One of the newest additions to Auburn, Washington, the Lea Hill neighborhood was annexed into Auburn on January 1st, 2008. Nearly 11,000 people call Lea Hill home and the addition of this census designated area, along with other unincorporated King County areas, helped make Auburn one of the top twenty largest cities in the state of Washington. Lea Hill is fairly racially diverse, with large minority populations of Native Americans, African Americans, and Asians.
The neighborhood is the 67th most affluent area of 522 areas judged in Washington and a large majority of the population has a household income of $65,000 or more per year. In spite of that, almost 6% of the population is living at or below the poverty line – including children under the age of 18. There are no large businesses to provide jobs in Lea Hill but there are a wide variety of Fortune 500 and Fortune 1000 companies in the region, particularly in nearby cities like Seattle and Tacoma. Lea Hill is less than a 40 minute drive to either city and many Lea Hill residents do, in fact, commute to these cities for employment.
Lea Hill’s largest asset is likely its proximity to the large Boeing plant in Auburn. The Auburn plant is the largest airplane parts manufacturing plant in the region, employing more than 11,000 and providing economic stability to the region in even the deepest economic recession. Not surprisingly, Lea Hill – and Auburn as a whole – has fared much better in the face of the global financial crisis than similar cities throughout the US. That’s largely because Seattle, Tacoma, and other economic centers in Washington support a wide array of industries, including internet-based businesses which can draw income into even the most depressed local economy by providing services to companies in more economically stable areas.
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