- Demographics of Seattle
As of the U.S. Census of 2000, there were 563,374 people, 258,499 households, and 113,481 families residing in the city of Seattle. The population density was 2,593.5/km² (6,717.0/mi²). There were 270,524 housing units at an average density of 1,245.4/km² (3,225.4/mi²).
During the day, incoming commuters increase Seattle's population by over 160,000 people. This makes the city's daytime population rise from about 560,000 to over 720,000 according to estimates based on the 2000 Census.
The racial makeup of the city in 2004 is 67.1% White, 16.6% Asian, 10.0% Black, 1.0% Native American, 0.9% Pacific Islander, 2.3% from other races, and 3.4% from two or more races. 6.3% of the population is Hispanic or Latino of any race. Amongst the city's white population, 11.3% were of German, 9.1% Irish, 8.1% English and 5.0% Norwegian ancestry according to Census 2000.
There were 258,499 households out of which 17.9% had children above the age of 18 living with them, 32.7% were married couples living together, 8.1% had a female householder with no husband present, and 56.1% were non-families. 40.8% of all households were made up of individuals and 9.3% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.08 and the average family size was 2.87.
In the city the population was spread out with 15.6% under the age of 18, 11.9% from 18 to 24, 38.6% from 25 to 44, 21.9% from 45 to 64, and 12.0% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 35 years. For every 100 females there were 99.5 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 98.8 males.
The median income for a household in the city was $45,736, and the median income for a family was $62,195. Males had a median income of $40,929 versus $35,134 for females. The per capita income for the city was $30,306. 11.8% of the population and 6.9% of families were below the poverty line as were 13.8% were under the age of 18 and 10.2% are 65 or older.
While Seattle's African-American population is relatively small, it is largely concentrated in the Central District and Rainier Valley neighborhoods.
In addition, the city has seen a major uptick in immigration in recent decades. The foreign-born population increased 40 percent between the 1990 and 2000 census. Although the 2000 census shows only 5.28% of the population as Hispanic or Latino of any race, Hispanics are believed to be the most rapidly growing population group in Washington State, with an estimated increase of 10% just in the years 2000–2002. The Asian population has also been growing and is focused mainly on the International District and Beacon Hill neighborhoods. The city is also seeing a large increase in Somali immigrants.
Housing and homeless issues
Estimates of Seattle's homeless population put the number somewhere around 6,000 to 8,000 people; up to 1,000 are children and young adults. Seattle's relatively mild winters may lure homeless people from cities with colder winters.
In March 2004, Seattle was recognized in a report released by the United States Department of Housing and Urban Development as one of the seven cities in the United States that are leading the way toward reducing chronic homelessness. (The other cities are Birmingham, Alabama; Boston; Columbus, Ohio; Los Angeles; Philadelphia; and San Diego.) Many of the services cited are funding fairly traditional programs, such as homeless shelters, emergency shelters, low-income housing, and hygiene programs. Also, the Community Psychiatric Clinic in Seattle provides housing for about 5,000 homeless mentally ill clients per year. There are also private shelters, soup kitchens, and food banks. The Seattle Housing Authority also provides 5,300 low-income public housing units for over 24,000 residents. Its first development, Yesler Terrace (1942), was the first public housing development in Washington and the first integrated such development in the country.
Seattle also has some more innovative programs run by nonprofit groups. Real Change is a street newspaper sold by homeless individuals to provide them an income without panhandling. FareStart provides job training and placement in the food preparation industry and provides food service in the Seattle Central Library. The Homelessness Project, Seattle Youth Garden Works and YMCA's Working Zone help the homeless get training, jobs and housing.
Seattle has also provided some of the locations for the series of homeless encampments known as Tent City. Tent Cities are largely self-policing, with strict regulations, such as no alcohol, no drugs, and segregated areas for families, men, and women.
- Homelessness in Seattle
City of Seattle, Washington
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