Region’s fastest growing cities

Most growth within metro and core cities

As the region grew by more than 86,000 people last year, two thirds of that growth occurred within 10 cities. 

The top city by total population change was Seattle, which accounted for 28% of the region’s population change last year.  Seattle likely surpassed 700,000 people in early 2017.  

Table showing top 10 fastest growing cities in the central Puget Sound region by total population change

Sammamish was second on the list, gaining 11,270 new residents largely due to an annexation of previously unincorporated Klahanie and several adjacent neighborhoods in January 2016.

Other top growing cities by total change include:  Bellevue, Tacoma, Federal Way, Renton, Everett, Kent, Auburn, and Redmond.

With the exception of Sammamish, all of the top-growing cities have designated regional growth centers.

These centers are key to the region’s VISION 2040 growth strategy.  The strategy calls for a majority of new housing and jobs to locate in centers, creating vibrant urban neighborhoods linked to transit connections.  

Another way to look at population growth is by percent change. Sammamish topped this list due to an annexation.

Other fast growing cities by percent population change are shown in the chart below.

Table showing top 10 cities for percent population growth in central Puget Sound region, 2016

Seattle was the eighth fastest growing city by percent change last year.

You can see more data snapshots in the Regional Data Trends presentation at the April Executive Board meeting.

Topic: 

Comments

Can you explain the differences in how OFM calculates population v how the US Census Bureau calculates population using the annual ACS? Why are there differences, and which is likely to be more accurate?

Thanks for your question. Briefly, the ACS is a national survey that uses continuous measurement methods through a series of monthly samples to produce annual estimates of the population and its characteristics. Through a weighting process, the survey samples collected are expanded to bring them into agreement with the full population. More information on this can be found at https://www.census.gov/programs-surveys/acs/methodology/design-and-methodology.html.

OFM estimates population change since the most recent decennial census (2010 currently) using birth, death, and migration statistics. More information on this can be found at http://www.ofm.wa.gov/pop/april1/technical_information.asp.

At the state and county level, neither is more or less accurate than the other within the margin of error of those estimates. Using the OFM numbers is probably preferred for smaller jurisdictions because those estimates are based on administrative records whereas ACS are based on a relatively small number of samples from those jurisdictions and collected over a 5 year period (if the population is under 20,000).