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Seattle Earns Top Marks for ... Affordability?

The city was named the fourth best place to raise a family

Published on: September 08, 2017

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Seattle is the fourth best city in the country to raise a family, according to a new report released earlier this week. And, believe it or not, one of the reasons for its high ranking was Seatte's affordability. Say what?

The honors came from WalletHub, which compiles data on the 150 most populated cities in the United States and uses it to create a list of the best (and worst) cities to raise a family. Designed to give young families the information they need to decide which city to call home, it looks like this study may make Seattle a popular destination. 

Despite our high marks, we weren't number 1. Beating out Seattle for the top three were Plano, Texas, Madison, Wis., and Overland Park, Kan. 

The most interesting aspect of the report was how WalletHub decided which cities found themselves at the top of the list. Each city was ranked in 41 different metrics. Those metrics were then divided into five categories the experts at WalletHub consider essential to family life.

When we looked closely at Seattle’s scores, a lot of it made sense. For instance, Seattle did well in the family fun category, which was influenced by the high number of parks in the city (A 2015 report we dug up showed Seattle has with 6.8 parks per 10,000 residents). Walkability was also taken into account, so it isn’t surprising that Seattle did so well.

But some of the rankings made less sense — like affordability.

Seattle and affordable are two words you don’t often hear together. Just a few months ago, Seattle was leading the rest of the country in increasing home prices, and Seattle has long had a cost of living that is significantly above average. We can’t help but wonder how Seattle found itself so high on the affordable cities list.

Ultimately, the report encouraged families to use their own preferences and lifestyle needs to determine what they’re looking for in a city. If educational opportunities for your children and family fun take the cake as your top priorities, it makes sense why you might be OK with spending more on housing to call Seattle home.

But if you're pinching pennies and struggling to keep pace with rising costs, we'll forgive you an eye-roll at the idea of Seattle as an affordable place to live.

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