Region has added over a million people since 2000

Growth cooling, but region still gaining 166 people a day

The region rang in Y2K with 3.3 million people. Now we're at 4.3 million.

To put that growth in perspective, it’s as if another Seattle and Tacoma were added to the region in the last two decades.

This year’s additional 60,800 residents means the region gained 166 people a day.

The numbers come from population estimates recently released by the state’s Office of Financial Management. They include people who moved into the region, as well as natural growth (births minus deaths).

This isn't the population boom seen in the mid-2010s, though. The region grew at its slowest rate (1.4%) since growth peaked in 2015-16

Still, King, Pierce and Snohomish each swelled more than 1% from April 1, 2019 to April 1, 2020—and Kitsap wasn’t far behind at 0.8%. The three larger counties have grown at least 1% annually in the last five years.

Seattle added 13,800 people this year, more than any other city in the region. That’s more than either Pierce County (12,400) or Snohomish County (11,800) added during the same time frame.

Redmond had the second highest population jump among the region’s 82 cities, adding 4,040 and outstripping Bellevue’s increase of 2,800. The two Eastside cities have frequently leap-frogged each other in growth numbers over the last decade.

While Seattle may have added the most people, when it comes to percent increase in residents, the Emerald City is nowhere near the top 10.

That list is dominated by much smaller cities (not counting Redmond), with Black Diamond as the fastest growing city in the region. The first families moved into the Ten Trails development in 2018, and Black Diamond's population ballooned this year from 4,525 to 5,205—a 15% growth rate.

Granite Falls grew nearly as fast. The city between the Pilchuck and Stillaguamish rivers had a 13.5% growth rate, adding 525 residents and pushing its population over 4,000 for the first time.

The state's Office of Financial Management sets April 1 as the date of its annual city and county estimates, so this year’s estimates were set just a couple weeks after COVID-19 started affecting the region. The impacts of the pandemic and resulting economic slowdown won’t appear in OFM’s population estimates until 2021.

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