Education and Prosperity

Existing Snapshot

Educational Attainment

About two thirds of Bellevue’s adult population 25 years and over had a Bachelor’s degree or higher in 2015, while another 20 percent had an Associate’s degree or attended some college, ten percent had graduated from high school and less than five percent had less than a high school education.

Labor Force Participation and Employment

About 67 percent of Bellevue’s population 16 years and over were in the labor force in 2015, and all but 2.1 percent of these were employed. About 92 percent of males 16 and over were in the labor force compared to 67 percent of females.

Educational Attainment Distribution, 2015
image of Educational attainment distribution

Source: U.S. Census Bureau, 2015 American Community Survey.

Labor Force Participation & Unemployment 1990-2015
image of labor force and employment trends

Source: U.S. Census Bureau, 1990 Census, 2000 Census, 2010 Census and 2015 American Community Survey.


Occupations

The distribution of occupations in Bellevue closely reflects the distribution of educational attainment, with over 60 percent of Bellevue’s employed residents in management, business, science or arts occupations. About 15 percent are in sales and office occupations, 14 percent in service occupations, six percent in production, transportation and material moving occupations and just over three percent in natural resource, construction and maintenance occupations.

Earnings

Median earnings by occupation follow similar patterns within the nation, state, county and Bellevue, with management, business, science or arts occupations having the highest median earnings and service occupations having the lowest median earnings. A wide distribution of earnings exists in Bellevue with about 28 percent earning less than $25K a year, 17 percent earning between $25K and $50K, 30 percent earning $100K or more and the remaining quarter earn between $50K and $100K. All civilian employed residents 16 and over are considered in these figures including both full and part-time workers.

Occupation Distribution, 2015
image of Occupation distribution

Source: U.S. Census Bureau, 2015 American Community Survey.

Earnings Distribution, 2015
image of Earnings distribution

Source: U.S. Census Bureau, 2015 American Community Survey.


Household Income

Household Income Distribution, 2015
image of Houshold Income Distribution

Source: U.S. Census Bureau, 2015 American Community Survey.

Bellevue’s households are fairly evenly distributed between high, medium and low income households with slightly higher proportions of high income households. About 24 percent of Bellevue households have incomes less than $50K, another 27 percent have incomes between $50K and $100K, 17 percent have incomes between $100K and $150K; another 14 percent have incomes between 150K and 200K and the remaining 19 percent have incomes of $200K or more.

Poverty

About 7.1 percent of Bellevue’s overall population were in poverty in 2015. About 5.1 percent of children were in poverty and 6.8 percent of older adults, 65 years and over.


Trends and Projections

Educational Attainment

As a whole, Bellevue’s population has become more highly educated over time with the percentage of residents with a Bachelor’s degree or higher climbing from 46 percent in 1990 to 54 percent in 2000 to 59 percent in 2010 and finally to 66 percent in 2015. The largest increase occurred in the segment of the population with a graduate or professional degree, which jumped from about 19 percent in 2000 to 28 percent in 2015.

Bellevue Educational Attainment Distribution Trends, 1970 to 2015
image of Educational attinment distribution trends

Source: Minnesota Population Center. National Historical Geographic Information System: Version 11.0 [Database]. Minneapolis: University of Minnesota 2016. http://doi.org/10.18128/D050.V11.0. http://www.nhgis.org; U.S. Census Bureau, 2010 and 2015 American Community Surveys.


The proportion of residents without a Bachelor’s degree contracted across the board, but the largest decline occurred in residents who attended some college and either did not receive a degree or received an Associate’s degree. That share fell from 28 percent in 2000 to 20 percent in 2015. With Bellevue being a hub for information technology, it will likely see continued growth in the IT sector along with an increase the highly educated workforce associated with these jobs.

Comparison of Educational Attainment Shifts from 2000 to 2015 between the United States, Washington, King County and Bellevue.
image of Educational attainment trend comparisons

Source: U.S. Census Bureau, 2000 Census and 2015 American Community Survey


Labor Force Participation and Employment

From 1990 to 2000, labor force participation in Bellevue dropped from 73 percent to 68 percent. This was coupled with a large increase in the unemployment rate, which climbed from three percent in 1990 to eight percent in 2000. Despite declining unemployment, labor force participation has remained around 67 percent. This lower rate could be due in part to the larger share of Bellevue’s population who are older adults and who have lower rates of labor force participation.

Occupations

As the percentage of residents employed in management, business, science and arts occupations increased climbing from 40 percent in 1990 to 61 percent in 2015, the percentage of residents employed in sales and office occupations declined from a high of 38 percent in 1990 to just over 15 percent in 2015. Service workers also gained some ground between 2010 and 2015 climbing from 11 to 14 percent of employed residents.

In contrast, the percentage of people in natural resources, construction and maintenance occupations has been declining slowly, while the share of people employed in production, transportation, and material moving occupations has remained relatively constant over the decades hovering around six percent.

Occupation Distribution Trends for Bellevue’s Employed Residents, 1990, 2000, 2010 and 2015
image of Occupation trend comparisons

Source:U.S. Census Bureau, 1990 Census, 2000 Census, 2010 Census and 2015 American Community Survey.


Similar trends are likely to continue into the future. With a growing older adult population, Bellevue will likely see continued growth in service occupations provided enough housing opportunities for these workers exist in Bellevue. Due to its high concentration of talent, Bellevue will continue to be an attractive place to locate high tech businesses resulting more people in management, business, science and arts occupations.

Earnings

Median Earnings in Bellevue from 1990 to 2015 (in 2015 inflation adjusted dollars)
image of Median earnings trends

Source: U.S. Census Bureau, 1990 Census, 2000 Census, 2010 Census and 2015 American Community Survey

From 1990 to 2000, labor force participation in Bellevue dropped from 73 percent to 68 percent. This was coupled with a large increase in the unemployment rate, which climbed from three percent in 1990 to eight percent in 2000. Despite declining unemployment, labor force participation has remained around 67 percent. This lower rate could be due in part to the larger share of Bellevue’s population who are older adults and who have lower rates of labor force participation.

Poverty

The percentage of individuals in Bellevue who have incomes below the poverty level has remained relatively constant over the decades, though it may be increasing gradually. Both the 1990 and 2000 decennial Censuses estimated the poverty for Bellevue to be about six percent. In 2010, it was estimated at nine percent. However, in 2015 the estimate was back down to about seven percent.


Comparisons

Educational Attainment

Bellevue has a larger share of residents with a Bachelor’s degree or higher than King County, Washington state and the nation as a whole. Bellevue ranked 18th out of 579 of the nation’s largest cities for having one of the highest percentages of 25 year old plus residents with a Bachelor’s degree or higher in 2015.

Although the nation and Washington state as a whole experienced increases in educational attainment, Bellevue and King County experienced increases that were more pronounced. Higher levels of educational attainment have a strong correlation with higher median earnings in Bellevue with residents 25 years and over with a Graduate or professional degree having the highest median earnings at $94,300 and residents with less than a high school education having the lowest median earnings at $26,080.

Labor Force Participation and Employment

Bellevue’s labor force participation rate at 67 percent is higher than the State and Nation’s, but lower than Seattle’s and King County’s as a whole. Having a lower rate than Seattle’s is likely due to Bellevue having a higher percentage of older adults than Seattle.

Bellevue’s employment to population ratio follows a similar pattern, but is closer to the County’s rate likely due to Bellevue’s relatively low unemployment rate at 3.1 percent.

Percentage of Population 25 years and over with a Bachelor’s degree or higher, 2015
image of Educational attainment comparisons

Source: U.S. Census Bureau, 2015 American Community Survey

Labor Force Participation and Employment Rate Comparisons, 2015
image of Labor force and employment rate copmarisons

Source: U.S. Census Bureau, 2015 American Community Survey


Occupations

Bellevue ranks 25th out of 577 of the largest cities in the nation for having one of the highest percentages of residents employed in management, business, science and arts occupations at 61 percent. It ranks 9th in the nation for having one of the highest percentages of residents employed in computer, science and engineering occupations, and it ranks fourth in the nation for having one of the highest percentages of residents employed in computer and mathematical occupations.

Percentage of Civilian Employed Population in Computer, Engineering and Science Ocupations, 2015
image of Percent in computer, engineering and science occupations

Source: U.S. Census Bureau, 2015 American Community Survey.

Top U.S. Large Cities for Percentage of Civilian Employed Population in Computer and Math Occupations, 2015
image of Top Cities for Computer and  Math occupations

Source: U.S. Census Bureau, 2015 American Community Survey.


Earnings

Medians earnings for every major occupation group are higher in Bellevue than in the nation, state, county and Seattle, except for service occupations, where Bellevue’s median earnings are just about the same as median earnings for the nation as a whole.

Comparison of Median Earnings by Occupation in the United States, Washington, King County, Bellevue and Seattle in 2011-2015
image of Median earnings by occupation comparison

Source: U.S. Census Bureau, 2011-2015 American Community Survey.


Household Income

While Bellevue has a range of household incomes, it has a higher proportion of households with incomes of $100K or more a year at 42 percent than the nation, state, county and Seattle, whose $100K shares all fall below 28 percent.

Poverty

Bellevue’s poverty rates for all individuals and for children are lower than rates for the nation, state, county and for Seattle. Seattle and Bellevue have lower rates of poverty for children than for all individuals in contrast to King County, Washington state and the nation where the poverty rates for children exceed the poverty rates for all individuals.


Comparison of Household Income Distributions in the United States, Washington, King County, Bellevue and Seattle in 2015
image of Household income distribution comparisons

Source: U.S. Census Bureau, 2011-2015 American Community Survey.

Poverty Rate Comparison, 2015
image of Poverty rate comparisons

Source: U.S. Census Bureau, 2015 American Community Survey.


Data Sources

Data on demographics come from the United States Census Bureau's decennial censuses and American Community Survey. While the decennial census happens only once every ten years, the American Community Survey (ACS) is an ongoing survey that provides vital information on a yearly basis about the American people and workforce. It helps local officials, community leaders and businesses understand the changes taking place in their communities. See Bellevue's data profiles on selected social characteristics here and on selected economic characteristics here.

Educational Attainment Distribution, 2015

image of Educational attainment distribution

Source: U.S. Census Bureau, 2015 American Community Survey

 

Occupation Distribution, 2015

image of Occupation distribution

Source: U.S. Census Bureau, 2015 American Community Survey

 

Earnings Distribution, 2015

image of Earnings distribution

Source: U.S. Census Bureau, 2015 American Community Survey

 

Household Income Distribution, 2015

image of Houshold Income Distribution

Source: U.S. Census Bureau, 2015 American Community Survey

Labor Force Participation & Unemployment 1990 to 2015

image of labor force and employment trends

Source: U.S. Census Bureau,  1990 Census, 2000 Census, 2010 Census and 2015 American Community Survey 

Median Earnings in Bellevue from 1990 to 2015 (in 2015 inflation adjusted dollars)

image of Median earnings trends

Source: U.S. Census Bureau,  1990 Census, 2000 Census, 2010 Census and 2015 American Community Survey






     
Percentage of Population 25 years and over with a Bachelor’s degree or higher, 2015

image of Educational attainment comparisons

Source: U.S. Census Bureau, 2015 American Community Survey

 

Labor Force Participation and Employment Rate Comparisons, 2015

image of Labor force and employment rate copmarisons

Source: U.S. Census Bureau, 2015 American Community Survey

 

Percentage of Civilian Employed Population in Computer, Engineering and Science Occupations,, 2015

image of Percent in computer, engineering and science occupations

​Source: U.S. Census Bureau, 2015 American Community Survey

 

Top U.S. Large Cities for Percentage of Civilian Employed Population in Computer and Math Occupations,, 2015

image of Top Cities for Computer and  Math occupations

 Source: U.S. Census Bureau, 2015 American Community Survey

 




















       


          


Poverty Rate Comparisons, 2015

image of Poverty rate comparisons

Source: U.S. Census Bureau, 2015 American Community Survey
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