SEATTLE (November 14, 2017) – Half of residents believe the Puget Sound area is growing into a “world class” region in terms of economic opportunities and quality of life, according to a new Atlantic Media/Allstate Regional Renewal Poll released today. The broader outlook among Puget Sound area residents is even more bright, with 69 percent saying the region is moving in a positive direction, despite real concerns about the region’s ability to manage rapid population growth and maintain affordability for average families. Young people in particular are enthusiastic about future opportunities, with 76% of millennials weighing in to say the area is headed in the right direction.
The Atlantic Media/Allstate Regional Renewal Poll asked residents living in the Puget Sound region about their perceptions of the area’s living standards, growth, personal finances, community engagement, and benefits of the region.
Quality of Life and Managing Growth
When considering the opportunities and challenges brought about by recent growth, more than three quarters of millennials say the region is moving in a positive direction; 69 percent of Generation Xers and 61 percent of Baby Boomers are similarly enthusiastic. This optimism for the region is tempered, however, by concerns about whether this fast population growth will benefit everyone in the community. Seventy percent of all respondents believe the Puget Sound region’s population growth benefits only a few and creates obstacles for average families, and 50% of all respondents think the growth has had a negative impact on the region (vs. 41 percent who see a positive impact).
Three quarters (75 percent) affirm the Puget Sound region is best for their career and family life, and 65 percent indicate that staying in the area provides more opportunities for young people than other parts of the country.
Seven in ten locals consider the region unprepared to handle the population growth; however, residents living within the city of Seattle are more optimistic than any another demographic that the area can handle the changes (35 percent).
In terms of local quality of life, 72 percent believe that a combination of residents, businesses and government working together towards a shared goal is the most effective way to improve their communities’ quality of life, compared to stand alone reliance on more business investment (9 percent) or more local government investment (7 percent).