They like us, they really like us. At least WalletHub. Seattle was recently ranked the best big city to live by by the financial website, compared to 62 of the country’s largest cities, squeezing only Virginia Beach and Austin.
What did we do to deserve this? The report used 56 “indicators of attractiveness” across five main dimensions to measure our attractiveness, including economy, quality of life, safety, affordability, and education and health. Seattle ranked first in business, first in health and education, and sixth in quality of life.
But while Seattle ranks so high in terms of these factors, there is one aspect that Seattle places at the bottom – affordability. The Emerald City ranks 50th when it comes to affordability, though that wasn’t enough to weigh up its overall ranking.
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The WalletHub study seems to imply that Seattle is a great place to live if you can afford to live here. However, KIRO Radio’s John Curley isn’t exactly a fan of the fast-growing and gentrified alternative.
“Whenever people start yelling about gentrification, the choice is, ‘Hey, do you want to be Detroit? Do you want to develop like Cleveland? “Curley asked.” If you don’t want gentrification, we can have it. “
The tradeoffs for gentrification in Seattle
With the exception of Virginia Beach and Colorado Springs, all cities in the top 10, including San Francisco at # 4 and Portland at # 7, didn’t have cheap affordability ratings. While not surprising, the trade-off between higher rents seems to result in a prosperous local economy, higher education and hospital rankings, and a better quality of life in any case. Cleveland and Detroit are 60th and 62nd respectively on the list.
“I love the idea of having vitality,” said Curley. “I love that the idea of the city growing and people coming in and changing it for the better and sometimes for the worse.”
What was the most competitive factor in getting the best city ranking? That would be “Most coffee shops per capita”. Apparently, Seattle was in a six-way relationship with New York, Los Angeles, Chicago, San Diego, and San Francisco. Ours are probably better.
While Seattle is a great place to live, a previous WalletHub study (they love doing these studies) found we were a terrible place to drive. The city ranks 60th for hours spent in traffic jams per commuter. But at least we don’t do that in a worse city.