.8%
Garland TX 226,876 57.1 3,973 75,696 2.99 36.9% 65.2%
Glendale AZ 226,721 60.0 3,779 79,114 2.82 34.5% 58.6%
Reno NV 225,221 103.0 2,187 90,924 2.43 27.0% 48.0%
Hialeah FL 224,669 21.5 10,450 71,205 3.13 30.5% 50.6%
Chesapeake VA 222,209 340.8 652 79,574 2.75 35.3% 73.0%
Scottsdale AZ 217,385 183.9 1,182 101,273 2.14 20.1% 68.1%
North Las Vegas NV 216,961 101.3 2,142 66,499 3.23 42.3% 62.4%
Irving TX 216,290 67.0 3,228 82,538 2.61 33.4% 38.4%
Fremont CA 214,089 77.5 2,762 71,004 2.99 40.7% 62.6%
Irvine CA 212,375 66.1 3,213 78,978 2.61 32.4% 50.2%
Birmingham AL 212,237 146.1 1,453 89,382 2.27 21.6% 49.3%
Rochester NY 210,565 35.8 5,882 87,027 2.30 26.3% 37.7%
San Bernardino CA 209,924 59.2 3,546 59,283 3.42 42.1% 50.3%
Spokane WA 208,916 59.2 3,529 87,271 2.31 26.3% 57.6%

Note: I am aware that the household size number does not equal the population divided by the number of households. All three of those numbers are exactly what the Census Bureau’s data reported for each city in 2010. I’m not sure why they don’t line up.

  

About The Tim

Tim Ellis is the founder of Seattle Bubble. His background in engineering and computer / internet technology, a fondness of data-based analysis of problems, and an addiction to spreadsheets all influence his perspective on the Seattle-area real estate market.

73 comments:

  1. 1

    I wonder how the percent with kids would correlate to education level?

    Also, does the percent with kids in Phoenix include kids that are over 40? ;-)

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  2. 2
    The Tim says:

    RE: Kary L. Krismer @ 1 – Actually that’s a good question (in a way). The percent with children is based on the “households with own children under 18″ data from the Census. So, no. :^)

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  3. 3

    Tim, I See The Trend By Following the School Buses

    Or, if there are hardly no school buses in your neighborhood to follow, that’s a trend too. In SE King County the kids from the housing developments are like a drop off of 2-7. In front of apartments its more like 20-70.

    The school bus drivers will tell you the same thing, the kids are mostly in Seattle area rental apartments now. It causes school tax shortages too.

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  4. 4
    eastside reader says:

    No surprise here. Eastside is excluded form the stats.
    A lot of my coworkers lived in Seattle and moved to eastside as soon as they either decided to buy a house or when their kids went to school.

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  5. 5
    The Tim says:

    By eastside reader @ 4:

    Eastside is excluded form the stats.

    Correct. All of these stats are exclusively for the cities proper.

    Rate this comment: Thumb up 0

  6. 6
    gdawg says:

    RE: eastside reader @ 4

    That’s our story–live in Seattle out of college when we’re single and very young children, but with kindergarten a few years off for our oldest and wanting much better public schools, bigger yard and more family-friendly area, we just sold our Seattle house and are off to Woodinville in a few weeks…… Love Seattle, but it’s just not family-friendly enough when the eastside is a few miles away……

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  7. 7
    T. Y. Lee says:

    RE: eastside reader @ 4 – I also moved to the Eastside from Seattle once my kids started approaching school age. The school district I lived in was under-performing (a score of 1/10 according to greatschools.org), and then they started restricting school choice.

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  8. 8
    ARDELL says:

    Given Seattle builds their “affordable housing” with only two bedrooms on the top floor and one bedroom two flights down behind the garage (most SFH townhomes)…it doesn’t seem like they encourage family “values”.

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  9. 9
    Sweet Pea says:

    Is the section below saying there isn’t enough inventory to buy, so prices are higher in Seattle? I would think Seattle’s population would also be more transient than Scottsdale, where more people are buying retirement or 2nd homes, rather than arriving for a job that may or may not be permanent.

    With just under half of homes in Seattle being owner-occupied, it’s not surprising that our home prices are higher compared to median household incomes compared to say, Scottsdale Arizona, where 68% of homes are owner-occupied.

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  10. 10
    David Losh says:

    We moved for the kids. I’ve told the story here before, but we moved before the redistricting, just in case.

    I’m very happy with the schools in Seattle. I understand that the schools are supposed to be better on the “Eastside,” but my brother made that move, and in my opinion it was a mistake. There were, in my opinion, and my observation, more drugs. The schools also seemed to be more clicky(sp?). There was a more defined atmosphere of athletics, drug culture, working class, and rich kids.

    There again that is just me an my personal prejudices. The other thing is I prefer much more diverse cultural experiences.

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  11. 11
    Dweezil says:

    Good info Tim.
    Many people consider their dogs as their children. If the stats went by that, Seattle would go from #97 to #1.

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  12. 12
    David S says:

    Don’t include San Diego like this anymore. San Diegans wouldn’t want everyone moving down there and ruining the place by raising property values. ;-)

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  13. 13
    ARDELL says:

    RE: David Losh @ 10

    David…you should take a tour of The Eastside if it’s been awhile. I can’t imagine anyone saying The Eastside is not “diverse”, or at least as diverse as the neighborhoods in Seattle that you often reference like Queen Anne and Capitol Hill.

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  14. 14
    The Tim says:

    By Sweet Pea @ 9:

    Is the section below saying there isn’t enough inventory to buy, so prices are higher in Seattle? I would think Seattle’s population would also be more transient than Scottsdale, where more people are buying retirement or 2nd homes, rather than arriving for a job that may or may not be permanent.

    What I mean is that it is relatively safe to assume that the lowest-income households are not going to be buying homes. If only 48% of households are home owners, the median income of the home owning population is going to be quite a bit higher than the overall median income.

    In a market where more people own homes, such as Scottsdale, the median income of the home owning population is going to be closer to the overall median income.

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  15. 15
    Scotsman says:

    RE: Dweezil @ 11

    Interesting/funny fact. Two dogs create as much environmental impact as a full size GMC Hummer. And you thought all those dog owners were so green and into the NW nature experience. (Must be true- I read it on the web.)

    Cats, however, suck up carbon faster than a herd of hybrids. Cats rule- dogs drool. ;-)

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  16. 16
  17. 17
    John Bailo says:

    The density ranking is the amazing one to me!

    The whole refrain of the infrastructure-transit crowd for the last 20 years has been “more density” as a solution to any and all problems!

    Yet, by this ranking, Seattle is already near the top of the list.

    With all its traffic and high housing costs, one might suspect that density is a cause, not a cure, for urban ailments!

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  18. 18
    Scotsman says:

    So trueRE: ARDELL @ 16 -

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  19. 19
    Matt the Engineer says:

    RE: Scotsman @ 15 – Ah, digging up that old bone? You know it’s all lies, right?

    Rate this comment: Thumb up 0

  20. 20
    Scotsman says:

    RE: Matt the Engineer @ 19

    Heh. I’m not really sure that refutes my point. Plus, please note I said TWO dogs- who can own just one? And then there’s the things they don’t count- like all the extra driving you do in your SUV to take your dog to the park, to the groomers, to the vet, to his/her “play-dates” with your buddy’s dog . . ;-)

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  21. 21

    By Sweet Pea @ 9:

    Is the section below saying there isn’t enough inventory to buy, so prices are higher in Seattle? I would think Seattle’s population would also be more transient than Scottsdale, where more people are buying retirement or 2nd homes, rather than arriving for a job that may or may not be permanent.

    With just under half of homes in Seattle being owner-occupied, it�s not surprising that our home prices are higher compared to median household incomes compared to say, Scottsdale Arizona, where 68% of homes are owner-occupied.

    I think Tim may be saying that investor demand for rentals drove up the prices.

    Edit: I looked to see if Tim had answered, but somehow missed it, even though it’s blue. Sorry.

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  22. 22

    By David Losh @ 10:

    There were, in my opinion, and my observation, more drugs. .

    Back in the day I started at East Bremerton High School and then moved to Central Kitsap, which at the time was rather rural. There was a lot more drug activity at Central. Maybe being in an area where you don’t feel you have to keep as close of an eye on your kids leads to that?

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  23. 23
    Glenn Roberts says:

    The biggest reason that there are not good public schools in Seattle’s densest areas is because to many people go elsewhere to put their kids in “good” schools. Why not stay here and become active in the school process. Make them better? Make Seattle build schools downtown. Then the builders will build more affordable 3+ bedroom places to live that work for families.

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  24. 24
    Brandon Adams says:

    RE: ARDELL @ 13

    A straight comparison of Seattle and Bellevue, using 2010 census data:
                    Asian    Black   Hispanic    White
    Seattle     13.8%    7.9%    6.6%        69.5%
    Bellevue    27.6%    2.3%    7.0%       62.6%

    Bellevue is the most Asian city in Washington, and the newly drawn 9th Congressional District is the only majority-minority district in the state.

    We’re not even as lily-white as Seattle.

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  25. 25
    redmondjp says:

    By Glenn Roberts @ 23:

    The biggest reason that there are not good public schools in Seattle’s densest areas is because to many people go elsewhere to put their kids in “good” schools. Why not stay here and become active in the school process. Make them better? Make Seattle build schools downtown. Then the builders will build more affordable 3+ bedroom places to live that work for families.

    Because two working parents don’t have the time to ‘fix’ the schools before their kids go to them.

    And I would agree with others above that the Eastside is incredibly diverse. In my neighborhood park in Redmond, I am surrounded by people from every continent on the globe every time that I go there (It’s fun to try to identify the languages spoken).

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  26. 26
    David Losh says:

    RE: ARDELL @ 13

    I said cultural experience, which is a direct reference to the clicky(sp?) aspect of living in a place like Woodinvlle, or Bothell. There are parts of the “Eastside” that attract people from other countries, like Redmond, around Microsoft. There are also business people from everywhere that are entrenched in Bellevue.

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  27. 27
    wreckingbull says:

    By David Losh @ 10:

    There again that is just me an my personal prejudices.

    Correct. You need to get out more. Your comments are laughable.

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  28. 28
    David Losh says:

    RE: wreckingbull @ 27

    They let me out every day.

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  29. 29
    Mike says:

    The school issue is a red herring. Seattle probably has some of the worst schools if you are new to the area and don’t understand the meaning of “ship cannal” and “85th”, but it also has schools that perform much better than those on the Eastside. It is easier to find affordable houses with good schools on the Eastside, but the idea that the Eastside is somehow a mecca of gold plated education isn’t nearly as true as some people seem to think it is. We’ve ended up striking a number of areas over there based on their pretty awful schools. We may move from our current Seattle location with two kids, but we’ll almost certainly be going to a worse performing elementry and the school system is absolutely not the reason we’re leaving. When you actually limit your search to the areas on the Eastside with the really top end schools you, surprise, surprise, find yourself spending not quite as much as in Seattle for what you get but still a lot more than you might think you would to move out to the burbs.

    Muir Elementry – Kirkland/Woodinville
    http://reportcard.ospi.k12.wa.us/summary.aspx?groupLevel=District&schoolId=1524&reportLevel=School&orgLinkId=1524&yrs=&year=2010-11
    Grade Level Reading Math
    3rd Grade 68.9% 50.8%
    4th Grade 72.3% 53.8%
    5th Grade 86.4% 79.5%
    6th Grade 71.7% 47.5%

    Keller Elementry – Krikland
    http://reportcard.ospi.k12.wa.us/summary.aspx?groupLevel=District&schoolId=1521&reportLevel=School&orgLinkId=1521&yrs=&year=2010-11
    Level Reading Math
    3rd Grade 88.0% 56.0%
    4th Grade 80.4% 63.0%
    5th Grade 77.4% 60.4%
    6th Grade 89.3% 77.2%

    West Woodland – Phinney Ridge; Seattle
    http://reportcard.ospi.k12.wa.us/summary.aspx?schoolId=1038&OrgType=4&reportLevel=School&year=2010-11
    Grade Level Reading Math
    3rd Grade 94.9% 91.0%
    4th Grade 92.4% 89.4%
    5th Grade 86.3% 83.6%

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  30. 30

    We’re pretty diverse in my little Bothell neighborhood of 34 homes – we cover

    Russian
    Hawaiian
    Black
    Chinese
    Japanese
    Indian
    Hispanic
    White

    My children graduated from Inglemoor High School, which is a great school.

    My children never complained about it being “clicky”. They have excellent programs and excellent parent/teacher communication. When I had a child struggling with school work the school worked with us one on one with weekly meetings throughout the school year.

    As a matter of fact, the career counselor set my son up with a job a Philips in Canyon Park and has had continued employment from them as a result, he is now in his 30’s.

    These are the reason’s that drive people with their kids to the “burbs”.

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  31. 31
    Scotsman says:

    RE: Brandon Adams @ 24

    When I go to Bellevue Square all I see are Asians and Indians. Where are the Indians in this grouping?

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  32. 32
    Sweet Pea says:

    RE: The Tim @ 14

    Ah, got it, thanks.

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  33. 33
    gdawg says:

    RE: Mike @ 29

    You’re cherry picking–true that not ALL eastside schools are better, but on average they certainly are.

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  34. 34
    Sweet Pea says:

    By David Losh @ 10:

    I’m very happy with the schools in Seattle. I understand that the schools are supposed to be better on the “Eastside,” but my brother made that move, and in my opinion it was a mistake.

    I went to schools on the Eastside, in what is now Redmond/Sammamish. IMO, their reputation seems mostly according to themselves. I remember some experiments with class length and frequency, a move toward AP instead of enriched curriculum that actually takes effort/imagination, and a bizarre, agressive speech about how gifted kids would no longer be allowed to be in special classes but would be in the same classes with all other kids, just required to do different assignments (i.e., just do more work than other students, don’t worry about an elevated discourse, and stop thinking you are special/better than everyone, you little bastards). My schools in another state were far superior. I had some good teachers on the eastside, but that had more to do with the individual than the district, as far as I could tell.

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  35. 35
    David Losh says:

    RE: Julie Lyda, RE/MAX Northwest Realtors @ 30

    Not quite, I lived, and worked in Bothell for six years, and I know that Inglemoor is a great school, but I would never send my children there. I would never live in Bothell, or Inglemoor.

    I know there are a lot of snobs all over the world, but there seems to me to be a very high concentration around that Juanita, Kirkland, Redmond area. I don’t understand it, but get that feeling whenever I’m there.

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  36. 36
    David Losh says:

    RE: Scotsman @ 31

    You’re not supposed to ask those kinds of questions on the Bubble, but I would like a definition of Asian as long as we are down that path.

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  37. 37

    Another set of great stats from The Tim. No surprise that Seattle and San Francisco are at the bottom of the list. We moved from SF to the Eastside in 2007, in large part due to schools.

    For what it’s worth, I do alumni interviews for an Ivy League university. We just got the list of accepted students: Eastside cities had far more, proportionally, than Seattle. I’m not at all surprised.

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  38. 38

    RE: David Losh @ 35

    To each his own, I love Bothell and it’s community and I have lived here over 20 years.

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  39. 39
    Macro Investor says:

    By softwarengineer @ 3:

    Tim, I See The Trend By Following the School Buses

    .

    That sounds a bit creepy.

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  40. 40

    RE: Macro Investor @ 39 – LOL. “Stuck behind school buses” would have probably been a better phrase.

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  41. 41
    Tom Robinson says:

    I think there’s a theme among several of the cities with smallest household size: they’re full of college students. Seattle, Madison, Minneapolis, Boston, and even San Francisco have lots of undergraduate and graduate students. That would seem to automatically lower the household size, wouldn’t it?

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  42. 42
    m-s says:

    RE: Tom Robinson @ 41
    If you room with somebody who is not related (eg. college roommate), does the census call that a household size of one? Or is it just called living in sin…

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  43. 43
    Sweet Pea says:

    By Greg Glockner @ 37:

    Another set of great stats from The Tim. No surprise that Seattle and San Francisco are at the bottom of the list. We moved from SF to the Eastside in 2007, in large part due to schools.

    For what it’s worth, I do alumni interviews for an Ivy League university. We just got the list of accepted students: Eastside cities had far more, proportionally, than Seattle. I’m not at all surprised.

    The neighbor kids on the plateau (“Sammamish”) killed my cat. I wonder if they went Ivy League?

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  44. 44
    WestSideBilly says:

    Household size seems to have a strong correlation to percent of the population Hispanic. Santa Ana is 78% Hispanic. Laredo is 95% Hispanic. Hialeah is 95% San Jose is the first city that breaks the trend (at 33%).

    San Jose would also break the trend if you compared to educational attainment.

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  45. 45
    Jonness says:

    By The Tim @ 14:

    In a market where more people own homes, such as Scottsdale, the median income of the home owning population is going to be closer to the overall median income.

    There are a lot of retirees in Scottsdale who buy with accumulated savings. These folks have reduced “retiree” income. I suspect this drags down down the income of house buyers compared to their actual wealth and increases the homeownership rate compared to a city with a younger population who have less savings.

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  46. 46
    One Eyed Man says:

    I’m doing my taxes and am in an anti-social mood so I’ll apologize right now for saying things that are probably offensive. If this comment makes no sense to you, its because I’m actually different as opposed to being from another country or ethnic origin.

    As an unabashed over generalization, the eastside has an incredibly diverse population of upwardly mobile business, professional and techy geeks with a minimum of a college degree if not a graduate school diploma, who have come from all over the world to seek the same thing, i.e. a high paying job in a world class high tech environment or in an ancilliary high paying business or profession. And the eastside is a tremendous example of diversity if your concept of diversity is limited to being an upwardly mobile, over achieving member of the digital consumer culture.

    The Eastside may have some racial, ethnic and global diversity, but it’s pretty one dimensional in its community identity and aspirations. For example, despite the Bellevue Art Fair and some farmers markets, it doesn’t encompass much of an artsy fartsy bohemian enclave or a small farming community or a low income gheto community, like say the Haight in its day, or Greenwich Village, or Bumblelick ND, or say the Ganesha High School neighborhood in Pomona where I was the only white guy to play weekend basketball in the school yards in the year and a half I lived there. If you live on the eastside, anybody who doesn’t have an ipod, an ipad and an iphone take one step back (unless of course you work for BG3 and are required by your corporate loyalty oath to have a zune).

    Second, the test scores for any particular school are probably more directly related to the income and median home price of that schools neighborhoods as indications of the resident families promotion of achievement (on the part of the parents and the children) and hereditary intelligence factors that have probably helped make the high income achievement of the parents and academic achievement of the kids, possible (regardless of racial or ethnic origin) than they are to anything else. If you disagree, check the median home price, median income level and school test scores for a couple of small and generally uniform school districts like Mercer Island and maybe Auburn. I haven’t, but I’m pretty sure the three factors are correspondingly high and low, respectively for the two districts.

    The same probably holds true for homogenous localized areas inside Seattle. You can have high test scores in a Seattle school, but you’ll probably also have above average incomes and above average home prices in the particular neighborhoods that go to that school. (If he wasn’t on the record and faced with the risk of being called politically incorrect, Scotsman would tell you just to find the red neighborhoods on the voting map cause they generally have the achievement oriented, genetically smart residents, with higher incomes and better schools. As a statistical matter, its probably true most of the time. if your into high income and consumption as your goal for a lifestyle selection.)

    But if in your school search you are more inclined to look for a sense of community where people know their neighbors, care about each other, and go out of their way to help each other dispite individual quirky differences, I don’t think I’d necessarily recommend either the Eastside or Seattle despite their school test scores. Those attributes, as opposed to high incomes, big houses and high test scores aren’t the advertised benefits of the American Dream. You might want to try one of those small towns where houses are cheap and incomes aren’t so high. But if you’re on the Eastside and interested in a more communal existence and you want to make contact with another life form in say Bellevue, you’ll probably have better luck if you can find an iphone App for social networking, or maybe send out a Tweet for help.

    If you would like to reply to this comment, rather than posting a digital reply, you can join me and Harvey down at Charlie’s for a drink (we’ll be in a booth in the back) and we can discuss it as long as you like.

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  47. 47
    WestSeattleDad says:

    We decided to stay in our house in West Seattle when our son was born. We even decided to give the school system a go, figuring we could always bail and come up with the money to send our one child to private school if necessary. Turns out we never had to. Even more, we (and he) thought his school experience was great. He recently got admitted to the UW next fall which is where he wants to go.

    All these years I’ve been unable to figure out why so many families either emptied their pockets for private school or moved to the east side simply for the schools. Maybe I’ll find out if he bombs out at the U but his test scores seem to indicate he learned something in Seattle Schools.

    Yes, Seattle Schools may have a lot of “issues” but it works for some (I wish it were all) thanks to many truly dedicated people most of whom are in the trenches, doing their best, and, (surprisingly?) often, seem to be enjoying their work. But, you rarely hear about them.

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  48. 48
    whatsmyname says:

    RE: One Eyed Man @ 46
    It’s almost as if you were suggesting that diversity might go beyond skintone and national country of origin differences within a monocultural professional class, and somehow encompass radically differing life experiences and values (including even those of the hoi palloi).

    Tax time really is a b*tch.

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  49. 49
    Hugh Dominic says:

    By whatsmyname @ 47:

    RE: One Eyed Man @ 46
    It’s almost as if you were suggesting that diversity might go beyond skintone and national country of origin differences within a monocultural professional class, and somehow encompass radically differing life experiences and values (including even those of the hoi palloi).

    Tax time really is a b*tch.

    Nonsense. The last time I went to Bellevue, I saw an Indian guy carrying the white iPhone 4S instead of the standard black. Diversity is scary.

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  50. 50
    ARDELL says:

    RE: One Eyed Man @ 46

    Haha… awesome! I love the digital world. It’s my kind of place!

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  51. 51
    fubarrio says:

    uh…12.9% of seattle is gay, second only to san francisco…
    am i the only guy politically incorrect enough to state the obvious?

    http://seattletimes.nwsource.com/html/localnews/2003432940_gays16m.html

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  52. 52

    By One Eyed Man @ 46:

    I’m doing my taxes and am in an anti-social mood so I’ll apologize right now for saying things that are probably offensive.

    The Eastside may have some racial, ethnic and global diversity, but it’s pretty one dimensional in its community identity and aspirations. For example, . . . anybody who doesn’t have an ipod, an ipad and an iphone take one step back (unless of course you work for BG3 and are required by your corporate loyalty oath to have a zune).

    This is offensive! Why must people have Apple products? And why would anyone current on tech have both an iPod and a smartphone?

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  53. 53

    By One Eyed Man @ 46:

    Second, the test scores for any particular school are probably more directly related to the income and median home price of that schools neighborhoods as indications of the resident families promotion of achievement (on the part of the parents and the children) and hereditary intelligence factors that have probably helped make the high income achievement of the parents and academic achievement of the kids, possible (regardless of racial or ethnic origin) than they are to anything else.

    I would say it’s due to taking an interest in their children’s education, and the parents having sufficient education to actually be able to help them with their homework, etc. The schools can only do so much, and a lot of education today happens at home in the form of homework (compared to when I grew up).

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  54. 54

    By One Eyed Man @ 46:

    But if in your school search you are more inclined to look for a sense of community where people know their neighbors, care about each other, and go out of their way to help each other dispite individual quirky differences, I don’t think I’d necessarily recommend either the Eastside or Seattle despite their school test scores.

    I’d suggest a cul-de-sac. The road becomes a meeting place rather than a divider.

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  55. 55
    Dave0 says:

    RE: Greg Glockner @ 37 – The proportion of kids that go to Ivy League schools probably has a lot more to do with household wealth than the school district.

    RE: Scotsman @ 31 – I think technically Indians are considered Asian, although it seems stupid that they should have to fit into one of these categories.

    From my experience growing up in the Seattle Schools, and working for years on the Eastside as an adult. Seattle has much more diversity of culture and lifestyle and incomes. I grew up middle-class, but I was friends with multiple people during school that were barely above the poverty line (if that). It allowed me to see the world from a different view, and get to know people in different income levels before the adult’s stereotypes set in. I never would have had experiences like that on the Eastside. As an adult, I’ve known many people that grew up on the Eastside, and they all seem to think that you need at least $60,000 a year to have a comfortable life. I feel sorry for them because they will be wage slaves trying to maintain that high consumptions lifestyle for their whole life. One walk through Bellevue Square will do more than any rant on the internet can.

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  56. 56
    Brandon Adams says:

    RE: Scotsman @ 31

    The census groups Indians underneath the broad category of Asian. That doesn’t jibe with our colloquial meaning of Asian, which is usually short-hand for people with yellow skin and epicanthic eye folds, but India is in the continent of Asia.

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  57. 57
    redmondjp says:

    By Kary L. Krismer @ 54:

    By One Eyed Man @ 46:
    But if in your school search you are more inclined to look for a sense of community where people know their neighbors, care about each other, and go out of their way to help each other dispite individual quirky differences, I don’t think I’d necessarily recommend either the Eastside or Seattle despite their school test scores.

    I’d suggest a cul-de-sac. The road becomes a meeting place rather than a divider.

    Doesn’t help, I’ve lived in one for 14 years now in Redmond. And I like to take evening walks in the summertime on days so perfect that it should be illegal to stay inside, and despite the houses being built 6′ apart from each other, with sitting benches on the front porches and decks off of the master bedrooms, the alien people in my neighborhood will be sitting inside looking at their computer with all of the windows and doors closed. You can see the blue glow of their computer screens through the front windows. Weird . . .

    Now an extended power outage, THAT will get people out of their house and actually talking to each other (esp. once all of their battery-powered phones & computers go dead)!

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  58. 58
    Peter Witting says:

    RE: redmondjp @ 57 – There’s always living in the country to foster a sense of community! Frequent power outages and seasonal floods, plus the occasional tree over the road, provide excellent opportunities to get to know each other. As mentioned last week or so, living in the country generally means getting to know your neighbors, much more so than in the ‘burbs…..

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  59. 59
    MichaelB says:

    RE: The Tim @ 14

    The median income to median home price ratio is driven by the fact that people may be able to borrow money to buy a home, but you can’t borrow money from the bank to pay rent. Therefore (all incomes) that make up the median income determine home prices in the long run and prices will eventually revert to the mean. If home prices are more than 15 X annual rent, then it is a poor investment without capital appreciation.

    Your assumption that Seattle should not include lower incomes when calculating the median income is very weak and “Bubble Thinking”, or possibly “Redfin thinking”

    Basically you are saying “Seattle is different” and you will be proved wrong. BTW 10-20 years of data is insufficient.

    Interestingly, Redfin uses the fact that you bought a house as proof that we’ve hit bottom. This too will be proved wrong. What nonsense!

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  60. 60

    By MichaelB @ 59:

    Your assumption that Seattle should not include lower incomes when calculating the median income is very weak and “Bubble Thinking”, or possibly “Redfin thinking”

    I’m not sure what statement of Tim’s you’re referring to, but I’ve argued for years that the median income is irrelevant because not everyone is in the market for a house, or can buy a house. For example, there are about 30,000 students at the UW. That probably affects the median in Seattle, but only maybe 1,000 of them would be in the market for a house. Why include them?

    Interestingly, it was apparently NAR that first came up with the median income nonsense, as part of an affordable housing argument. Some bubble types have run with it.

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  61. 61
    Scotsman says:

    RE: Dave0 @ 55RE: Brandon Adams @ 56

    Thanks, guys- I never would have guessed that at first glance although upon reflection I guess it sorta makes sense.

    I’ve lived in Bellevue since 1967 when it was much smaller and nothing but white. When I first moved to Issaquah 14 years ago I told friends it was like living in Bellevue in the 1970s. Not so much now. There’s plenty of diversity in color, economics, politics, and ethnicity on the eastside but old ideas die hard.

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  62. 62
    Scotsman says:

    Mark Hanson (google his rep) talks supply and demand verses long range cure:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=59G9PotKftc&feature=player_embedded#!

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  63. 63
    The Tim says:

    RE: MichaelB @ 59 – Okay, simple question. When will the median home price in Manhattan revert to 15x annual rent? What about San Francisco?

    Answer: never.

    It’s idiotic to suggest that there is some sort of universal rule of what the home price to income or home price to rent ratio will be everywhere, for all time. It’s only useful to look at each area and compare it to its own history, which is what I do here on a regular basis.

    If you truly believe differently, please provide us proof of the dozens of rental homes you no doubt own in Detroit, where home prices are currently at a mere 3.7x multiple.

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  64. 64
    Howard says:

    By Mike @ 29:

    Muir Elementry – Kirkland/Woodinville
    http://reportcard.ospi.k12.wa.us/summary.aspx?groupLevel=District&schoolId=1524&reportLevel=School&orgLinkId=1524&yrs=&year=2010-11
    Grade Level Reading Math
    3rd Grade 68.9% 50.8%
    4th Grade 72.3% 53.8%
    5th Grade 86.4% 79.5%
    6th Grade 71.7% 47.5%

    My wife is a teacher at Muir, one of things that attracted her to school was diversity. In her class, I would guess that over 50% of students have a primary language at home that is not English.

    There are also a large population of students whose culture has no written language, nor did they have an education system. The kids are first or second generation born in the USA.

    While the numbers indicate a poor performing school, there are many factors that determine a good school.

    That being said, housing is cheaper in the Muir neighborhood probably due to low test scores..

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  65. 65
    MichaelB says:

    RE: The Tim @ 63

    You use extreme examples to make your case. Yes, there are always exceptions. You seem to be saying that Seattle is exceptional, like Manhattan and SF (and Detroit). That is “Bubble Talk”.

    Your assumption that the mean household income should only be based on those earning enough income to purchase a home is idiotic and you will soon be proven wrong. It just shows that you called the bubble for all the wrong reasons – especially missing the role of private debt in creating the bubble.

    Real estate investors earn returns on their investments either through capital appreciation or rental income. If those expected returns are low compared to alternative investments, housing prices will adjust downward until the returns are acceptable, given the risk. As inflation adjusted wages continue to decrease, as they have for the last 30 years, home prices will continue to drop in value. Debt will never be as plentiful again in the new normal and the impact is going to be very big.

    Seattle is not Manhattan.

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  66. 66

    By MichaelB @ 65:

    Your assumption that the mean household income should only be based on those earning enough income to purchase a home is idiotic and you will soon be proven wrong. .

    Your failure to understand something simple doesn’t make that thing idiotic.

    Out of curiosity, do you think the median income in Seattle is relevant to the local Rolls Royce dealer? Do you think it’s relevant to someone selling waterfront on Lake Washington?

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  67. 67
    MichaelB says:

    RE: Kary L. Krismer @ 66

    Kary, that is idiotic. It’s not what we are talking about. Why don’t you put together real argument to prove I am wrong.

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  68. 68
    The Tim says:

    By MichaelB @ 65:

    Seattle is not Manhattan.

    Another colossal reading comprehension failure! You’re on a hot streak.

    I explicitly said that it’s stupid to compare one city to another and that “It’s only useful to look at each area and compare it to its own history.” Let’s see your data to show that Seattle’s home price equilibrium is 15x annual rents. Oh, that’s right. You can’t be bothered to bring actual data to the table, just unfounded assertions and lame attempts at ad hominem attacks.

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  69. 69
    MichaelB says:

    RE: Scotsman @ 62

    Good interview. All this government / fed stimulus trying to reinflate the bubble won’t be enough to stop the deflation. Just look at how much money has been thrown at the problem and how small the impact has been! Sad. Where is the money being spent on job creation??? That’s what drives home purchases. All for Wall Street and nothing for Main Street!

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  70. 70
    MichaelB says:

    RE: The Tim @ 68

    More nonsense for the “Seattle is Different” crowd. Face it, now that you own a home and work for Redfin – you want a bubble. Unfortunately, you will soon be proved wrong no matter how many stats you put together.

    “The second derivative blah blah blah shows that home prices have bottomed” – OK professor!

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  71. 71
    The Tim says:

    By MichaelB @ 70:

    More nonsense for the “Seattle is Different” crowd. Face it, now that you own a home and work for Redfin – you want a bubble. Unfortunately, you will soon be proved wrong no matter how many stats you put together.

    I see. So data is “nonsense” to you? Got it.

    As I’ve said over and over and over, lower home prices are a good thing. Another bubble is the last thing I want. I couldn’t care less how much my home is worth, since I have zero intention of selling it, pretty much ever.

    Keep on trollin’.

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  72. 72

    By MichaelB @ 67:

    RE: Kary L. Krismer @ 66

    Kary, that is idiotic. It’s not what we are talking about. Why don’t you put together real argument to prove I am wrong.

    Again, just because you don’t understand something, that doesn’t mean that thing is idiotic.

    Earlier Tim noted the differences in owner-occupied houses in the different cities. You think there can be those differences, but the pricing will all be similar? That is idiotic!

    I would also note that different cities have other differences. For example, Seattle has a lot of water boundaries. But you think that Seattle should be the same as Phoenix eventually. That is idiotic!

    Texas has high real property rates compared to Washington state, but you think that Seattle should be the same as Dallas eventually. That is idiotic!

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  73. 73

    […] with plenty of room exist, but families are getting smaller. There’s some great data in this Seattle Bubble article, (including a chart with data on the top 100 cities) and some telling information about Seattle. […]

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