More people moved to Washington in the past year, helping to push the state's population passed 7 million.
OLYMPIA, Wash. (AP) — More people moved to Washington in the past year, helping to push the state’s population above 7 million, according to estimates released Thursday by the Office of Financial Management.
An estimated 7,061,400 people lived in the Evergreen State as of April 2015. The state gained about 93,200 people between 2014 and 2015. The 1.34 percent increase is the largest annual bump since 2008.
More than three-fourths of the population boom was concentrated in the state’s five largest counties — Clark, King, Pierce, Snohomish and Spokane — where economic opportunities continue to draw new residents.
All but two counties in the state expanded, while Wahkiakum and Grays Harbor counties lost residents between 2014 and 2015.
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“It’s a decent amount of growth,” said Mike Mohrman, a senior forecast analyst with OFM. “It’s concentrated in a few counties, along Interstate 5 and Spokane.”
Seattle is seeing a tremendous amount of growth, accounting for more than one-fifth of the state’s population increase, Mohrman said.
The city topped the list of booming cities with the largest gain in numbers, with 21,900 moving into the city to boost its estimated population to about 662,400. It was followed by Vancouver, Marysville, Kent, Redmond, Tacoma, Olympia, Renton, Spokane Valley and Bremerton.
As for counties, Snohomish and Clark led the way with the largest growth rate, increasing by more than 2 percent. They were followed by King, Whitman and Kittitas County.
Along with people, the state also added about 32,200 housing units in 2015, a 7 percent jump from the previous year. King County added the largest number of new units, about 13,500.
This story has been updated to corrects that Seattle’s growth represents one-fifth of the state’s population increase instead of one-fourth, and to clarify that Seattle topped the list of booming cities by largest gain in numbers, not by growth rate.