Mercer Island Cultural Capital

Mercer Island is a city that feeds off of the cultural ties of two larger cities; Seattle and Bellevue. It is a residential area, so there are no densely populated urban areas, nor are there too many areas where there is low income housing.  The city itself is a fairly expensive place to live with the median household income of $121,000, this does not offer much to the younger demographic for home owning status or even renting apartments.  There are many aspects of this city’s culture that can be seen “above the water” the tip of the iceberg so to speak.  The city is 77% Caucasian with a large emphasis of healthy living engrained into the city’s infrastructure via organic food shops and athletic training facilities.

Some specific cultural capital that Mercer Island can call its own resides in the water.  Not only underneath the “water surface” in the deep culture but also physically on the water! Throughout the summer months the city incorporates its surrounding body of water, lake Washington, in its festivities.  It is a celebration of the lake and the Island heritage that is found when living there.  Boat races are the most popular of these events.  Everyone flocks to the shore to see the speedboats of the Seafair Hydro races and their loud, powerful engines.  These are not the only races that occur in the water; ‘Round Mercer island race is a race for sailboats around the entirety of the island.  Round the rock is but another famous race that encompasses the island, but this time it is done on paddleboards organized by the Northwest paddle surfers of greater Seattle.

Mercer Island is a place that is happy to adopt the culture of two larger cities that surround it, but it is also proud of its people and its special geographic location.  The residents of Mercer Island incorporate many aspects of their culture and surrounding culture every day from its infrastructure to the organizations like Northwest paddle surfers through their pride of calling the Island home.





Green, G. P., & Haines, A. (2012). Asset building & community development. Los Angeles, Calif.: SAGE.


City of Mercer Island – Demographics. (n.d.). Retrieved October 01, 2016, from


Welcome to the 8th Annual Round the Rock! (n.d.). Retrieved October 01, 2016,  roundtherockracers