Washington Population 2016

Washington State is situated in the far northwestern corner of the United States, and with a land mass of 71,299 square miles, it is the 18th largest state in the US in terms of surface area. It has a population to match its considerable size, as well, with an estimated population of 7.17 million in 2016.

The US Census Bureau 2015 estimate show Washington's population has reached 7,170,351, up from 6.72 million recorded during the 2010 census. Washington is currently enjoying a healthy growth rate of 1.27%, which ranks 8th in the country.

In order to gauge any current population within Washington State, it is necessary to refer back to the last nationwide census which was carried out in 2010. At that stage, it was confirmed that there were 6,724,540 people in the state, and that represented an increase of just over 14% on the numbers declared in 2000.

Current estimates now show a population of 7.17 million in the state of Washington, and rapid growth is expected to continue. This population places Washington as the 13th most populous state in the country, but only 25th in terms of population density. Within its total area of 71,299 square miles, there is an average of 101.2 people for every square mile of Washington State territory.

Seattle is the largest city in the state with a population of 684,451, with a density of 7,962 people per square mile. The Seattle-Tacoma-Bellevue metropolitan area has a population of 3.73 million, however, and encompasses nearby cities like Kent, Tacoma, Bellevue and Everett. It accounts for more than half of the state's population.

Washington Demographics

According to 2015 estimates, Washington's racial and ethnic composition is:

  • 80.3% White (69.8% non-Hispanic)
  • 4.1% Black and African American
  • 1.9% Native American
  • 8.4% Asian
  • 0.7% Pacific Islander
  • 4.6% Multiracial

Washington has a fairly large Hispanic and Latino population of 12.4%, which may belong to any race. Despite a small overall percentage of the population, the black population of Washington is mostly in the Central District and South End regions of Seattle and Tacoma.

American Indians, meanwhile, live on Indian reservations and jurisdictory lands including Muckleshoot Indian Reservation and the Yakima Indian Reservation. Westernmost and Pacific coast regions of the state have large American Indian communities as well.

Asian American and Pacific Islanders are concentrated in the Seattle-Tacoma metropolitan area.) Tacoma itself has one of the largest Cambodian American communities in the country, and Washington as a whole has the largest percentage of Pacific Islander people of any mainland US state except Utah.

Washington Population History

Like many areas in the far west United States, Washington State began life with a very small population and back in 1850, the population was recorded at 1,201. Ten years later, however, that had increased significantly by nearly 900% to 11,594 and it sparked a population explosion within the state to the extent that by the end of the 1800s, the population had grown to 518,103.

The Census of 1910 revealed that the Washington State population had exceeded one million for the very first time and the pattern throughout the 1900s was one of continued substantial growth.

That has progressed again through the present day where the population of Washington State in 2016 has surpassed 7 million.

Population Projections for Washington

The overall picture in the state is clearly one of sustained growth and there is really nothing to indicate that this factor will change at all for the foreseeable future.

Looking at percentage increases for the last few censuses, it is safe to assume that the population of Washington State will be well on its way to another major milestone through 2020, when the population is estimated to surpass 7.5 million.

According to current projections, Washington's population will reach 8.9 million by 2040, with migration contributing 59% of this increase, while the remaining 41% will be contributed by natural increases (or the number of births minus the number of deaths). While 14% of Washington's total population is now over the age of 65, this percentage will climb to 21% by 2040, which will have serious impacts on planning and policy-making for the state as a whole.

Washington Population in 2016 Source: Joshulove

Washington Facts

  • Tumwater was the first settlement in the state of Washington. It was settled in 1846 and was named New Market.
  • It was found that over half of the 5.9 million residents recorded during the 2000 Census were employed by the state.
  • Over 10% of the state's population is foreign born, and over 1% of the population is comprised of illegal immigrants.
  • Washington is just one of seven states that does not have a personal income tax.
  • Seattle has the highest percentage of residents in the US holding a college degree.
  • Washington has the most glaciers of any state in the contiguous US.
  • Washington is home to over 1,000 dams, including the Grand Coulee, the largest in the nation.

Population Data via US Census

Year Population % Change Rank
2020 7,706,276 1.41% 13
2019 7,599,091 1.43% 13
2018 7,491,906 1.45% 13
2017 7,384,721 1.47% 13
2016 7,277,536 1.49% 13
2015 7,170,351 1.52% 13
2014 7,063,166 1.29% 13
2013 6,973,281 1.10% 13
2012 6,897,292 1.09% 13
2011 6,823,229 1.47% 13
2010 6,724,540 1.33% 13
2000 5,894,121 1.93% 15
1990 4,866,692 1.65% 18
1980 4,132,156 1.94% 20
1970 3,409,169 1.80% 22
1960 2,853,214 1.83% 23
1950 2,378,963 3.20% 23
1940 1,736,191 1.05% 30
1930 1,563,396 1.43% 30
1920 1,356,621 1.74% 30
1910 1,141,990 8.22% 30
1900 518,103 3.79% 34
1890 357,232 16.88% 34
1880 75,116 12.11% 41
1870 23,955 7.53% 41
1860 11,594 25.45% 40
1850 1,201 0.00% 37
Washington Population by Race
Race Population Percentage
White 5,535,262 82.31%
Black or African American 252,333 3.75%
American Indian and Alaska Native 122,649 1.82%
Asian 491,685 7.31%
Native Hawaiian and Other Pacific Islander 43,505 0.65%
Two or more races 279,106 4.15%
Languages Spoken in Washington
Language Population Percentage
Population 5 years and over 6,378,045 100.00%
Spanish 521,720 8.20%
Chinese 52,980 0.80%
German 32,475 0.50%
Ukrainian 22,710 0.40%
French 22,710 0.40%
Amharic 15,960 0.30%
Panjabi 14,265 0.20%
Cushite 13,925 0.20%
Mandarin 13,735 0.20%
Washington County Populations
County Population Rank
King County 2,117,125 1
Pierce County 843,954 2
Snohomish County 772,501 3
Spokane County 490,945 4
Clark County 459,495 5
Thurston County 269,536 6
Kitsap County 260,131 7
Yakima County 248,830 8
Whatcom County 212,284 9
Benton County 190,309 10
Skagit County 121,846 11
Cowlitz County 103,468 12
Grant County 93,259 13
Franklin County 88,807 14
Island County 80,593 15
Lewis County 75,882 16
Chelan County 75,644 17
Clallam County 73,486 18
Grays Harbor County 71,122 19
Mason County 61,023 20
Walla Walla County 60,338 21
Whitman County 48,177 22
Stevens County 43,791 23
Kittitas County 43,269 24
Okanogan County 41,516 25
Douglas County 40,534 26
Jefferson County 30,466 27
Asotin County 22,105 28
Klickitat County 21,026 29
Pacific County 20,848 30
Adams County 19,254 31
San Juan County 16,252 32
Pend Oreille County 13,088 33
Skamania County 11,339 34
Lincoln County 10,321 35
Ferry County 7,582 36
Wahkiakum County 4,042 37
Columbia County 3,944 38
Garfield County 2,219 39