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Population Growth in Relation to the State's Counties

Washington's population grew from 4.1 million in 1980 to 5.9 million in 2000. For April 1, 2012, Washington's population is estimated at 6.8 million. This number is expected to reach 8.2 million by 2030, and 8.8 million by 2040. 

 

Population Estimate for April 1, 2012


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Source: Washington State Office of Financial Management
Click here for source data in Excel


Washington state's population in 1980 was 4.1 million. King County was the only county with a population greater than 750,000. Pierce County had more than 400,000 residents. Clark, Snohomish, Spokane, and Yakima counties had populations between 150,000 and 399,999. Thirteen counties had populations of less than 20,000 residents (Adams, Asotin, Columbia, Ferry, Garfield, Jefferson, Klickitat, Lincoln, Pacific, Pend Orielle, San Juan, Skamania, and Wahkiakum). The remaining 20 counties had populations between 20,000 and 149,999.

Population Distribution in 1980

     County Population 1980

Source: U.S. Census Bureau 1980
SF3, P001

 

The total state population in 2000 grew to 5.9 million, a 30% increase over 20 years. King County remained the only county with a population greater than 750,000. Pierce, Snohomish, and Spokane counties had populations greater than 400,000. Clark, Kitsap, Thurston, Whatcom, and Yakima had populations between 150,000 and 399,999. Few counties had populations of less than 20,000 residents (Adams, Columbia, Ferry, Garfield, Klickitat, Lincoln, Pend Oreille, San Juan, Skamania, and Wahkiakum). The remaining 20 counties had populations between 20,000 and 149,999.

 

Population Distribution in 2000*

County Population2000

Source: U.S. Census Bureau 2000
SF3, P001
* Actual population from 2000 Census. Washington State Office of Finacial Management estimate available for 2001-2008 at http://www.ofm.wa.gov/pop/april1/default.asp

 

The total state population in 2030 is projected to be 8.3 million, a 29% increase in three decades. King, Pierce, and Snohomish counties are projected to have populations greater than 950,000. Spokane and Clark counties are projected to grow to over 500,000.  Benton, Kitsap, Skagit, Thurston, Whatcom, and Yakima counties are projected to have populations between 150,000 and 399,999. Only seven counties are projected to have populations of less than 20,000 residents (Columbia, Ferry, Garfield, Lincoln, Pend Oreille, Skamania, and Wahkiakum). The remaining 21 counties will have populations between 20,000 and 149,999.

 

Projected Population Distribution in 2030

county population 2030 - projected

Source: Washington State Office of Financial Management, November 2003; WSDOT

 

Distribution of Washington's Population Growth by County

The state's population growth has not been evenly distributed geographically throughout the state.  From 1980 to 2000 the greatest growth (more that 9% of the total statewide growth) was concentrated in three counties: King, Pierce, and Snohomish. Clark County experienced the second highest level of growth (between 5 and 9% of total statewide growth). Most other counties experienced low levels of growth (less than 5% of total growth). Two counties: Wahkiakum and Garfield experienced negative growth.

Washington's total population in 1980 was 4,132,156. In 2000 it had climbed to 5,894,121.

Change in Population 1980 to 2000


Shown as an increase or decrease amount from 1980, and Percent of Total State Growth

population change by county 1980 - 2000

Source:  U.S. Census Bureau 1980 and 2000
SF3, P001

From 2000 to 2030 the greatest growth (more that 9% of the total statewide growth) is expected to be concentrated in four counties: King, Pierce, Snohomish, and Clark. Spokane, Kitsap and Thurston will experience a second highest
level of growth (between 4 and 9% of total growth). Most other counties experienced low levels of growth. 

Change in Population 2000 to 2030

Washington's total population in 2000 was 5,894,121. It is projected to be 8,314,695 by 2030.
Shown as an increase or decrease amount from 2000, and Percent of Total State Growth

population change by county 2000-2030

Source: Washington State Office of Financial Management, November 2003;  WSDOT

Although the general distribution of population growth between 1980-2000 and 2000-2030 is the same there is a slight but important shift. The total growth in the largest change groups (King, Snohomish, and Pierce counties) in 1980-2000 is lower in 2000-2030. Some of the growth previously in these counties has moved to the surrounding counties. The population growth is projected to remain concentrated in very targeted locations throughout the state.

 

Tables Show data for Above Maps:

Population Change 1980 to 2000

population table showing change from 1980 to 2000

Population Change 2000 to 2030

population table showing change from 2000 to 2030

Source Web site:  Washington Office of Financial Management
Source data (Microsoft Excel):  Population Estimates by Age and Sex, 1980 - 2001 &
Washington State Population Projection:  Intermediate Series
Downloaded:  12/10/03

Shown as an increase or decrease amount from 1980, and Percent of Total State Growth

Shown as an increase or decrease amount from 1980, and Percent of Total State Growth

Shown as an increase or decrease amount from 1980, and Percent of Total State Growth

Shown as an increase or decrease amount from 1980, and Percent of Total State Growth

Shown as an increase or decrease amount from 1980, and Percent of Total State Growth

Shown as an increase or decrease amount from 1980, and Percent of Total State Growth