Spokane remains Washington’s second-largest city, according to Census population estimates released Thursday, but Tacoma is catching up quickly.
In 2016, Spokane’s population was about 215,973, an increase of 1.36 percent over 2015. But Tacoma grew 1.73 percent to finish at 211,277 people. Surprising no one, Seattle continues to hold the No. 1 slot with 704,352 people.
If both cities continued growing at the same rate each year, Tacoma would surpass Spokane in 2027, with a population of about 251,000 people to Spokane’s 250,000.
Growth rates are unlikely to stay the same, however. Spokane’s rate, though lower, rose faster than Tacoma’s from 2015 to 2016, a trend that would keep the Lilac City on top if it continues. But Tacoma has had both a higher and faster-growing growth rate every other year since 2011.
Here are a few other tidbits from the 2016 population estimates.
- Spokane Valley remained the 10th-largest city in Washington, with a 2016 population of 96,340. That puts it about 3,400 people behind Federal Way, the next-largest city.
- Coeur d’Alene hit 50,285 as it grew 2.35 percent last year.
- Kootenai County grew 2.62 percent, to finish at 154,311 people.
- Cheney was the seventh-fastest-growing city in Washington in 2016, and the second-fastest among cities with over 10,000 people. The college town added 710 new residents in 2016, giving it a population of 12,237 and a growth rate of 6.16 percent.
- Thirteen cities had no growth in 2016, and 33 lost people. Most of those cities are under 5,000 people, but three bigger cities made the negative growth list: Shoreline, Walla Walla and Des Moines. That should be taken with a grain of salt, however: Their losses are all below 0.05 percent, and well within the margin of error for the estimates.
- Krupp, Washington, a Grant County town known to its residents as Marlin, has no competition for smallest city in the state. It’s had 49 residents since 2013. The next-smallest town is Lamont in Whitman County, with 73 residents. Nine towns have between 100 and 200 residents.
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