Washington State is situated in the far north western corner of the United States and with a land mass of some 71,300 square miles, it is the 18th largest state in terms of surface area in the country. It has a population to match its considerable size too but how does that population measure up in 2013?
Current estimates show Washington's population has now reached 6,984,900, up from 6.72 million just three years ago. Washington is currently enjoying a healthy growth rate of 1.27%, which ranks 8th in the country.
Washington State Population 2013
In order to gauge any current population within Washington State, it is necessary to refer back to the last countrywide census which was carried out in 2010. At that stage, it was confirmed that there were 6,724,540 people here and that represented an increase of just over 14% on the numbers declared in 2000.
Current estimates now show a population of 6,984,900 in the state of Washington, which is only expected to continue its rapid rise. This population places Washington as the 13th most populous state in the country, but only 25th in terms of population density. Within that surface area of 71,300 square miles, there is an average of 103 people for every square mile of Washington State territory.
Seattle is the largest city in the state with a population of 634,525, with a density of 7,402 people per square mile. The Seattle-Tacoma-Bellevue metropolitan area has a population of 3,905,026, however, and encompasses nearby cities like Kent, Tacoma, Bellevue and Everett. It accounts for almost half of the state's population.
According to the 2010 Census, Washington's racial and ethnic composition was:
- 77.3% White (72.5% non-Hispanic, white Hispanics: 4.8%)
- 3.6% Black and African American
- 1.5% Native American
- 7.2% Asian
- 0.6% Pacific Islander
- 4.7% Two or more races
- 5.1% Some other race
Washington has a fairly large Hispanic and Latino population of 11.2%, 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 of the United States, Washington State began life with a very small population and back in 1850, the numbers here were recorded at 1,201. Ten years later however, that had increased significantly by nearly 900% to 11,594 and it sparked off a population explosion within the state to the extent that by the end of the 1800’s, numbers here 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 1900’s was one of continued substantial growth.
That has progressed again right through to the present day where the population of Washington State in 2013 is starting to climb towards a figure of seven million.
Population Projections for Washington
The overall picture here 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 therefore, it is safe to assume that the population of Washington State will have comfortably exceeded seven million by 2020 and will be well on its way to another major milestone.
According to current projections, Washington's population will reach 8.8 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.