Fewer People Moving To Washington State Than In Years Past
More than 7.9 million people call the Evergreen State home, but Washington's population isn't growing as much as years past.
The state saw growth of 1.1%, somewhat slower than last year's count at 1.3%.
Mike Mohrman with the State Office of Management believes the aging population and the number of people delaying childbirth contributes to the slower growth.
"If you choose not to have your first child until you're after 30, then chances are you're going to end up having fewer overall children in your lifetime." Mohrman said.
At 1.35%, Franklin County's growth numbers are similar to those statewide.
"The population in the prison at Connell is still lower than what it was at the census point," Mohrman said. "The county has added some group housings and farmworker housing."
Benton County at 1.51% is the second fastest growing county behind Whatcom County. The total population grew from 212,300 to 215,000 people in the last year.
"One of the things we like to look at is housing change," Morhman added. "Since the 2020 census, Benton County has added over 4,000 units and Franklin County has added just under 1,700 units."
More than 71% of state population growth occurred in the five largest metropolitan counties — Clark, King, Pierce, Snohomish, and Spokane.
The Office of Management cites migration as the primary driver behind Washington’s population growth. From 2022 to 2023, net migration (people moving in minus people moving out) totaled 72,300, down by 11,300 from last year. Net migration accounted for 83% of the state’s population growth. Natural change (births minus deaths) was responsible for the other 17%. Natural change (14,445) remains low but has recovered somewhat from the increased deaths and lower births during the COVID-19 pandemic.
For a complete breakdown of the state's population numbers, click here.
Top States With The Highest Population Near Toxic Release Sites