The Puget Sound region has taken a different path from other boomtowns in North America whose economies are based on resource extraction (e.g., oil), financial intermediation, or entertainment. Seattle’s aerospace industry has gradually yielded its eminence to the service expansion and new product development cycles of the information tech industry and their secondary employment effects on IT contractors, food & beverage businesses, and real estate developers.
Besides drawing new residents domestically from other U.S. states, the Puget Sound benefits from the state’s importance as a gateway to trade with Asia, as well as from international air travel to and from Sea-Tac International Airport. The Sound’s proximity to international communities across the broader region from Vancouver, British Columbia to Los Angeles and San Diego is also a factor, as is the superior quality of life in the region and its comparative affordability in respect to those other markets. The international eminence that results from these features of our local economy has allowed the area to attract growing numbers of immigrants from overseas and recognition as a global gateway city.