August 1, 2008

State Population Tops 6.5 Million

By Randy Hodgins

Washington State’s population continues to grow, but at a slower pace than in previous years according to a new analysis prepared by the Office of Financial Management (OFM).

Our state’s population has now topped 6.5 million people, an increase of about 100,000 or 1.5% over the past year.  Slowing economic conditions has reduced the number of people moving into the state, even though the state economic conditions are better than many other states in the country.

Since the last census in 2000, Washington’s population has grown by about 700,000.  Seattle is now the 24th largest city in the nation (right behind Boston) with almost 600,000 residents.  Spokane, Tacoma, Vancouver and Bellevue are the next four largest cities in the state.

The fastest growing counties continue to be Franklin (in the Tri-Cities area), Clark (in southwest Washington) and Thurston, which now has a county-wide population of nearly a quarter million residents.

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