Seattle Population

Seattle Population

Seattle is the largest city in Washington State, but barely makes the top 25 cities in population in the United States. With just over 600,000 residents in the city itself, it is not the largest of places, though when extended to the greater metropolitan area, the population swells to over 4 million. The small city population is in part due to the small geographic area of the city, limited by the water to the east and west. Seattle is just 84 square miles in total.

The median income of Seattle is about $40,000 a year, making it a fairly well to do city. In a statistic that could be related, Seattle is also a well-educated city, with 92% of the population having finished High School, and over half having received at least a bachelor’s degree.

Seattle is an overwhelmingly white city, with little diversity; however, it does have the single most diverse zip code in the country. With about 70% of the population defining themselves as white, there are not high numbers of any other races. The next largest population group is Asian, with about 15% of the population. The current trend is that the Asian population is growing, while the white population is shrinking. Black or African Americans make up about 8%, followed by Hispanic/Latinos with about 6% of the population. The remaining percent of the population is the area’s few remaining Native Americans, the original inhabitants of the area.

Seattle has always been a city people flock to for jobs, and through the years this has meant the arrival of Americans and immigrants alike. Starting in the 1880s with the first wave of Chinese immigrants into the United States, Seattle’s port location has been inviting to the newest of Americans. The next major influx to Seattle was made up largely of Japanese immigrants. For Asian and south Pacific immigrants, the west coast was a logical choice, so one of Seattle’s largest immigrant groups is actually Filipinos. In recent years Vietnamese have been making up a huge portion of the immigrant population as well. Aside from Asian and Pacific Islanders, Seattle is home to a large population of East African immigrants, namely from Ethiopia and its neighbor, Eritrea. There is also a small but growing population of Somalians in the area.

The lack of diversity, comparatively, of Seattle, is one of the reasons that it is home to the most diverse zip code in America. Instead of having small ethnic enclaves, Seattle has a few neighborhoods, including the Rainier Valley, where all immigrants tend to settle.

Despite the current lack of ethnic enclaves, Seattle does have a history of them, in various neighborhoods, and that legacy can still be seen today. Scandinavians settled Ballard, originally its own city, while parts of the Rainier Valley were once called ‘Garlic Gulch’ due to the Italian population there. A segment of what is called the International District was once known as Japantown, before the internment of Japanese during World War II. Other segments were called Chinatown, while the east end is now known as Little Saigon.

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