Out of America’s 50 biggest metropolitan cities, Seattle has the smallest-size families on average and one of the lowest rates of single-parent homes, according to data gathered from the 2010 U.S. Census Bureau. The emerald city also boasts the third-highest rate of singles living alone and the third-highest number of households where unrelated individuals room together or cohabit.
Richard Morrill, a Seattle demographer and University of Washington geography professor emeritus, says that the trends make sense. The city is characteristically “low on religion and high on tolerance for the unconventional.” Additionally, single parent households may find the cost of city living beyond their means and therefore move out to the suburbs where housing is typically more affordable.
As far as the state is concerned, Washingtonians are getting older. The median age in Washington has gone up with every census since 1970 to 37.3 years. The number of residents 65 and older has swelled to 827,677, nearly double the figures of 1980.
Around the city, the trends are influencing the housing market as the building of town homes and condos outpace single-family houses.