OLYMPIA — The city of Seattle was among 14 cities in the U.S. that saw a population gain of 100,000 or more over the past decade, and the nearby city of Kent was among 10 of the fastest growing cities with populations of 50,000 or more, according to data released Thursday by the U.S Census Bureau.
Figures released earlier this year showed that the overall population of Washington state grew by nearly 15% over the past 10 years to more than 7.7 million, but despite the population jump it isn’t getting any more than the its current 10 U.S. House seats.
The five counties that saw the largest jump in population from 2010 to 2020 were: Franklin, with a 23.8% change; Clark, at 18.3%; Benton, at 18.1%; King, with 17.5%; and Thurston, at 16.9%. Only two of the state’s 39 counties saw a decrease in population: Ferry, with a 4.9% decline; and Columbia, at 3.1%
The release of the redistricting data culled from the 2020 census is coming more than four months later than expected due to delays caused by the pandemic. The redistricting numbers states use for redrawing congressional and legislative districts show where white, Asian, Black and Hispanic communities grew over the past decade. It also shows which areas have gotten older or younger and the number of people living in dorms, prisons and nursing homes. The data covers geographies as small as neighborhoods and as large as states. An earlier set of data released in April provided state population counts and showed the U.S. had 331 million residents last year, a 7.4% increase from 2010.
The Washington State Redistricting Commission, which started meeting in January, is tentatively set to publish a draft legislative district map on Sept. 21 and a draft congressional district map on Sept. 28. The commission has until Nov. 15th to produce final maps.
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