By Doug Petrowski
Is Mountlake Terrace still a city of older residents that have lived in their own homes for decades? According to a study released by the City of Mountlake Terrace, the answer is no.
Assistant City Manager Scott Hugill presented “Measuring Mountlake Terrace 2012” to the City Council at its June 28 Work/Study Session. The report contained statistical data about the city’s population demographics, finances and local government services. “Some of this data will reflect that Mountlake Terrace is not the community that we may have though it was just 10 years ago,” Hugill said.
The study showed that only 15 percent of Mountlake Terrace’s 19,990 residents were age 60 or older, a smaller average than other similar cities in the state. About 61 percent of residents are age 20-59, higher than the numbers in comparable cities.
“Mountlake Terrace has a lot of families, and those families have children,” Hugill added. “That’s your primary population in Mountlake Terrace; it’s young families.”
The median age of Mountlake Terrace residents is 36, compared with 37 in neighboring Lynnwood, 44 in Brier and 46 in Edmonds.
The statistics seem to show those younger families are relatively new to the community, too. Almost half of Mountlake Terrace residents moved to the city since 2005.
“The thought that the majority of residents in Mountlake Terrace have lived here since the 1960s is no longer true,” Hugill said. “What we find is a community of newer residents. Almost 80 percent of the community have moved here since 1990. Less than 5 percent have been here since 1970.”
With a younger population in comparison to other cities, it’s understandable that personal income will be lower than in other communities. The median family income in Mountlake Terrace is $53,910. Of south Snohomish County cities in the study, only Lynnwood has a lower median family income at $47,920; Edmonds has a median family income of $69,125, Brier, $92,934.
City officials also say that the workforce in Mountlake Terrace is changing. “Whereas years ago you may have thought Mountlake Terrace was a blue-collar community, it really is not; 73 percent is white-collar professionals,” Hugill said.
The study also states that the annual wage of jobs within Mountlake Terrace is $47,300 — much higher than the $30,900 and $33,600 of annual wages in Lynnwood and Edmonds. Mountlake Terrace ranked 10th out of 50 cities in the Puget Sound area for annual employment wages.
City officials compiled the Measuring Mountlake Terrace 2012 report to inform the city council, city staff and local residents about the community and to help guide council members and city department heads in goal-setting and decision-making. It gives detailed statistics concerning population, land use, city finances and staffing, recreation and parks, public safety, public works and city utilities. The report is available online here.