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What’s it like living on Mercer Island [2024]? | 🏝️ Why Moving to Mercer Island is a Good Idea

Last Updated on: 27th July 2023, 10:12 am

An island city in the Seattle metropolitan area, Mercer Island is a highly-affluent community in one of the richest zip codes in the United States, right on an island in the center of Lake Washington. As one might expect, Mercer Island is best known for its astounding wealth, as well as having one of the best school districts in the state of Washington. Initially home to Snoqualmie peoples, it was settled by Americans in the 1870s and 1880s as “East Seattle”. An entrepreneur by the name of Charles C. Calkins built a gilded, luxury hotel on the island in the 1890s, making the island a stop for many high-class visitors, including President Harrison. While the hotel burned down at the turn of the century, the island still retains that ritzy atmosphere to this day. Incorporated as Mercer Island in the ‘70s, living in Mercer Island is one of the best experiences in the Seattle metropolitan area – if you can afford it!

Where is Mercer Island, WA?

Mercer Island is in King County, only a 12 mile drive from Seattle proper. Mercer Island is located within the Seattle-Tacoma-Bellevue, WA metro area, and is in the center of Lake Washington, with bridges going to Seattle and Bellevue. The distance from Mercer Island, WA to Seattle, WA is 7 miles.

Mercer Island Population & Demographics

The population of Mercer Island is 25,442 distributed over 6.4 miles at a population density of about 4,000 people per square mile. The median age here is 45.9, and 22% of residents are foreign born, 57% of whom come from Asia. Mercer Island has an unusually high Jewish population for the area, with practicing Jews making up 25% of Mercer Island’s households. 76.2% of Mercer Island’s population has a bachelor’s degree or higher certification, ranking it high among the most educated cities in America. Mercer Island’s population has shrunk by 1.4% since 2020.

The demographics of Mercer Island’s population are somewhat diverse, with Whites making up 69% of the community’s population. The second largest demographic is Asians, making up 20% of Mercer Island’s population. Mercer Island’s male/female gender ratio is slightly weighted towards females, at 52%.

Famous people from Mercer Island include co-founder of Microsoft Paul Allen, former Boeing CEO Frank Shrontz, former Ford CEO Alan Mulally, and professional baseball player Matthew Boyd. You’ll be living among some of America’s finest citizens here!

Is Mercer Island, WA safe? Don’t worry one bit – Mercer Island is one of the safest communities in Washington! Mercer Island’s overall crime rate is 42.1% lower than the national average, with 1,435 crimes annually per 100,000 people. The property crime rate is 33.4% lower than the national average, while the violent crime rate is 42.1% lower. The community of Mercer Island is served by the Mercer Island Police Department, which has 31 sworn officers.

Cost of Living in Mercer Island, WA

Seattle is hardly the most affordable city to live in, and that priceyness is exacerbated by Mercer Island’s affluence. If you want to live here, you’ll be paying quite a bit – but we assure you it’s well worth the price! The cost of living index for Mercer Island is 52.7% higher than the national average. The median home price in Mercer Island is $1,386,300, which is almost quadruple the average Washington home price of $366,800. According to RentCafe, the average rent in Mercer Island is $2,599 per month.

According to the Economic Policy Institute, a family of four will need a yearly income of $107,916 to live here.

If you want to make yourself a part of this community, you should check out the latest listings for homes for sale in Mercer Island, WA.

Mercer Island, WA Everyday Expenses

Want to know what sort of daily expenses you’ll be paying in Mercer Island? Check out these everyday expenses for Mercer Island, provided by Numbeo.

  • Gallon of Milk – $1.08
  • Loaf of Bread – $3.99
  • Gallon of Gasoline – $1.39
  • Average Mercer Island Utilities per Month – $227.71
  • Internet per Month – $70.47

Mercer Island, WA Neighborhoods

Despite being very small, Mercer Island’s affluence lends itself well to the development of unique and culturally colorful neighborhoods. See just a few of Mercer Island’s excellent neighborhoods below:

North End – The Cultural Center of Mercer Island

Located near the downtown of Mercer Island, North End is a widely-coveted neighborhood of Mercer Island due to its proximity to the I-90 that bisects the island, as well as the aforementioned nearness to many of Mercer Island’s urban amenities.

Mid-Island – Family-friendly, Great Schools

Home to the Mercer Island High School, Mid-Island is a neighborhood located in the center of the island, surprising very few of you, we’re sure! Dotted with churches and schools, Mid-Island is the perfect place for those planning to raise a family.

West Mercer – Great Lakefront Views, Great Homes

Often referred to as Mercer Island’s “Gold Coast”, that title is only a bit of an exaggeration – West Mercer is a neighborhood with a wide array of excellent home selections and even better views of Lake Washington.

Mercer Island, WA Climate & Weather

According to the Koppen Climate Classification, Mercer Island is a dry-summer subtropical climate. Seattle has a reputation for being rainy, and Mercer Island gets just about the average for rain, but far less than the average for snow. You can expect lows of 37 degrees Fahrenheit during the winter months, and highs of 76 degrees Fahrenheit during the summer months. Mercer Island gets just about the average amount of rainfall for the United States, with 39 inches per year. Mercer Island experiences almost no snow, with only five inches annually. The best times to visit Mercer Island, in terms of comfort rating, are July and August.

Seattle, and thus Mercer Island, don’t generally experience extreme weather events.

Things to Do in Mercer Island

Want to know about the best things to do in Mercer Island, WA? Check out great shopping near and in the community like the Mercer Island Shopping Center for all your shopping needs! Those looking for live music and fresh food can also check out the seasonal Mercer Island Farmers Market. You should check out some of the best things to do in Mercer Island, WA below:

Luther Burbank Park

This 7-acre lakefront park offers excellent children’s play facilities, boating and fishing, and more, to Mercer Island residents who’d like to spend the day out.

2040 84th Ave SE, Mercer Island, WA 98040, (206) 275-7609

Aubrey Davis Park

Sports facilities, play areas, and more are contained in this beautiful Mercer Island park with fantastic views of the lake and Downtown Seattle.

2030 72nd Ave SE, Mercer Island, WA 98040, (206) 275-7873

Clarke & Clarke Art + Artifacts

Carrying ethnic art both old and new, Clarke & Clarke is the perfect place to pick up some art pieces that will add plenty of personality to your home!

7605 SE 27th St #105, Mercer Island, WA 98040, (206) 232-4456


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Mercer Island, WA Additional Attractions:

Mercer Island is served by the Mercer Island parks & recreation department. See all the events that are planned in Mercer Island with the Mercer Island community calendar.

Places to Eat in Mercer Island, WA

Alongside its host of things to do, Mercer Island is also home to plenty of great eats! Check out some of the best places to eat in Mercer Island, Washington below:

Roanoke Inn

This lively, comfy pub serves classic, excellent American dishes with a jukebox, lovely outdoor seating, and more.

1825 72nd Ave SE, Mercer Island, WA 98040, (206) 232-0800

Mioposto Pizza

Featuring wonderful Neapolitan-style pizzas, Mioposto Pizza is a Mercer Island favorite for not only their pizzas, but their drinks and sandwiches, too.

2601 76th Ave SE, Mercer Island, WA 98040, (206) 588-2743


Serving coffee, breakfast, lunch, and Croatian flatbread, after which the restaurant is named, Pogacha is a great place to stop by during those rough early mornings!

2707 78th Ave SE, Mercer Island, WA 98040, (425) 455-5670


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Mercer Island, WA Schools

Mercer Island is served by the Mercer Island School District, an award-winning and widely well-regarded school district in Washington, with 100% of the schools in the district being rated “above average” by GreatSchools. The district services 7 schools total, with 4 elementary schools, a middle school, a high school, and a secondary school. There are also a number of private schools in the city.

Students and others in Mercer Island are served by the Mercer Island branch of the King county Public Library System.

Jobs in Mercer Island, WA

As a primarily residential community, Mercer Island doesn’t pack quite the industry the city across the bridges do, but Mercer Island still has plenty of opportunity for the enterprising worker! According to Payscale, the most popular positions of employment are Office Manager, Account Manager, and Interior Designer. The most popular employers in Mercer Island are Stroum Jewish Community Center, Mercer Island School District, and Blue Origin. The average salary for a worker in Mercer Island is $87k a year, while the average hourly wage is $23.96.

See the latest openings for jobs in Mercer Island here.

Map of Mercer Island, WA

Explore Mercer Island’s large variety of things to do, places to eat, and more with this map!

Mercer Island, WA Statistics & Information

  • Located in King County
  • Mercer Island Area: 12.9 square miles
  • Mercer Island zip codes: 98040
  • Mercer Island area codes: 206
  • Mercer Island Elevation: 338’
  • Mercer Island Time zone: PST
  • Mercer Island’s Closest airport: King County International Airport, GMPW+QF Seattle, Washington, 10.6 miles from Mercer Island

Planning on moving to Mercer Island, Washington? Give All Ready Moving a call at 360-507-2447! Our top-notch and highly-rated moving team of experienced professionals are ready and prepared to make your Mercer Island-area move quick, simple, and easy! Don’t delay – call the Mercer Island movers or fill out our free quote form for an estimate today!

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