State Relations

July 5, 2007

More on the State Population Forecast: Spokane or Tacoma … Who’s Really No. 2?

One of the things that caught my eye in the recent state population figures released by the Governor’s budget office was that Tacoma is really gaining on Spokane for status as the state’s second largest city.  Both cities have populations just over the 200,000 mark, separated by less than 2,000 residents.

According to the Tacoma News Tribune “inside the editorial page” blog, Tacoma lobbyist Randy Lewis says Spokane cheated and that Tacoma should rightfully be in the number two city slot.  Lewis apparently issued a memo pointing out that due to a large annexation in 2005, Spokane’s population is 1,469 residents higher than Tacoma which picked up only three residents through such changes.  Take annexation out of the picture and Tacoma surges ahead of Spokane by 1,266 residents by counting only births and in-migration.

Despite the two vs. three controversy, the rest of the top ten cities list shows no significant change.  After Seattle, Spokane and Tacoma, the list reads Vancouver, Bellevue, Everett, Spokane Valley, Federal Way, Kent and Yakima.