Thanks to new construction in downtown Seattle and more major tech corporations moving to the area and expanding, Washington state has become even more attractive as a place to live. Despite the high cost of living, Washington’s state economy is one of the best in the country, and in the world. In fact, according to U.S. News, Washington is ranked fifth overall in the ‘Best States’ analysis and is third for patent generation between 2013 and 2015.
Washington has one of the most robust economies in the U.S., particularly for “cross-pollination.” Cross-pollination is the concept of people from different sectors collaborating, so their ideas overlap. “We’re at a point in Washington state where the diversification is really feeding off itself,” Washington Department of Commerce Director Brian Bonlender told U.S. News. “I see that continuing to strengthen and getting to the point where that sort of thing is going to be a necessary situation for regional economies—sustained healthy economies.”
Washington is also a hotspot for technology startups and entrepreneurship, creating new opportunities and jobs throughout the region. There’s also large international engagement with trade and exports in the Seattle area, which has benefited the workforce and economy. And a significant part of this success is due to Washington’s focus on higher education.
In recent years, Washington state has become a leader in emphasizing the importance of higher education. To improve college accessibility, lawmakers in the state have placed great emphasis on need-based financial aid, and they’ve also made strides to roll back some tuition increases. In fact, The Seattle Times reported that Washington was the only state in the nation to decrease tuition for colleges and universities in 2015.
“Higher education is so critical to the future of the state,” said Thomas Harnisch, director of state relations and policy analysis for the American Association of State Colleges. “Washington is really a state that depends on an educated workforce with all of its tech-based industry.”
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