A new survey shows new residents and longtime residents in Seattle and its suburbs think differently about the region and its growth over the past few years. But there are a few things we have in common.
Thank God for the 12th Man.
Because, if a new survey is to be believed, a shared love of the Seahawks is one of the few things holding this city together.
OK, that’s an exaggeration. But what the survey reveals is that, other than the Hawks, there’s not a whole lot that old-time Seattleites and our area’s throngs of young newcomers can agree on.
The Northwest-based public-relations firm Quinn Thomas teamed up with polling outfit DHM Research and the University of Washington Continuum College to conduct this survey of 800 King County residents from May 31 to June 12.
Half the respondents have lived in the county for a minimum of 15 years, and are defined as long-term residents. The other half are the newcomers, meaning they’ve been here fewer than five years, and are probably still going around saying “Pike’s Market” and mispronouncing Puyallup.
The survey’s two samples reflect the reality that the largest group of newcomers are millennials, while long-term residents tend to be significantly older. Of the survey’s new residents, 59 percent are between the ages of 18 and 34. Just 10 percent of the long-term residents are that young.
“As for why we undertook the study, there’s been a lot of discussion about new residents, but not much is known about them as a group,” said Zach Knowling, vice president of Quinn Thomas, in an email. “We felt that we could contribute meaningfully to the conversation if we helped people understand their values and attitudes.”
The data show that football bonds old and young Seattle, with just under 50 percent of each group citing the Hawks as their favorite local team. Even so, there are some differences within the world of Seattle sports, with newcomers more likely to favor the Sounders and a higher percentage of old-timers likely to be die-hard Mariners fans.
Another area of convergence: When asked what they most value about living in the Seattle area, the No. 1 response from both groups is the region’s natural beauty. But newcomers are a lot less keen on the constant rain — only 5 percent chose the weather as their favorite feature of Seattle. For long-term residents, that was the No. 2 response, picked by 12 percent.
One finding of the…