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May 20, 2013 at 5:05 AM
Seattle, the newlyweds’ city? Forget it
The apartment-hunter web page Rent.com sent me an email saying it “has compiled a list of the 10 best cities for newlyweds—and Seattle made the cut!”
I thought, “You’ve gotta be kidding. In super-singles Seattle? In high-rent Seattle?”
I read on: “This list is based on the number of married couples, families with children under six (since many newlyweds are putting down roots for a future family), mean annual income, cost of living, and rental availability in each city.”
Regarding Seattle, it said:
“Seattle, WA – With an above average mean income, the highest percentage of any city on our list with children under six years old, and also having recently legalized same-sex marriage, Seattle is definitely a place for ALL newlyweds to check out.”
Gay marriage, yes. Higher than average incomes, yes, though not close to the highest on the list. The high-roller places were Washington, D.C., and San Jose.
But the line that caught my eye was the one about “the highest percentage of any city on our list with children under six years old.” I thought, “no way.”
I took the question to King County government’s demographer, Chandler Felt. He noted that in the small print, the claim was for the Seattle metro area, which includes all of King, Pierce and Snohomish counties. He also noted that the census information is for children under five, not six.
“I looked at 2010 Census results for these 10 metro areas [Seattle, San Jose, San Diego, Minneapolis, Tulsa, Dallas, Houston, Charlotte, Raleigh and Washington, D.C.] The Seattle-Tacoma metro area has the lowest percentage of kids under 5 on the entire list.”
Well. And how about the claim that we have a high percentage of married people? Nope. “On that list, we’re tied with Charlotte for the lowest percentage of married-couple households, and we have the highest percentage single people living alone,” Felt said.
As for low rents: Try Tulsa.