11 things all Seattleites should know, according to Seattle data guru Gene Balk

What do you need to know to be civically and culturally literate about Seattle? We asked a few locals to make their top 10 lists (in this case, top 11!). First up is Gene Balk, also known as the FYI Guy at The Seattle Times. Gene’s job is to dig up data to better understand our city, and his research spreads far and wide, helping Seattle define itself. Here are 11 things Gene thinks all Seattleites should know about their city…

  1. Growth: Seattle’s population hit 700,000 — right now the fastest-growing big city in the U.S.
  2. Regressive taxation: The tax burden on a Seattle family making $25,000 is 15.5 percent, while the tax burden on a family making $150K is 5.1 percent. Here’s more on that.
  3. Zoning: HALA (the city’s Housing Affordability and Livability Agenda), density, and single family home neighborhoods
  4. Transportation: ST3 (a voter-approved plan for major upgrades to our transit), the Bicycle and Pedestrian Master Plans, and Vision Zero (Seattle’s plan to end traffic deaths and injuries)
  5. Gentrification: The black population in Seattle’s Central District neighborhood was 74 percent in 1970. By 2019, it’s projected to drop to 14 percent. Here’s more on what’s happening in that community.
  6. Real Estate: The current median price for single-family home in Seattle is $750,000, and prices have been rising faster than anywhere else in the country.
  7. Income inequality: The median income for a white household in Seattle is $91,000. For a black household, it’s $37,000.
  8. Diversity: Seattle is the fifth-whitest big city in the U.S.
  9. Debate of the decade: Tunnel vs. surface option vs. new viaduct to replace the old Alaskan Way Viaduct
  10. Seattle Police Department use-of-force reform: The Department of Justice’s consent decree to address a pattern federal investigators found of excessive force in our police department
  11. Subarus: 1 out of 10 car owners in Seattle owns one.

We’ll be publishing a list put together by you, our readers, on Friday. Got ideas for what should be on it? Let us know — send us an email at [email protected].