Puget Sound Regional Council

Please review this important update on planning assumptions and trends before working with the current Population, Households and Employment Forecasts.

PSRC employs a two-stage, top-down process to develop its small area forecast of population, households, and employment in the region. The first step is to prepare the Puget Sound Economic and Demographic Forecast for the region as a whole. The resulting regional forecasts serve as control totals for the second step – allocating the forecast growth to a set of sub-regional or small area zones.

The Population, Households, and Employment Forecast contains historical and future year estimates of key demographic and employment variables for the region by forecast analysis zone (FAZ). Data is available in ten-year increments, starting with 1980 and extending through 2040. The current forecast series, released in 2006, was produced using DRAM/EMPAL, the zone-based land use model.


Data File (Excel)

For information on this, please contact Mark Simonson (206-971-3273).

Reference Files

FAZ Maps

FAZ Shapefiles

FAZ Equivalency Tables

Frequently Asked Questions

  • What is a Forecast Analysis Zone (FAZ)?
    • FAZs are the units of the geographic boundary system used by the PSRC to model and report its small area Forecasts of Population, Households, and Employment. They are built up from traffic analysis zones (TAZs), with each FAZ containing between 1 to 20 TAZs. FAZ boundaries generally, with few exceptions, also line up with census tract boundaries, with each FAZ containing between 1 to 9 census tracts. There are a total of 219 FAZs in the region.
  • Does PSRC produce city-level forecasts?
    • PSRC does not develop forecasts for cities. Our small area forecasts are developed at the forecast analysis zone (FAZ) level – geographic zones that are comprised of between 1 to 9 census tracts. Each FAZ generally corresponds with the community or municipality for which it is named, but does not follow exact political boundaries.
  • How does the definition of a “job” differ in the PSRC’s forecasts vs. current employment data series?
    • The employment figures in PSRC’s Population, Household and Employment Forecast, and the Covered Employment Estimates data series are not comparable. There are four key differences:

      • a) Small Area Forecasts do not include the Resource/Construction sector, while the Regional Forecasts and Covered Employment Estimates do;
      • b) Small Area Forecasts represent Total Employment forecasts for the sectors shown, incorporating an estimate of proprietors and other types of jobs not included in the source data for the Covered Employment estimates;
      • c) The job sectors in the Small Area Forecasts are defined using the older Standard Industrial Classification (SIC) system, whereas job sectors in the regional forecast and current employment estimates are based on the newer North American Industry Classification System (NAICS).
      • d) Some jobs are moved from one sector to another in the Small Area Forecasts, to better reflect the type of land use and travel behavior – the two most significant changes are the reassignment of employees of the Puget Sound Naval Shipyard in Bremerton (FAZ 9902) from the Government/Education sector to the Manufacturing sector, and employees of private schools from the FIRES (Finance, Insurance, Real Estate and Services) sector to the Government/Education sector.

        For more information on employment data estimates and forecasts, please see the Employment Data Series memorandum. Contact Mike Jensen, 206-464-7538 for more information.

Puget Sound Regional Council • 1011 Western Ave, Suite 500 • Seattle, WA 98104 • 206-464-7090