Breaking non-news: the Seattle-Tacoma Metro is growing

Hey Washingtonians, the Census has some total non-news for you: the Seattle area is growing! Gasp!

Washington grew nearly twice as fast (+1.3%) as the national rate (+0.7%) between 2013 and 2014. Washington’s population growth was driven by the Seattle-Tacoma metro. Every county from Skagit (Mount Vernon) to Thurston (Olympia) grew above state rate. Only 3 of Washington’s other 34 counties had above-average growth (shown in green); another 3 actually lost people (shown in red).

Outside of the Metro, the only counties with above-average growth were Clark (Vancouver), Franklin (Pasco), and Kittitas (Ellensburg).

The fastest-growing county was basically a three-way tie between Kittitas (+1.77%), Snohomish (+1.76%), and Clark (+1.74%), with King (+1.61%) just behind.

King ranks behind Franklin as the fastest-growing Washington county of the 2010s (+12.3% vs. +7.7%). However, it looks like an improving national economy is bringing some population increase back to the less urbanized counties, too.

Population-losing counties were Grays Harbor (Aberdeen), and two tiny counties, Columbia (Dayton) and Garfield (Pomeroy). All three counties have seen long-term population decline, and relatively little economic improvement.

(Also, to be clear, these estimates are all through July 1 of each year. So, “2013-2014” means July 1, 2013 through July 1, 2014. By the time we get city-level estimates from the Census, they’re a year old. The State has less lag time — their estimates are for April 1 and come out later in the year.)