The latest numbers show the population increased by 2.3 percent between July 1, 2014, and July 1, 2015.

Share story

This column contains new data — but I understand if it sounds like a rerun.

Seattle, for the third consecutive year, is among the Top 5 big cities for population growth, according to data released Thursday by the U.S. Census Bureau. The city’s population increased by 2.3 percent between July 1, 2014 and July 1, 2015, ranking fourth among the 50 biggest U.S. cities.

Unless Amazon stops hiring, you might as well get used to it.

It’s been two years since Seattle ranked No. 1 for growth. This year, Denver, Colo., holds the top spot, with a 2.8 percent jump in population. In becoming the fastest-growing big city, Denver dethroned Austin, which fell back to seventh place. This marks the first time in the past five years that Austin is not among the Top 5.

The census data show Seattle had a net growth of about 15,000 people in the one-year period, pushing the city’s population to 684,451 last year.

And with that bump in population, Seattle now ranks as the 18th most-populous city in the United States, up from 20th in 2014.

That’s something of a milestone — Seattle has never before ranked so high. From 1950 to 1960, we peaked as the 19th largest city in the country. But by 1970, we had slid out of the Top 20.

To get to the 18th spot, we leapfrogged El Paso, Texas, and — more remarkably — Detroit, which was once the nation’s fourth-largest city.

The Motor City gets an assist for Seattle’s climb in the rankings by losing population. It’s one of just five among the 50 cities that shrank last year. The others: Baltimore; Memphis, Tenn.; Chicago; and Milwaukee, Wis.

But watch your back, Seattle. Denver is just a couple thousand people smaller, and if current trends continue, we’ll be the city that gets leapfrogged next year.

Washington’s second- and third-largest cities grew at a slower pace. Spokane registered less than 1 percent growth for the year, while Tacoma’s population increased by 1.6 percent.

Also in the new data: Seattle grew 66 percent faster than surrounding King County in 2015. This marks the fourth consecutive year that Seattle has outpaced its suburbs. In fact, Seattle’s 15,000-person increase represents nearly half of the total population growth in King County.

But unlike the past two years, Seattle is not King County’s fastest-growing city anymore. Bellevue grew by an impressive 2.4 percent — up from 1.8 percent in 2014. The population of the county’s second-largest city now stands at 139,820.

In fact, only one city in the state outpaced Bellevue this past year. With a 2.5 percent jump in population, Washington’s fastest-growing city for 2015 is: Marysville.