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FYI Guy

Seattle Times news librarian Gene Balk crunches the numbers

Category: Government Data
January 17, 2014 at 11:15 AM

Income inequality: How bad is Seattle?

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At her inauguration to the Seattle City Council, Kshama Sawant spoke of a divided Seattle — a city of “glittering fortunes” for corporations and the wealthy, but also a city in which the lives of the working poor and unemployed grow increasingly difficult.

volta

Volta, new luxury apartments in Belltown, stands in the shadow of the low-income housing project, Bell Tower. (Photo: Gene Balk/Seattle Times)

Sawant’s speech echoed the “tale of two cities” campaign theme of another newly-elected progressive politician — New York City mayor Bill de Blasio.

While the magnitude of income inequality in New York — and especially Manhattan — is notoriously bad, you don’t hear nearly as much about it in Seattle.  So how do we compare?

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0 Comments | More in Government Data | Topics: Census, income

December 12, 2013 at 10:00 AM

Who voted for socialist Sawant: Income map has some surprises

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Click to enlarge

Did the Seattle City Council race between incumbent Richard Conlin and challenger Kshama Sawant reveal a deep fissure between rich and poor in Seattle?

Looking at a map of the election results, it certainly seems to tell a “Tale of Two Cities,” as The Stranger called it.   Conlin, considered the establishment candidate, handily won nearly all the well-heeled waterfront neighborhoods, while the socialist Sawant ran strong in Seattle’s less-wealthy interior.

But just how close was this correlation between election results and the wealth gap?

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0 Comments | More in Demographics, Government Data | Topics: elections, income, Politics

December 5, 2013 at 11:39 AM

Same-sex couples now account for 1 in 6 Washington weddings

Jane Abbott Lighty, left, and her partner of 35 years, Pete-e Petersen of West Seattle, hold the very first same-sex marriage license issued in King County on December 6, 2012.  (Photo: BETTINA HANSEN/THE SEATTLE TIMES)

Jane Abbott Lighty, left, and her partner of 35 years, Pete-e Petersen of West Seattle, hold the very first same-sex marriage license issued in King County on December 6, 2012. (Photo: BETTINA HANSEN/THE SEATTLE TIMES)

Today is the one-year anniversary of Washington’s same-sex marriage law.  To mark the occasion, the state Department of Health has released marriage statistics gathered from the date the law took effect — Dec. 6, 2012 — through the end of September, date of most recent available numbers.

In that time, 7,071 gay couples tied the knot. That’s 17 percent of the total 42,408 new marriages, or one out of six.

Of the same-sex marriages, 62 percent were between two women.  No  surprise, King County had the most same-sex weddings — 3,452 — followed, in order, by Clark, Pierce, Snohomish and Thurston counties.

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0 Comments | More in Government Data | Topics: gay rights, marriage

November 15, 2013 at 12:50 PM

Seattle has lowest rate of unwed motherhood among U.S. big cities

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Click to enlarge

If you had to pick one U.S. state that has the least in common with Seattle, Utah would be as good a choice as any.

Utah is as conservative as Seattle is liberal. While Utah voters are considered the most Republican in the nation, here in Seattle it appears we just elected a socialist to our City Council.

And Utah is famously religious — second only to Mississippi for the percentage of pious residents, according to a Gallup poll.  Seattle, in contrast, ranks in the top-three most secular U.S. places in a recent survey of religious affiliation.

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0 Comments | More in Government Data | Topics: Census Bureau, marriage

September 18, 2013 at 6:00 AM

Why Washingtonians don’t win Powerball

fyiguypowerball

powerballBought a Powerball ticket yet?

With the jackpot now up to a staggering $400 million, folks around the nation are lining up at convenience stores for their chance to guess the winning numbers.

But maybe you’re less excited about it. The odds of winning are astronomically low. And come to think of it, doesn’t it seem like we never have any Powerball jackpot winners from around here?

It seems that way for a reason: It’s true.

Since Washington began participating in the Powerball lottery in January 2010, there have been 57 jackpot winners in 26 states. Florida alone has had six winners. Iowa, half the population of Washington, has had three. And even little Rhode Island can boast of two jackpot winners.

As for Washington — not one winner so far.

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0 Comments | More in Government Data | Topics: gambling, lottery

September 6, 2013 at 9:24 AM

More Portland expats moving to Seattle

Pioneer Square, Portland (Photo: Ellen M. Banner/The Seattle Times)

Pioneer Courthouse Square, Portland (Photo: Ellen M. Banner/The Seattle Times)

Think the Seattle-Portland rivalry is limited to Major League Soccer?

Think again.

From food trucks to record stores to hipsters, we’re competitive about almost anything. And who can resist an occasional Portland vs. Seattle smackdown?

But forget the petty squabbling. Ultimately, it all boils down to one simple question: where would you rather live — Seattle or Portland? And on that front, Seattle has been on a winning streak.

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0 Comments | More in Demographics, Government Data | Topics: Portland

April 8, 2013 at 3:00 PM

Study: Seattle’s gender pay gap worst in the U.S.

Telephone operators in Seattle, 1952 (Photo:Seattle Municipal Archives)

Telephone operators in Seattle, 1952 (Photo:Seattle Municipal Archives)

There are some rankings in which you don’t want to be No. 1.

According to a new study, the Seattle area has the largest wage gap between women and men among 50 major metropolitan areas in the U.S.  The analysis, conducted by workplace-rights group National Partnership for Women & Families, found that full-time employed women in the Seattle area make just 73 cents for every dollar earned by men.  That amounts to a yearly salary discrepancy of $16,346.

Following Seattle as the metro areas with the largest wage gaps are Pittsburgh, Buffalo and Detroit, respectively.  A gender wage gap exists in every metro area studied, but the smallest gap measured is in the Los Angeles area, where women’s salaries are 92 percent of men’s.

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0 Comments | More in Government Data | Topics: income, women, work

March 27, 2013 at 6:30 AM

How safe is Seattle for pedestrians?

Photo: Michal Osmenda/Wikimedia

Photo: Michal Osmenda/Wikimedia

We don’t tend to think of walking around our neighborhood as a dangerous activity, but that presumption may have been thrown into question after the fatal crash on Monday in Northeast Seattle.  And the fact is, pedestrian injuries and fatalities are all too common.  According to the National Highway Transportation Safety Administration (NHTSA), more than 46,000 pedestrians were killed in the United States between 2001 and 2010.

But how dangerous is Seattle for pedestrians compared with other areas in the United States?

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0 Comments | More in Government Data | Topics: transportation, walking

March 15, 2013 at 8:00 AM

CDC: Seattleites biggest binge drinkers in the Northwest

bingedrinking2How will you celebrate St. Patrick’s Day weekend?  There’s plenty to do — you could catch the parade downtown, and perhaps take in the festivities at the Seattle Center.  Or are you among the thousands planning to lift a pint in honor of Ireland’s patron saint — and then keep lifting them all weekend?

Let’s face it: for a lot of folks, St. Patrick’s Day is less about celebrating Irish culture and heritage and more about celebrating Irish beer and whiskey.  And Seattleites can hold their own when it comes to this type of celebrating.  In fact, according to data from the Centers for Disease Control, 16.9 percent of adults in the Seattle metro area say they have binged* on alcohol in the past 30 days.  That pencils out to about 338,000 people from King and Snohomish counties who’ve gone on a bender in the past month.

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0 Comments | More in Government Data | Topics: alcohol

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