Forget it, New York. So sorry, Los Angeles. Maybe another time, Boston, Dallas, and Denver. College students have spoken and their most desired place to call home post-graduation is Seattle. The rainy city is the number one destination for college students, while the population living there continues to flee.
Seattle, also known as The Emerald City, has replaced two major dollar hubs – New York and Los Angeles – as the number one destination for college students after they finish their studies. This shocking discovery comes from the Axios-Generation Lab “Next Cities Index,” a poll taken to get a feel for where graduating students are looking to plant roots. There were still the familiar faces in the crowd – New York, Los Angeles, Denver, and Boston, but Seattle as a college destination was the surprise winner as the most sought-after place to live by young college graduates.
The shock revolving around this revelation isn’t because the city doesn’t have much to offer, on the contrary. The city has always been seen as one of the more beautiful places in the country. Its tech-hub is well-known and popular, the city has embraced going green, and it has a top-notch art and music scene to boot. Plus, if you are into cooler climates replete with a significant amount of sky-moisture, then Seattle is your jam.
The shock from this announcement comes from what is actually going on in the city presently. By that, we are talking about the incessant violence that continues to permeate The Emerald City. Seattle’s crime numbers are still so high that Seattle’s Amazon has moved its employees from its downtown location to a safer spot. It is hard to blame them since the City Council has cut the police budget by $36 million since 2019.
“Given recent incidents near 3rd and Pine, we’re providing employees currently at that location with alternative office space elsewhere. We are hopeful that conditions will improve and that we will be able to bring employees back to this location when it is safe to do so,” an Amazon spokesperson said in a statement via GeekWire.
Crime is so rampant in downtown Seattle that many businesses, including the highly profitable tech companies, are being forced to either move their offices much like Amazon or sit back and wait to see how things shape up while continuing to keep their employees working remotely. Those companies who are hoping to continue their downtown presence are stepping up measures to keep their employees safe from the violent riffraff.
With some companies transitioning back to in-person work, the hiring of private security officers has taken a rise. Companies are also altering their work hours in order to get employees out of the buildings before the sun goes down. Earlier in the year, one Amazon employee was walking near the downtown office when he was blasted in the head with a baseball bat. Only a few short days later, downtown Seattle saw a number of shootings, which only added to the horrific 40% increase in gun violence the city saw in 2021. And this is where post-college students want to hang their hats?
Yes, that would be the answer to that question. According to Riley Harbick, a James Madison University computer science major, “It feels like a young-person city.” Harbick has no desire to live in his home state of Virginia, instead has his sights on Seattle. Political parties also determined where college students saw themselves ending up after graduation. Young Republicans leaned toward Austin, Texas, while the young Democrats were eyeing New York. Seattle got their major push from the young Independents.
One wonders if this desire to live in Seattle will change if the lawlessness doesn’t. There has already been a mass exodus after Seattle’s Autonomous Zone was created and the return has been slow to happen, even after police shut it down. Only time will tell just how serious these college students are about Seattle.