Thursday, July 01, 2010

Migration to Washington from California dwindling, state report says

I never really considered myself to be a Californian (not that that's a bad thing) but I suppose that Chris and I were probably included in this tally. Come to think of it, after stints in OR, AK, and CA, I still thought of myself as a Washingtonian. A bit odd, don't you think? I wonder what Chris considers himself to be. [My bet would be an Alaskan. Till the day he dies]

On a similar note, when I was growing up in Seattle, we'd see a fast, reckless driver and say, 'man, that dude has to be from California'. When we moved down to Orange Country and I'd observe a slow tortoise behind the wheel, I'd mutter, 'huh, that guy is probably from Washington. Step on it, grandpa!'.


While the influx of new residents to the state dwindled, Seattle and King County are growing at a steady -- albeit slow -- clip, the estimates showed.
Seattle had an estimated 612,000 residents as of April 1, up 8.6 percent from official 2000 Census numbers and 1.7 percent from the 2009 estimate, according to the report. Last year's estimate represented a 1.6 percent increase over 2008.
The estimates are based on school enrollment, housing, voters, driver's licenses and other data. The Office of Financial Management discourages comparing annual estimates to anything other than the Census statistics.
In King County, the April 1 population estimate was 1,933,400. That's an 11.3 percent increase since 2000 and a 1.3 percent increase from 2009. From 2008 to 2009, the county's growth was estimated at 1.2 percent.
Statewide, the estimated April 1 population was 6,733,250, an increase of 14.2 percent over 2000 and 1 percent from 2009. Last year, growth was estimated at 1.2 percent over 2008.
The state's rate of growth has been slowing steadily since the 1.9-percent year-over-year increase shown by the 2006 estimates. Seattle's 1.7-percent jump from 2009 is the highest increase this decade.
Annual growth in King County hit its peak at 1.5 percent in 2006 and was unchanged from 2009.
The report also said that growth in Washington's relatively large Asian and Hispanic population was slowed as international migration was stifled by the economy.
Overall, the state gained an estimate 26,000 new residents in the year ending April 1. That's a slowdown of 33.3 percent from a year earlier, when 39,000 new residents were estimated to have arrived, and 67.9 percent from the 2006 peak, when 81,000 new arrivals were estimated.
Seattle was 138th out of the state's 279 ranked cities in terms of growth rate since 2000.
Gerry Spratt can be reached at 206-448-8012 or Follow Gerry on Twitter at