About Seattle

 

Population & Households Quick Statistics

2016 population estimate for Seattle: 686,800

2010 Census estimates for Seattle:

  • 2010 population count: 608,660
  • Population in households: 583,735
  • Number of households: 283,510
  • Average household size: 2.06
  • Average family size: 2.87
  • Population in group quarters: 24,925

Note: More up to date estimates for demographic characteristics are available from the U.S. Census Bureau’s American Community Survey (ACS).

Highlights

  • Seattle population 1990 - 2010: 516,259 in 1990, 563,374 in 2000, and 608,660 in 20102010 population count: The 2010 Census counted Seattle’s population at 608,660. Seattle has the largest population of cities in King County and the broader Seattle-Tacoma-Bellevue Metro Area. As of 2010, Seattle is the 23rd most populous city in the U.S.
  • Population growth by decade: From 2000 to 2010, Seattle’s population grew by 8 percent: slightly slower than in the 1990s, but a healthy rate of growth for a major U.S. city.
  • The largest population group in Seattle is 25 to 34 years old.Household size: In 2010, the average number of people per household in Seattle was 2.06. Average household size has been declining nationally for many decades. The increase in one-person households is a key reason average household size has continued to go down in Seattle.
  • Age: In 2010, nearly three-quarters of Seattle residents were adults between 18 and 64 years of age, with an especially high concentration of young adults (age 25 to 34). The highest rates of population growth between 2000 and 2010 were for children under 5 and adults age 55 to 64.
  • Annual population growth since 2010: Seattle’s population has continued to grow. The state Office of Financial Management (OFM) estimates that Seattle’s population was 616,500 as of 2012.
  • Forecast: As of 2010, about 31% of King County’s 1.9 million residents lived in Seattle. OFM forecasts that the county’s population will grow from about 1.9 million persons in 2010 to about 2.4 million persons in 2040

Featured Products

Census 2010 Citywide Reports

Key Data Sources

U.S. Census Bureau Data
Two Census Bureau programs provide the most commonly used sources of demographic data at a community and neighborhood level:

  • The decennial census is done every 10 years to count the population and gather basic information about population demographics, households, and housing units. (Topics include age, sex, race, Hispanic ethnicity, household composition, owner / renter status, and group quarters populations.)
  • The American Community Survey is a continuous survey that produces estimates on a broad set of population, social, economic, and housing characteristics. The American Community Survey has replaced the long form that used to be part of the decennial Census.

The Washington State Office of Financial Management
The Office of Financial Management's (OFM’s) Forecasting Division produces official population estimates for cities and towns and produces population projections to assist with growth management. OFM is also the Census Bureau’s official partner for disseminating demographic data in Washington state.

The Puget Sound Regional Council
PSRC provides estimates and forecasts at a range of geographic scales as part of the work to support planning in the central Puget Sound region.

Where to Go From Here

  • Dig deeper into the data we’ve compiled from the decennial Census and ACS, and get important tips on how to use the data and avoid common pitfalls
  • See our geographic files and maps to check out how characteristics vary by neighborhood, get reference maps, and download associated information
  • Click on our Neighborhoods tab above for similar information by different neighborhoods
  • Find links to related information and resources including the Census Bureau’s American Factfinder data portal, population estimates and forecasts OFM and the Puget Sound Regional Council, growth targets in Seattle’s Comprehensive Plan, and demographic data from Seattle Public Schools and the Public Health department serving Seattle and King County

 

Housing Quick Statistics

2016 Washington State Office of Financial Management Estimates:

  • Total housing units: 340,479
  • Occupied housing units: 327,188
  • Household population: 658,552
  • Group quarters population: 28,286

2010 Census Estimates:

  • Total housing units: 308,516
  • Occupied housing units: 283,510
  • Owner-occupied housing units: 136,362 (48.1 percent)
  • Renter-occupied housing units: 147,148 (51.9 percent)
  • Average household size: 2.06 persons
  • Ave. household size in owner-occupied units: 2.31 persons
  • Ave. household size in renter-occupied units: 1.83 persons

Note: More up to date estimates on housing characteristics are available from the U.S. Census Bureau’s American Community Survey (ACS).

Seattle's Comprehensive Plan Growth Strategy:

  • Seattle is anticipating at least 70,000 housing units citywide during the current 20-year planning period from 2015 to 2035.

Highlights

  • Seattle Housing Units 1990 - 2010: 249,032 in 1990, 270,524 in 2000, and 308,516 in 2010

    Housing unit counts from the U.S. decennial census: As of 2010, there were 308,516 housing units in Seattle: this is nearly 38,000 (or 14 percent) more housing units than were in Seattle in 2000. The 14 percent increase in housing units between 2000 and 2010 substantially outpaced population growth and household formation within the same decade. The increase was markedly higher than the 9 percent housing growth seen in the 1990s. As King County’s largest and densest city, Seattle typically adds housing at a slower pace than the county as a whole. However, Seattle has been adding housing at an accelerating pace each decade since 1960. The biggest jump was between 2000 and 2010 when Seattle’s housing stock increased at nearly the same rate as the total housing stock in the county.
  • Seattle had 283,510 occupied housing units in 2010 and 25,006 vacant housing units.

    Occupied housing units: The 2010 Census found that 283,510 (or 91.9 percent) of the total housing units in Seattle were occupied. The average household size was 2.06 persons.
  • Tenure (owner- and renter-occupancy): In 2010, a bit more than half of Seattle’s occupied housing units (51.9 percent) were rentals. The rest (48.1 percent) were inhabited by their owners. Household sizes tend to be larger in owner-occupied housing than in renter-occupied housing. In 2010 there were 2.31 persons per household in Seattle’s owner-occupied units compared to 1.83 persons per household in renter-occupied units. Due to larger household sizes, owner-occupied units still house more than half of Seattle’s overall household population.
  • 48.1 percent of Seattle's housing units were occupied by their owners, the other 51.9 percent were occupied by renters.

    Trends in homeownership rates: The number of householders who own their homes decreased between 2000 and 2010. Homeownership ramped up in the early to mid part of the decade, but sharp reductions in the wake of the Great Recession more than erased those gains. For the nation as a whole, the decline in the homeownership rate between 2000 and 2010 was a departure from a general trend of rising homeownership since 1940. At a local level, however, the recent decline in homeownership put Seattle back on the path it has been following since 1960 of a small decline each decade in the homeownership rate.
  • Growth targets in Seattle’s Comprehensive Plan: As articulated in the Seattle 2035 Comprehensive Plan, Seattle is anticipating and planning for at least 70,000 housing units citywide over the 20-year planning period from 2015 to 2035. These estimates are based on the city’s share of growth projected for King County. Seattle’s urban village strategy guides most of the city’s housing and employment growth to urban centers and urban villages.

Featured Products

Census 2010 Reports for Seattle

New Housing Units in Seattle

The Residential Permit Reports mapping app and data portal provides access to handy reports based on our building permit data. The reports available include:

  • Citywide Residential Permit Report that shows residential building construction permits for new or demolished units. Completed permits are reported by year the permit was finaled, as well as the permits that are currently issued and under review. We update this report quarterly.
  • The Comprehensive Plan Urban Center / Village Residential Growth Report includes our progress toward targets for Seattle and for individual urban centers and villages for the current planning period based on residential building construction permits for new or demolished units.

Key Data Sources

U.S. Census Bureau Data

Two major Census Bureau programs that provide data on housing at a community and neighborhood level are:

  • The decennial census is done every 10 years to provide counts and basic information about population, households, and housing units. Housing characteristics covered in the census include occupancy and vacancy rates and tenure (owner or renter) for occupied units.
  • The American Community Survey is a continuous survey that produces estimates on a broad set of population, social, economic, and housing characteristics. Housing topics on the American Community Survey (ACS) extend beyond those on the decennial census and include type of structure (single-family or multifamily), home value, monthly housing costs, and more.

    The ACS has replaced the long form that used to be part of the decennial Census. Because the ACS is a sample survey, ACS estimates carry margins of error.

The Washington state Office of Financial Management
The Office of Financial Management's Forecasting Division compiles housing data as part of its financial and growth management functions.

The Puget Sound Regional Council
Puget Sound Regional Council provides population and housing estimates and forecasts at a range of geographic scales as part of the work to support planning in the region.

Where to Go From Here

Prosperity Quick Statistics

About People Living in Seattle

  • Share of population (25 years and older) with a bachelor’s degree or higher: 56%
  • Most common occupation: 54% work in management, business, science, and arts
  • Household median income: $67,100
  • Family median income: $91,279
  • Per capita income: $39,886
  • Poverty rate: 15%

About Jobs in Seattle

2012 Puget Sound Regional Council

  • Number of jobs in Seattle covered by state unemployment insurance: 483,318

Employment Growth

  • Target for net new jobs between 2005 and 2024: 84,000
  • Net new jobs added between 2005 and 2011: 9,467 (about 11% of the 20-year target)

Highlights

  • Educational attainment: Seattleites as a group are highly educatedEducational attainment: Seattleites as a group are highly educated. In 2011, 56 percent of Seattle residents 25 years and older had a bachelor's degree or higher and 23 percent had a graduate or professional degree. In the broader Seattle metro area, 37 percent of people in this age group had at least a bachelor’s degree.
  • Labor force and occupations: Seattle has a high concentration of people in prime working-age groups and a high labor force participation rate. A large share of Seattle’s residents work in management, business, science, and arts occupations. In 2011, 54 percent of Seattle’s civilian employed population 16 and older worked in this broad category of occupations. This compares to 42 percent in the broader metro area and 36 percent in the nation as a whole.
  • The median family income in Seattle is higher than in the metro area and in the United States.Median incomes: The 2011 American Community Survey (ACS) estimated the Seattle median household income to be about $61,000. This was well above the national median household income. However, this was somewhat lower than the median household income for the Seattle metro area, reflecting the high concentrations of one-person households, students, and young adults who live in Seattle. The ACS estimated the Seattle median family income to be roughly $91,000, which is markedly higher than median family income in the broader Seattle metro area.
  • Poverty: The 2011 ACS estimated that 15 percent of Seattle residents had incomes below the poverty threshold. This compares to 12 percent in the broader metro area, and 16 percent in the United States. Poverty rates captured in the 2011 ACS are significantly higher than those captured in the 2007 ACS which was done before the Great Recession. (The poverty threshold in 2011 for a family of three with one child under 18 was roughly $18,000.)
  • Covered Jobs in Seattle: As of March of 2011, the Puget Sound Regional Council estimated that there were 473,921 covered jobs in Seattle. Covered jobs are those covered by the Washington state Unemployment Insurance Act. (Covered jobs are typically about 85 to 90 percent of the total employment in an area). A rough estimate of total jobs in Seattle comes to 542,000 when we factor up for non-covered jobs.
  • Growth Targets in Seattle’s Comprehensive Plan: In the Puget Sound Region, jurisdictions adopt growth targets for jobs as well as housing. The Seattle Comprehensive Plan growth target is to accommodate 84,000 net new jobs in the city from 2005 until 2024.

    Roughly 9,500 net covered jobs were added in Seattle from 2005 to 2011. These six years spanned a turbulent time in the city’s and the nation’s economy.
  • New Growth Targets: Seattle's new growth targets, due by 2015, will need to align with targets assigned to Seattle in the King County Countywide Planning Policies: 146,700 net new jobs over a 25-year period.

Featured Products

Census Reports for Seattle

Jobs and Employment Report

Key Data Sources

U.S. Census Bureau Data
Census Bureau programs that provide data on housing at a community and neighborhood level include:

The Census Bureau operates two major programs that provide data on people and households based on place of residence down to the city level and neighborhood levels:

  • The decennial census is done every 10 years to count the population and gather basic information about population demographics, households, and housing units. Census topics include age, sex, race, Hispanic ethnicity, household composition, owner / renter status, and group quarters populations.
  • The American Community Survey is a continuous survey that produces estimates on a broad set of population, social, economic, and housing characteristics. Examples of survey topics include education, labor force participation, incomes, earnings, commutes to work, and the occupations and industries in which residents are employed. The survey also asks about housing values and rents. The American Community Survey has replaced the long form that used to be part of the decennial census.

Puget Sound Regional Council
Puget Sound Regional Council provides estimates of covered employment and produces forecasts at a wide range of geographic scales as part of their work to support planning in the region.

Where to Go From Here

 

Race & Ethnicity Quick Statistics

2010 Census Estimates

  • 2010 Population Count: 608,660
  • Race:
    White - 69.5%
    Black or African American - 7.9%
    Amer. Indian & Alaska Native - 0.8%
    Asian - 13.8%
    Native Hawaiian & Other Pac. Islander - 0.4%
    Other race - 2.4%
    Two or more races - 5.1%
  • Hispanic or Latino ethnicity (of any race): 6.6%
  • Persons of color: 33.7%

2006-2010 American Community Survey

  • Foreign born: 17.3%
  • Population (age 5+) speaking language other than English at home: 21.3%

Highlights

  • Largest racial groups in Seattle: The 2010 Census indicates that the largest racial group in Seattle is White (69% of the city’s population). The next largest group is Asian (14%), followed by Black or African American (8%).Largest racial groups in Seattle: The 2010 Census indicates that the largest racial group in Seattle is White (69% of the city’s population). The next largest group is Asian (14%), followed by Black or African American (8%).
  • Race and Hispanic/Latino ethnicity: The Census Bureau looks at race and ethnicity as two different concepts and asks about these characteristics in separate questions.

    The 2010 Census found that 7% of Seattle’s residents are of Hispanic or Latino ethnicity.
  • The percentage pf persons of color in 2000 was 32% in Seattle, 27% in King County, and 31% in the U.S., and in 2010 was 34% in Seattle, 35% in King County, and 36% in the U.S.Multiracial population: Five percent of Seattle residents indicated two or more races on their Census form in 2010. (This was only the second decennial Census that gave people a chance to identify as two or more races.)
  • Fastest growing groups: The racial and ethnic groups that grew most quickly in Seattle over the last decade were Asians, multiracial persons, and persons of Hispanic or Latino ethnicity.
  • Overall, persons of color make up more than a third of Seattle’s population: As the 2010 Census showed, more than 34% of Seattle residents are persons of color. (“Persons of color” include people of any race other than White alone, and also include Hispanic/Latino persons of any race.)
  • Seattle, King County and U.S. trends: The share of the population who are people of color has continued to increase in Seattle, although less quickly than in King County and the U.S. as a whole.
  • Socioeconomic disparities: Recent estimates from sources including the American Community Survey show continued, deep disparities in the social and economic well-being of Seattle residents.

    Disparities by race and ethnicity show up in every major indicator of well-being measured in the ACS: education, income, unemployment rates, homeownership, housing costs burdens, vehicle availability, and others.

    In general, the largest disparities in Seattle, as well as in the nation as a whole, are for the Black and Hispanic / Latino populations compared with White, non-Hispanic population. Asians and multi-race persons are also doing more poorly than non-Hispanic Whites on many of these indicators.

    Seattle’s Race and Social Justice Initiative (RSJI) is working to reduce these kinds of socioeconomic disparities.

Featured Products

Census 2010 Citywide Reports:

Maps on Race and Ethnicity
This series of maps show 2010 Census estimates for Census tracts in Seattle. They indicate the share of population who are:

Maps on Language Spoken at Home
This series of maps show 2006-2010 American Community Survey estimates for Census tracts in Seattle. These maps show the share of population (age 5 and older) who speak following language at home:

The maps also show the overall share of the population that speak languages other than English, and a subset that speaks English less than very well.

Note: American Community Survey estimates can have very large margins of error. The language maps should be used cautiously. Language concentrations on these maps are best viewed as general locations of language communities. English-speaking ability is not reflected in the maps for individual languages.

Key Data Sources

U.S. Census Bureau Data
Two Census Bureau programs provide the most commonly used sources of demographic data at a community and neighborhood level.

  • The decennial census is done every 10 years to count the population and gather basic information about population demographics, households, and housing units. It includes estimates of the number of people by race and Hispanic ethnicity, and provides data showing how basic population and household characteristics (including age, sex, household composition, and owner / renter status) vary by race and ethnicity.
  • The American Community Survey is a continuous survey that produces estimates on a broad set of population, social, economic, and housing characteristics. The American Community Survey (ACS) covers language spoken at home, education, employment, income, vehicle availability, monthly housing costs, and more. The ACS provides estimates for the population as a whole, individual race and ethnic groups, and the foreign born. The ACS has replaced the long form that used to be part of the decennial census.

Where to Go From Here

Explore other online resources with related data:

Land Use Quick Statistics

How Seattle's Land Is Used

  • Seattle's area: 53,113 acres (83 square miles)
  • People per acre in 2012: 11.6
  • Acres of rights-of-way: 14,170
  • Acres of parks and open space owned by the City of Seattle: 5,003
  • Acres of open space per 1,000 residents in 2012: 8.9
  • Percent of the population that lives with ¼ mile of a city-owned open space: 85%
  • Percent of the city in single-family zoning (excluding parks and rights-of-way): 54%

What Is Being Built in Seattle

  • Net new housing units added since 2004: 29,330
  • Net new housing units that have issued permits: 13,976
  • Square feet of non-residential space built between 1995 and 2005: Over 25 million

How Seattle's Transit Measures Up

  • Nearly all of Seattle’s population, 97.5%, lives within ¼ mile of a transit stop with some level of service
  • Ranks 7th of the 25 largest U.S. cities in transit service with a Transit Score of 59 (Walk Score)
  • Ranks 6th of the 50 largest U.S. cities for walkability with a Walk Score of 74 (Walk Score)

Highlights

  • Existing land use in Seattle: 49% for Single-family, 14% for parks/open space/cembetaries, 11% for major institutions and public facilities/utilities, 8% for multifamily, 6% for commercial/mixed-use, 5% for industrial, and 5% vacant.Residential construction permits: Seattle is experiencing high volumes of residential permits with historic highs of residential units in the permit pipeline for 2012. View the new residential unit graph.
  • Of the new residential units built between 2005 and 2012, 40%  were in Urban Centers, 19% were outside Urban Villages, 19% were in Residential Urban Villages, and 14% were in Hub Urban Villages Land use distribution: Seattle’s land area remains mostly single-family in nature, but most residential development capacity, 93.5 percent, is in the multifamily zoning types with 73 percent in designated growth areas. View the existing land use pie chart.
  • Seattle Comprehensive Plan growth estimates for 2024: From 2004-2012 Seattle added 29,330 net new housing units representing 62 percent of the City’s 20-year growth estimate of 47,000 housing units. Much of that residential growth, 73 percent, has been occurring in the multifamily urban centers and villages. View the residential capacity pie chart.

Featured Products

Key Data Sources

Seattle Department of Construction and Inspections

  • Permit Tracking System
  • Geographic Information System

King County

Walk Score

Where to Go From Here

Seattle's Neighborhoods

Seattle is a city of neighborhoods of diverse character and strong identities. City departments and non-City entities define neighborhoods differently based on many factors. Some districts and neighborhoods are informal with varying boundaries and names. Some neighborhoods may overlap and be referred to by different names by community members.

To clarify neighborhood boundaries for the purposes of data reporting and monitoring, we have selected four different neighborhood geographies.

Census Urban Centers and Villages Small Reference Map Census Community Reporting Areas Small Reference Map

Urban Centers and Villages

Urban Centers and Villages are areas designated in Seattle's Comprehensive Plan to accommodate future population and job growth and help guide city planning policies.

 

Community Reporting Areas

Community Reporting Areas (CRAs) were established as a standard, consistent, citywide geography for the purposes of reporting U.S. Census related information. There are 53 CRAs composed from one to six census tracts.

Seattle Council Districts Map PUMAs Small Reference Map

Council Districts

There are seven Seattle City Council seats elected in Council Districts 1-7 with another two positions elected "at-large". The other two positions will be elected "at-large" (city-wide) in positions 8 and 9.

 

PUMAs

A PUMA (public use microdata area) is a census area that comprises at least 100,000 people and is the smallest geography for which annual American Community Survey data is available. There are five PUMAs in Seattle.


Click on the bar below to begin exploring Seattle's interactive map.

Enter Seattle's Neighborhoods Portal   

Council Districts

Census 2010

American Community Survey 5-Year Series 2006-2010

Urban Centers and Villages

Basic Demographic Change

Census 2010

Census 2000

American Community Survey data for 2006-2010 is not available for Urban Centers and Villages.

Neighborhood Districts & Community Reporting Areas

Basic Demographic Change

Census 2010

Census 2000

American Community Survey 5-Year Series 2006-2010

A note on geography: For U.S. Census data, the City uses different combinations of census tracts, block groups, and blocks to best approximate the various neighborhoods and sub-areas of Seattle. If a neighborhood boundary splits a block group or tract, that block group or tract is included if 50% or more of its population lives within the neighborhood boundary.