Study: Seattle is the best place to live, if you can afford it

Jul 26, 2018, 8:20 AM
Source: WalletHub

They like us, they really like us. Well, at least WalletHub does. Seattle was recently ranked the best big city to live in by the finance website when compared to 62 of the largest cities in the country, just edging out Virginia Beach and Austin.

What did we do to deserve this? The report used 56 “indicators of attractiveness” under five main dimensions to measure our awesomeness, including economy, quality of life, safety, affordability, and education and health. Seattle ranked first in economy, first in health and education, and sixth in quality of life.

But despite ranking so high on these factors, there is one aspect that Seattle places near the bottom — affordability. The Emerald City is 50th when it comes to affordability, though it wasn’t enough to weigh its overall ranking.

RELATED: Why locals struggle to maintain family legacies

The WalletHub study seems to imply that Seattle is a great place to live, if you can afford to live here. But KIRO Radio’s John Curley is not necessarily a fan of the alternative to rapid growth and gentrification.

“Always given a choice when people start screaming about gentrification, it’s like, ‘Hey, would you like to be Detroit? Wanna turn out like Cleveland?” Curley asked. “If you don’t want any gentrification, we can have something like that.”

The trade-offs for Seattle gentrification

With the exception of Virginia Beach and Colorado Springs, all of the cities in the top 10, including San Francisco at No. 4 and Portland at No. 7, did not have favorable affordability ratings. While not surprising, the trade-off for higher rents in each case appears to result in more prosperous local economies, higher education and hospital rankings, and a better quality of life. Cleveland and Detroit are 60th and 62nd on the list, respectively.

“I love the idea of having vitality,” Curley said. “I love that the idea of the city growing and people coming in and changing it for the better, and sometimes worse.”

What was the most competitive factor on the best city ranking? That would be “Most Coffee Shops per Capita.” Apparently Seattle found itself in a six-way tie with New York, Los Angeles, Chicago, San Diego, and San Francisco. Ours are probably better, of course.

While Seattle is a great place to live, a previous WalletHub study (they love doing these studies) found that we’re a terrible place to drive in. The city ranks 60th for hours spent in congestion per commuter. But at least we’re not doing that in a worse city.

John Curley and Shari Elliker on KIRO Radio 97.3 FM
  • listen to tom and curleyTune in to KIRO Radio weekdays at 3pm for John Curley and Shari Elliker.

John Curley and Shari Elliker

John Curley and Shari Elliker

car sale...
John Curley and Shari Elliker

Who else but John Curley would buy a car without seeing it?

John Curley recently bought a car, but didn't want to know what is was, didn't want to see it, and didn't want to know how much it costs. 
2 days ago
songs, composer...
John Curley and Shari Elliker

Two songs (one beautiful, one annoying) by Jacob Ryan Smith

Just a few weeks ago, Jacob Ryan Smith, an extremely talented composer and lyricist, got a call from John Curley. The rest is radio history.
4 days ago
children, substitute teachers...
John Curley and Shari Elliker

How should Washington parents handle being asked to step in as substitute teachers?

KIRO Radio host John Curley provides some insight into how he'd handle the recent need for substitute teachers in Washington.
4 days ago
truckers, kindness...
John Curley

‘The contagiousness of kindness’ is real, says John Curley

John Curley was inspired by someone else's act of kindness and decided to take 15 burritos to the truck drivers who are stuck while I-90 is closed.
9 days ago
Republicans, redistricting...
John Curley and Shari Elliker

Rep. Walsh says limiting emergency powers is among key issues for legislative session

State Rep. Jim Walsh (R-Aberdeen) joined the John Curley & Shari Elliker Show to provide an update on the legislative session that started Monday.
10 days ago
John Curley (and his dogs) trek through the snow to get to the outhouse....
John Curley and Shari Elliker

John Curley describes his trek to the outhouse in 4 feet of snow

KIRO Radio host John Curley says there has been about 4 feet of snow at his cabin, which means it's a journey to get to his outhouse.
24 days ago

Sponsored Articles


Compassion International Is Determined to ‘Fill’ a Unique Type of Football ‘Stadium’

Compassion International SPONSORED — During this fall’s football season—and as the pandemic continues to impact the entire globe—one organization has been urging caring individuals to help it “fill” a unique type of “stadium” in order to make a lasting difference in the lives of many. Compassion International’s distinctive Fill the Stadium (FtS, initiative provides […]

What are the Strongest, Greenest, Best Windows?

Lake Washington Windows & Doors SPONSORED — Fiberglass windows are an excellent choice for window replacement due to their fundamental strength and durability. There is no other type of window that lasts as long as fiberglass; so why go with anything else? Fiberglass windows are 8x stronger than vinyl, lower maintenance than wood, more thermally […]

COVID Vaccine is a Game-Changer for Keeping our Kids Healthy

Snohomish Health District SPONSORED — Cheers to the parents and guardians who keep their kids safe and healthy. The dad who cooks a meal with something green in it, even though he’s tired and drive-thru burgers were tempting. The mom who calms down the little one who loudly and resolutely does NOT want to brush […]
Experience Anacortes

Coastal Christmas Celebration Week in Anacortes

With minimal travel time required and every activity under the sun, Anacortes is the perfect vacation spot for all ages.

Delayed-Onset PTSD: Signs and Symptoms

Lakeside-Milam Recovery Centers SPONSORED — You’re probably familiar with post-traumatic stress disorder. Often abbreviated as PTSD, this condition is diagnosed when a person experiences a set of symptoms for at least a month after a traumatic event. However, for some people, these issues take longer to develop. This results in a diagnosis of delayed-onset PTSD […]

Medicare open enrollment ends Dec. 7. Free unbiased help is here!

Washington State Office of the Insurance Commissioner SPONSORED — Medicare’s Open Enrollment Period, also called the Annual Election Period, is Oct. 15 to Dec. 7. During this time, people enrolled in Medicare can: Switch from Original Medicare to a Medicare Advantage plan and vice versa. Join, drop or switch a Part D prescription drug plan, […]
Study: Seattle is the best place to live, if you can afford it