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FYI Guy

Seattle Times news librarian Gene Balk crunches the numbers

September 10, 2014 at 11:05 AM

Yes, people do leave Seattle — and here’s where they go

Click to enlarge

Click to enlarge

We all know Seattle is a boom town.

As FYI Guy alerted you a few months back, Seattle has become the fastest-growing major U.S. city, based on our analysis of recent population data from the U.S. Census Bureau.

You may be surprised to learn there’s been ebb along with that flow.

Data released Tuesday by the moving company United Van Lines indicate that, in a reversal from last year, more people are leaving Seattle on its trucks than are moving in.

According to the company’s Summer Long-Distance Moving Trends Study, the Seattle area saw 57 percent more outbound moves than inbound moves in 2014.

And that made us wonder: Where do people go when they say goodbye to King County?

Once again, recent census data held the answer.

According to the data, about 54,000 people on average relocate from King County to another state each year.

While it’s practically become a local tradition to complain about the flood of Southern Californians who move to Seattle, we send plenty of folks their way, too, as it turns out. Six of the 10 biggest “takers” of King County expats are located in the Golden State.

Los Angeles County is our top landing place. Each year, around 2,900 people from King County relocate there.

That said, about 3,400 Angelenos move up here every year, so we still wind up with a surplus.

But that is not the case with the second- and third-most-popular destinations for King County émigrés. We run a people deficit with both Multnomah (Portland) and San Diego counties: Each takes in more people from King County than it sends back our way.

Counties rounding out the top five destinations are Maricopa (Phoenix) in Arizona and Santa Clara (San Jose) in California.

The census data reveal that King County movers tend to stick to the western side of the country. But can you guess our top East Coast destination?

Thinking New York, Boston or Washington, D.C.? Think less “Sex and the City” and more “Golden Girls.”

Each year, Florida’s Broward County — home to Fort Lauderdale — takes in more than 500 drizzle-averse folks from King County.

Explore the data for yourself using our interactive map. Zoom in and scroll over or click on any county to see the average number of people who move there from King County each year.

[do action=”custom_iframe” url=”http://www.arcgis.com/apps/SimpleViewer/index.html?appid=7cd783606ae044969f257a1a127288df” width=”630″ height=”500″ scrolling=””/]

Comments | More in Demographics, Market Research | Topics: Census Bureau, migration

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