Seattle’s regional role as a home for African Americans has diminished sharply in the past 30 years. A combination of high housing prices and other social change has led many Black families to settle in suburban areas.
Geographic proximity is not the only driver of the Seattle-California connection. Seattle has long shared common industries with both northern and southern California. Most notably, Los Angeles is a major center of the aerospace industry, so skilled workers will tend to flow back and forth as the fortunes of various West Coast firms change. And the information technology industries of the San Francisco/San Jose corridor complement the IT sector of the Seattle area, with not just workers, but entire business operations migrating back and forth.
National growth comparisons generally focus on metropolitan areas. On that basis, the Seattle metro area ranked 29th out of the largest 100 metro areas for growth between 2018 and 2019. Not exactly blistering.
One of the most striking demographic changes that has occurred over the past several decades is the increase in ethnic diversity across the region, especially in suburban cities of King County.
California sends the most migrants to the Puget Sound area—about 20 percent of the total. This reflects a longstanding historic pattern of movement up and down the West Coast, which has been taking place since the 1850s.