Seattle voters worried about affordability, homelessness, but stay optimistic, poll finds

A new poll from the Seattle Metropolitan Chamber of Commerce found that local voters are most concerned about affordability, homelessness and public safety, but remain optimistic about the future.

The poll uses a sample of voters across the Seattle area who completed online interviews between March 5-14. The data represents the registered voter population, and compares answers to results from previous years.

The survey starts with questions on voters' overall quality of life, which is then applied to a 0-10 scale. In the first quarter of 2024, the average quality of life for a Seattleite sits at 4.24/10, which remains steady compared to last year (4.23). However, that number has slowly increased throughout the years, starting at 3.47/10 in March 2022.

Seattle quality of life poll

Credit: Seattle Metro Chamber

When asked about the most pressing issues facing Seattle, 50% of voters said homelessness is the top concern, while 46% mentioned crime/public safety and 26% said cost of living.

Affordability is the top reason voters gave for thinking about leaving Seattle, with the other being crime/public safety. Most voters said they were concerned about their personal financial situation given current economic conditions, and also claimed taxes in the city are too high.

Worries about affordability tend to increase around spring, however these concerns are now at their highest level in two and a half years.


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The survey also alludes to a distrust in the local government, with most saying they don't believe the city has an effective plan to address their top issues (homelessness, public safety and affordability). Voters believe the city has enough money to address these priorities, while also saying Seattle should "focus on funding the basics" like filling potholes, maintaining parks and improving public safety.

Despite these concerns, a majority of Seattleites say they are optimistic about the future of the region, and three-quarters said they are proud to call themselves Seattleites, highlighting the city's natural beauty and environment. Though, 80% said they are worried about the future of downtown Seattle.

The survey also lists the demographics of those who participated, with most categories showing a diverse and even spread (age, gender, length of residency, homeowner or renter). About 68% of respondents were White while 25% were people of color. 62% identified as democrats (21% independent, 10% republican, 7% socialist).

respondent profile

Credit: Seattle Metro Chamber

Around 43% of voters were located in North Seattle, 29% represented Central Seattle, and another 29% were from South Seattle.

The full research project can be found on the Seattle Metro Chamber website.


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