clock menu more-arrow no yes mobile

Filed under:

Surprise! Two-thirds of U.S. residents would have been happy to have their city win Amazon’s HQ2.

Most don’t think the split second headquarters is a big deal.

The glass spheres outside Amazon corporate headquarters in Seattle
The glass spheres outside Amazon corporate headquarters in Seattle
David Ryder / Getty
Rani Molla is a senior correspondent at Vox and has been focusing her reporting on the future of work. She has covered business and technology for more than a decade — often in charts — including at Bloomberg and the Wall Street Journal.

While it might seem from news coverage and social media that Amazon’s second headquarters decision angered the public, people were much more likely to favor the decision than to have a negative opinion of it, according to a survey conducted for Recode by the consumer research company Toluna. Indeed, the majority of Americans said they would have wanted one of Amazon’s HQ2 complexes to be based in their city.

Of those who were aware of Amazon’s decision, 67 percent of respondents in the U.S. said they would have been happy if Amazon had chosen their home area for an HQ2. Those people overwhelmingly cited jobs (92 percent) as the reason for their approval, while nearly 60 percent said investment in public works and infrastructure improvements was their reason.

Some 44 percent had a favorable view of Amazon’s decision to split its new headquarters between two cities, while 47 percent were indifferent and just 9 percent had a negative opinion.

Americans were evenly split on whether it was okay for cities and states to give Amazon billions of dollars in tax breaks. Some 40 approved while 39 percent didn’t, according to the survey.

These results fall in line with a recent, more localized poll conducted by Quinnipiac University. In that study, 60 percent of registered voters in Queens approved of the decision to host an Amazon HQ2 in its Long Island City. It should be noted, however, that nearly half of Queens residents are foreign-born, so they may be less likely than the population at large to be citizens and able to vote. Foreign-born immigrants who are not U.S. citizens, including green card holders, are not eligible to vote in New York City, where the poll was conducted.

The results of the Toluna survey are a reminder that Amazon continually ranks among the top brands in the U.S. as far as overall positive customer impressions, despite outcries from small businesses, politicians and some of their own warehouse workers.

The Toluna survey was conducted online on Dec. 6 and 7 among a nationally representative group of 1,200 respondents. The survey takers accept rewards points in exchange for completing surveys online.

This article originally appeared on

Sign up for the newsletter Today, Explained

Understand the world with a daily explainer plus the most compelling stories of the day.