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When it Comes to Well-Being, Seattle's Doing Pretty Well

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Via CityLab, we recently got a look at the Social Science Research Council's Measure of America project, which attempts to measure the "well-being" of Americans in different parts of the country. Measuring things such as life expectancy and standard of living, it's a way to find the places in America where, in theory, economic and social progress is happening (and not happening). So...how does Seattle measure up?

The first map shows the pattern for life expectancy, which comes in at 79 years nationwide. Good news for Seattleites, you're expected to live longer than that. We're in the 81.1 - 83.9 range, the best of them all. See, all that kale is paying off. Even elsewhere in Washington, there's no area worse off than the national average.

Next up, the Education Index, which is based on indicators of school enrollment and educational attainment. Seattle is amongst the areas of highest knowledge access. Interesting to see the drop-off between Western and Eastern Washington, however.

Next is Median Personal Earnings, which shows the standard of living based on median earnings of full- and part-time workers. Once again, Seattle is near the top ($35K - 60K range) and keeps pace with other major metros like LA, San Fran and New York.

Finally, we end with the American Human Development Index, which takes the three previous categories and creates a composite ranking. As you'd probably figured out by now, Seattle is among the highest-ranking spots in the nation. Olympic Peninsula and Eastern Washington come in on average but that Central Washington region is really lagging behind. It's a good reminder that Washington is full of a vastly-different regions with their own situations and concerns. What's working or not working in your part might be a very different story to what's going on elsewhere.
· The Geography of Well-Being [CL]
· Measure of America [SSRC]