Families on a modest budget in Seattle are currently encountering hardship. Many people have to leave the city to find cheaper options for living. This is all contributing to a shrinking Seattle middle class.
The number of Seattle families with an income of at least $200,000 is now greater than the number making less than $50,000.
That’s the new normal here in the Seattle, where the median income for family households is over $121,000.
Among the 50 largest U.S. cities, Seattle is the third where family income is so heavily drawn toward the top. The other two are San Francisco and San Jose, California.
Even in Portland, which is demographically similar to Seattle, the number of families that earn less than $50,000 is more than double the number earning $200,000 or higher.
The Seattle Middle Class Family Is Struggling
Seattle is home to about 151,000 families, making up slightly less than half of all the city’s households.
Those earning less than $50,000 make up 52 percent of households, and those earning more than $150,000 make up about 7 percent.
The Pew Research Center defined three class forms in the US: upper-income, middle-income, and lower-income.
The first group is called “rich,” and the last “poor.” To be in the first group, one needs to earn twice the median household income in a given area.
Zosha Millman of the Seattle PI applied this system of classification and calculation on the Seattle area. The latter determined that a person needed to earn $148,916 to be rich. This number is considerably lower than the average earned by computer programmers and software developers in Seattle. Their salaries are $123,490 and $122,530 respectively.
Since the gap between the average and entry level pay is so wide for the tech industry, one should expect the median to be around $80,000. It is far from reality, since a very small percent of the city earns that much.