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Seattle Now Among U.S.'s Most Densely Populated Big Cities

Image: Dave Sizer

Housing prices. Rising rents. Homelessness. Affordable housing. Tech workers. These are just some of the phrases that have been dominating talk in Seattle for the last few months and all of them come back to the same word in some way: Density. Specifically, just how dense Seattle is getting and how that's affecting the way we all live together. Per Gene Balk, it's not just a buzzword. Census data shows that for the first time in history Seattle is in the top 10 of most densely-populated major American cities. The city's density has increased by almost 10 percent since 2010 and we're packing 7,962 people per square mile as of 2014. To put that number in perspective, Los Angeles's density is 8,383 people per square mile while San Francisco boasts 18,187 people per square mile.

Balk also dug into the density numbers to find out which neighborhoods are seeing the most growth and it's pretty striking (and perhaps none too surprising). The areas that have seen the biggest change in density since 2000 include South Lake Union, Belltown, Lower Queen Anne, Fremont & Wallingford. Makes sense as apartment development has boomed in most of these neighborhoods as well as a desire to live in-city remains.

The densest neighborhoods in Seattle appear to be in Capitol Hill (54,848 people per square mile in the Olive & Denny area), as well as Downtown and University District. Go dig into the data and see what else you find out about your neighborhood.
· Seattle among top 10 most densely populated big cities in the U.S. for first time ever [ST]