seattle population Photo: Adam J. Manley/Flickr

The Puget Sound Regional Council recently released a report on rent, traffic and growth in the Puget Sound region, which centers on Seattle.

A detailed analysis of the report by Seattle Met Magazine shows that nearly 300,000 people have moved to the area since 2010. While death and birth rates have held steady since 2010 at about 20,000 additional people per year, in the last three years migration to the region has added 31,000, 40,000 and 62,000 people, respectively.

It’s not hard to see why. According to the report, the Puget Sound region’s economy is booming, with 280,000 jobs added since 2010 — that’s an increase of 16 percent. The majority of those jobs (87 percent) blossomed in Snohomish County and King County, where Seattle is located.

Unfortunately, the population increase has brought more traffic and higher rent. The Puget Sound Regional Council notes that “average daily vehicle hours of delay” in the area rose from 19,100 to 37,200 between 2010 and 2015. Meanwhile, average rent in the entire Puget Sound region has increased 43 percent since 2010, from $951 to $1,358, and in Seattle alone it’s risen 51 percent.

The good news is the area is killing it when it comes to adopting new public transportation options. So far this year there’s been a 76-percent jump in light rail boardings since 2015 — for example, there were 1.86 million in May 2016 compared to 1.05 million in May 2015. The Puget Sound region is also “the van pool capital of the world,” with 5.5 million annual trips in 2015; that means ridership is more than three times per person what it is in Los Angeles.

Good job, Puget Sound!

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