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What does your zip code say about you?

zip-code-map

 

Age? Check.

Income? Check.

Neighborhood? Check.

Overall lifestyle? Check.

 

 

It’s creepy, but once you get past the creepiness, it’s actually a useful tool for house-hunting and neighborhood-shopping, and, in a spying-on-the-Jonses way… it’s fun.

Esri released an interactive map that analyzes your zip code information. You can zoom into Seattle and see the differences between Belltown and Pioneer Square, West Seattle and Phinney Ridge. One green-hued filter shows average income; a blue one, median age. You can check population density, too, and along with each filter, Esri provides an easy comparison to county, state, and national averages.

zip-code-map-income

But perhaps the most interesting, albeit least scientific, feature is Tapestry. This filter turns the map into a grown-up version of high school cliques. These cliques include:

  • Pacific Heights” = A number of us are Asian and multi-racial … we own expensive single-family homes and townhouses. White-collar occupations in business, computer, architecture, and engineering.
  • Urban Chic” = Professional and managerial positions in technical and legal occupations fund our exclusive, upscale, and sophisticated lifestyles.
  • Metro Renters” = Young, mobile, educated, or still in school … most of our income goes for rent, fashions, and the latest technology.
  • Emerald City” = Long hours spent working and online are balanced with regular visits to the gym … We’re politically liberal and donate to NPR and PBS.

The list goes on, dividing people in 67 categories. This feature breaks each neighborhood down into its three most dominant people-groups, which sometimes tells you what you already knew (the southern U District has a LOT of students), but other times, as is the case with Pioneer Square, speaks the truth that no one likes to admit.

We spent a good hour tooling around on the website, and it checks out. The data is eerily accurate. You can explore it for yourself, but here are some of the most interesting insights we pulled out of it.

Pioneer Square = Poor

It’s not reviving, folks. Not according to zip code data. With a median income of only $19K, it’s Seattle’s poorest zip code. Compare that to King County’s average income ($71K) and all of a sudden you understand why Pioneer Square has problems.

Fifty-nine percent of Pioneer Square residents fall into “Social Security Set,” a category riddled with phrases like “we’re very careful with our pennies,” “no cell phones, computers, or digital cameras,” and “low, fixed incomes.”

Medina is the 1%

Take Pioneer Square and flip it on its head. With a median income of $200,000, Medina sets the upper bound for income distribution. One hundred percent of its population falls into the “Top Tier” category. We’ve achieved our corporate career goals and can now either consult or operate our own business.

Youngsters and Oldsters

zip-code-map-age

Seattle’s youngest region? UW’s campus, of course (average age = 19.1 years). The runner-ups have a much higher average of 35, give or take a few years, but they’re still youthful compared to most of Seattle. You’ll find this younger generation in the Central District, Queen Anne, and SLU.

The oldest areas? Mercer Island (47.4 years) and Broadview (48.7 years).

Rural Seattle?

A place with 101-1000 people per square mile is a rural area, according to the map. Harbor Island and SoDo, according to the map, is a rural area. With only 112 residents/square mile, it’s the least populated zip code in Seattle.

The most populated appears just a short drive north. Belltown clocks in with a population density of 33,962 people/square mile. If you live there, you better like crowds.

 zip-code-map-2

Esri’s map is a useful tool for scoping out a neighborhood before you move in. Would you belong in a place dominated by “Trendsetters”? If you’re an “Enterprising Professional,” where can you find others like you? A smart homebuyer should be able to answer those, and this map is a great tool.

The only question we still have is: How do YOU fit? Does your zip code data match your lifestyle? Let us know on our Facebook page!

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