This Sunday, around 100 million of us will gather together, surround ourselves with only the healthiest foods, consume merely a responsible amount of adult beverages and settle in to watch some of the most amazing commercials this country has even seen.
Oh, and after Idina Menzel sings, there will be a little football, too.
In case you’ve been living under a rock, this Sunday’s Super Bowl XLIX (photo above courtesy of YouTube) features the New England Patriots versus Seattle Seahawks. It’s a battle between the Northeast and the Pacific Northwest. But even more than that, it’s Boston versus Seattle. Dunkin’ Donuts versus Starbucks.
There can be no neutrality here, no one can consider themselves bicoastal. You're either pro-Atlantic or pro-Pacific.
Ok, so maybe the players on the field will decide who wins the actual game, but who wins the battle off the field? Who has bragging rights no matter what happens in the game?
Redfin set out to answer that question by measuring a myriad of metrics to determine whose quality of life is better, Bostonians or Seattleites?
Redfin broke the matchup down into seven categories and declared a winner in each one. The categories are: getting more home for your money; affording a home in the first place; getting an education; getting around; dating and marriage; enjoying the weather; and one that’s sure to engender some heated debate: boating, cooking and drinking coffee.
So let’s take a look at the tale of the tape and see how each city stacks up in those categories and find out who the real winner is.
In the category of “getting more home for your money,” Redfin declares Seattle the winner. Their reasoning?
Given each city’s geographic breakdown, Seattle fits 629,359 people within its 142 square miles, while Boston fits 598,309 within its 89 square miles, Seattle residents can get more square footage and land for their money.
According to data that Redfin pulled from the multiple listing services in each city, 82% of Boston homes sold in 2014 were condos or townhomes, while only 37% of homes sold in Seattle were.
The data revealed that the median square footage for Seattle homes is 1,611 square feet vs. Boston’s 1,107. Seattle homes also have much bigger yards, with a lot size of 5,300 square feet vs. Boston’s 1,317. Even though Boston homes are smaller, they’re more expensive, with a median sale price of $469,250 vs. $432,000 in Seattle. That’s probably why fewer people own homes in Boston (34%), than in Seattle (46%).
In the category of “affording a home in the first place,” Seattle takes win there as well.
According to Redfin’s data, Seattleites get paid more than Bostonians. Seattle’s median household income is $70,712, while Boston’s median household income is $53,583. Seattle’s unemployment rate is a bit higher than Boston’s (5.1% versus 4.5%), but Redfin declared Seattle the winner due to the lower cost of homes and its higher income level.
In the category of “getting an education,” it’s Seattle again.
According to Redfin, Seattle’s public schools have a GreatSchools ranking of 6, compared to Boston’s GreatSchools ranking of 4. And despite the proliferation of colleges in Boston, Seattle also boasts a higher percentage of residents with a bachelor’s degree (45% versus 33%).
For “getting around,” Boston finally chalks up a win.
It looks like Boston beats Seattle all around when it comes to Earth-friendly transportation options. Boston has a Walk Score of 80, which is higher than Seattle’s 71. Thanks to the subway, Boston also has a much higher Transit Score, 75 compared with Seattle’s 57. The Bike Scores for each city are closer, but Boston still comes out on top, with a score of 68 vs. Seattle’s 64.
Interestingly, in the category of “dating and marriage,” Seattle and Boston tied.
In age ranges, the cities are similar. The largest group of residents by age group is the same in both cities, 25 to 29 years old. The second largest group is the same in both cities as well, 30 to 34 years old.
“Since the two cities are similar when it comes to age, you’d expect the marriage rate to be about the same, but that’s not the case,” Redfin said. “The data shows that 53% of Bostonians have never married, while 26% are currently married. In Seattle, 40% have never married, while 35% are currently married. Since we’re real estate experts — not relationship experts — it’s not our place to say which lifestyle is best. Tie.”
In the category of “enjoying the weather,” Redfin chooses Seattle as well.
The cities actually have similar average temperatures, 51.4 degrees for Boston and 51.95 degrees for Seattle. But picture Seattle in your head...what’s the weather like? Is it raining?
Despite Seattle’s image as a permanently rainy city, it turns out that Boston actually gets more rain per year, 43.76 inches for Boston compared to 34.1 inches for Seattle.
Despite Seattle’s lower-than-expected rainfall totals, the city gets far less sunshine than Boston. Boston boasts 2,615 hours on sunshine per year, while Seattle gets only 2,019 hours of sunshine per year.
But the deciding factor is the amount of snow. Seattle gets 6.8 inches of snow per year, while Boston averages 44 inches of snow per year.
And Seattle’s reputation as a coffee mecca helps it take the category of “boating, cooking and drinking coffee.”
Let’s let Redfin tell you why.
“At Redfin we like to have a little fun with all of the data that we have on hand,” Redfin said. “Last year we published reports on the best cities for coffee snobs, boating, vampires, home cooking and toilets. Yes, toilets. In each report, Seattle beat Boston, which often didn’t even make the top 10 list. There’s one exception: Boston came in fifth on our list of Best Cities to Be a Vampire, while Seattle was 10th. So if you enjoy boating, cooking, drinking coffee and quickly finding a loo after all that cooking and coffee, then Seattle is your city.”
The final tally is 6-2 in favor of Seattle.
So hold your heads high Seattleites and tip back a skinny white mocha, because no matter what happens on Sunday, you’re the real winners. Besides, your guys won the Super Bowl last year. Give someone else a chance for once. Oh, wait….
And if you’d like a look at a detailed breakdown of what went into each category, click on the chart below, courtesy our friends at Redfin.