The city of Milton is located in King and Pierce counties in the heart of Washington State. With a population of just under 7,000 and a total land area of less than 3 square miles, this small city has virtually no local employers aside from the city itself and a few small retail businesses. As a result, most residents of Milton commute to nearby Tacoma and Seattle for higher-paying jobs. The median household income in Milton is more than $60,000 a year – above the nation average – and residents of Milton enjoy a relatively good quality of life compared to similar sized cities throughout the US.
It’s not difficult to understand how Milton can support such a high household income despite a glaring lack of local employment opportunities. Like many cities surrounding it, it is largely a commuter community. Tacoma, which is only 7 miles away from Milton, serves as the nearest employment center and provides jobs to many residents. Despite plentiful employment opportunities being only a few miles from the city, more than 8% of the population of Milton lives below the poverty level – a sign that the local government and Chamber of Commerce should do more to attract strong businesses into the city.
Milton residents are so accustomed to traveling for employment that they also often travel to nearby cities to enjoy nature walks, tennis courts, and other forms of recreation. There are practically no parks within the city itself. Since Edgewood shares a border with Milton, however, many of the recreational areas in Edgewood could be considered “shared facilities” from a practical standpoint. Locals also often visit Puyallup to the south to enjoy the annual Puyallup and Spring Fairs. Federal Way, located north of Milton, also contains a number of botanical gardens and parks open to the public for Milton residents to enjoy.
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