Washington’s population grows at fastest pace since 2007
Seventy-eight percent of the state’s total population increase occurred in the five largest metropolitan counties — Clark, King, Pierce, Snohomish and Spokane — whose economic activity continues to attract people from out of state. Similar to last year, nonmetropolitan counties accounted for less than 5 percent of state population growth.
The April 1, 2016, population estimate for Washington’s incorporated cities and towns is 4,666,800, an increase of 102,400 people over the previous year. Eighty-four percent of the population growth in incorporated areas is due to natural increase and migration while 16 percent (16,300 people) is due to annexation. The top 10 cities for population growth, in descending order, were Seattle, Sammamish, Bellevue, Tumwater, Tacoma, Vancouver, Federal Way, Renton, Everett and Pasco. Renton became the state’s eighth city to exceed 100,000 population.
Population in the state’s unincorporated areas increased by 19,900 over the previous year. This number would have been 36,100 if not for annexation. The top 10 unincorporated areas for population growth, in descending order, were Snohomish, Pierce, Clark, Kitsap, Island, Spokane, Whatcom, Skagit, Kittitas and Chelan.
Housing growth in 2016 increased by nearly 6 percent from the previous year. The state added 34,400 housing units, compared to a 32,400-unit increase in 2015. The level of housing growth remains below the prior decade average of 43,500 units per year. Statewide, half of all new housing units were associated with multifamily structures. Nearly 73 percent of all new housing is located in the five largest metropolitan counties. King County leads all counties with almost 13,400 new units, or 39 percent of the state’s total housing increase.
Additional information on the latest population estimates for the state, counties, cities and towns.
Printable PDF of this news release with related maps and tables.
Numeric Change in Population: 2015–2016
Percent Change in Population: 2015–2016
Percent of State Total Population: 2016
Population Density: 2016