One-Third Of Blue City’s Residents Consider Fleeing Amid Crime, Homelessness Crisis

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Mia Hernandez Contributor
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Many Seattle residents are considering leaving the state due to increased home prices and public safety concerns, according to a recent poll conducted by The Seattle Times and Suffolk University.

One-third of Seattle, Washington, residents have “seriously considered moving from the city,” the Times reported. Of the residents who said they are thinking about leaving, 37% cited housing costs and 34% cited public safety as reasons for the consideration.

Approximately 65% of residents that considered leaving said the city’s progress on addressing homelessness has worsened, according to the Times. Additionally, 60% rated the quality of education as poor.

Income levels and homeownership were other factors that respondents cited as reasons for considering moving, according to the Times. Renters were more likely to consider moving than homeowners, and those with incomes below $20,000 were more likely to attribute their reason to rising property prices, according to the poll. (RELATED: Self-Proclaimed ‘Socialist’ City Council Member Pushes For Rent Control In Seattle)

SEATTLE, WA – APRIL 06: People sleep outside on a sidewalk on April 6, 2020 in Seattle, Washington. (Photo by Karen Ducey/Getty Images)

Lower-income respondents also expressed the highest rates of homelessness, according to the Times.

Respondents in the highest household income bracket, which includes those making over $250,000 annually, listed public safety as their top worry, according to the Times. The poll data showed that these respondents were more likely to be homeowners.

Approximately 80% of respondents that considered moving said that Seattle was a bad place to live, and 66% said their neighborhood was unsafe, the Times reported. In contrast, 88% of Seattle residents who did not consider leaving the city said it was a great place to live, and 72% said their neighborhood was safe.

Homicides in Seattle surged by 24% in 2022. Rapes and aggravated assaults in the city increased by approximately 4% and 5%, respectively, and 1,596 more motor vehicle thefts were reported in comparison to 2021.

The home price index for the Seattle metro region was 50% higher in 2022 than in 2018, and is now 40% higher, the Times reported. Wages have not kept up with raising prices, and tech and finance workers’ income skews the average for the city.

The poll was conducted from June 12-16 and surveyed 500 residents over the phone, the Times reported. It has a margin of error of 4.4 percentage points.

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