People leaving Seattle aren’t heading far from home

May 7, 2018, 2:43 PM | Updated: 2:44 pm

Complaining about living in the city is a local pastime, and every other week a resident seems to pen an editorial loudly announcing that they’re leaving Seattle. Part of the fun of leaving is telling everyone.

RELATED: Boise is taking on the people exiting Seattle 

For the first time, a recent report by Redfin found that more of its site’s users were looking to leave Seattle than move here. But where are locals going? Not very far, apparently. U.S. Census data shows that of the 100,000 people leaving King County each year, about 30,000 don’t venture any farther than Snohomish or Pierce counties, the The Seattle Times’ FYI Guy reports.

“They walk there,” joked KIRO’s Radio’s John Curley.

“The idea is that you feel like you’re connected to this region,” said KIRO Radio’s Tom Tangney. “Even if you can’t afford Seattle or Eastside prices, maybe that’s the reason. Or you feel like the homeless issue or property crimes will be better elsewhere.”

This particular data isn’t surprising, since locals leaving Seattle have long opted to keep one foot in Seattle and one foot out. What flabbergasted Tom and Curley is that Los Angeles appears to rank third as a destination.

“I can’t take Seattle,” joked Curely. “I want someplace that’s dirtier, and with more crime and higher rent. Because this place is just not testing me enough. I’m going to LA and I’m walking there!”

Leaving Seattle

According to Redfin, 10.6 percent of disillusioned Seattleites were eyeing Los Angeles, followed by Bellingham, Portland, and Phoenix. About 14,500 people head to the Golden State every year. Millenials make up just under half of those leaving, though just as many are moving here as well, presumably waving as they pass each other.

“Maybe the people that like present day Seattle are leaving to get an even better version of it in LA,” joked Tom.

Still, despite the Redfin report and weekly haranguing, more people ultimately move here than away. Recent Census data showed that King County grew by 2,800 people. How many of them stay or end up complaining remains to be seen.

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

John Curley and Shari Elliker

John Curley and Shari Elliker

Photo: Scott Fitzsimmons' "I-1THIS" license plate....

KIRO Newsradio staff

‘I didn’t even feel it’: John Curley shares astonishing story of local winner

The "I-1THIS" license plate is more than creative, it comes with a story of triumph. John Curley told the story who won the winning plate.

30 days ago

seattle nightmare tenant...

Frank Sumrall

Seattle homeowner’s ‘nightmare tenant’ situation resolved one year later

A Seattle homeowner's "nightmare tenant" situation, causing him to live in a van instead of his home for a stretch of time, has finally been resolved one year later.

1 month ago

curley dancing naked...

John Curley

John Curley’s life advice: Start your day by dancing naked to Andrea Bocelli

This has been a part of my regular morning routine for some time now: getting up in the morning and dancing naked every day.

1 month ago


MyNorthwest Video

Video: Let’s Talk About Eagles

John and Shari discuss the hatch watch for a bald Eagle named Jackie as she sits on her eggs. Then, the conversation goes in a different direction about snakes eating eggs and eagles eating cats. You want to listen to this one! Listen to the John Curley and Shari Elliker Show every weekday at 3pm […]

1 month ago


MyNorthwest Video

Video: Bradley Cooper Walks Around His House Naked

Apparently, Bradley Cooper walks around his house naked a lot. The John and Shari Show talks about their experiences growing up with their parents. Listen to the John Curley and Shari Elliker Show every weekday at 3pm on KIRO Newsraio 97.3 FM Listen to KIRO Newsradio 97.3 FM or go to to learn more! […]

1 month ago


MyNorthwest Video

Video: The Naked Man Festival Is No More

If you had travelling to Japan for the annual Naked Men Festival on your bucket list… we have some bad news. After more than 1000 years, the festival has been permanently canceled. Listen to the John Curley and Shari Elliker Show every weekday at 3pm on KIRO Newsraio 97.3 FM Listen to KIRO Newsradio 97.3 […]

2 months ago

People leaving Seattle aren’t heading far from home