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Are King County Ex-Pats Turning Pierce County Into a Permanent Bedroom Community for Seattle?
A Seattle Times article last week looked at new census numbers that show King County's "net domestic migration" slowing. That's the number of people moving into the county, minus the number moving out, so a decrease means that while King County is still drawing more people than it's losing, that ratio is shifting in the direction of those leaving.
Pierce County, on the other hand, showed an interesting u-turn in its net domestic migration numbers for the same time period. Pierce County went from a net loss of 75 residents in 2013 to a net gain of a whopping 4,336 in 2014.
As the Seattle Times piece points out, the Census Bureau hasn't yet dug into where all that migration is going to and coming from, but there's a good chance that Pierce County is gaining a fair number of Seattle ex-pats in the exchange.
This makes sense in light of some of the data that we saw from February's UW Tacoma Urban Studies Forum on Jobs and Housing - we saw maps that show 40% or more of residents in areas of Pierce and Snohomish counties that border King County working outside their county of residence, while that number is significantly less in King County just on the other side of the county boundary.
This seems to be further evidence of a troubling trend we've heard hinted at elsewhere - that Pierce County, including Tacoma, is shifting increasingly toward being a bedroom community for Seattle and King County.
It seems that more former King County residents may be buying and renting homes in Pierce County. That doesn't, however, necessarily mean that those new residents are working down here.
Is there something that can be done to turn all those commuters to King County into people who live AND work in Pierce County?
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