Seattle Population 2017

The population of Seattle is estimated at 659,000.

Seattle has grown from just 1,150 people in 1870 to an estimated population of 659,000 in 2014. The Seattle metropolitan area, however, has a population of around 3.5 million people. This is more than half of Washington state's total population. The Seattle metropolitan area includes the Seattle-Bellevue-Everett metro division and the Tacoma metro division.

Seattle Demographics

According to the 2010 Census, the racial and ethnic makeup of Seattle was:

  • White: 69.5% (non-Hispanic: 66.3%)
  • Asian: 13.8%
  • Black or African American: 7.9%
  • American Indian or Alaska Native: 0.8%
  • Native Hawaiian and Pacific Islander: 0.4%
  • Other: 2.4%
  • Two or more races: 5.1%
  • Hispanic or Latino of any race: 6.6%

Seattle has historically had a mostly white population. While Seattle's percentage of white residents is lower than the United States as a whole and declining, it is still one of the whitest large cities in the U.S. From 1960 to 2010, the percentage of whites in Seattle has dropped from 91.6% to 66.5%.

According to an American Community Survey, people who speak Asian languages at home account for 10% of the population, followed by Spanish at 4.5%.

Seattle's foreign-born population has increased 40% in ten years. Of the Asian population, 4.1% are Chinese with origins in mainland China, Hong Kong and Taiwan. Seattle also has a large Vietnamese community with more than 30,000 Somali immigrants. The Seattle metro area is also home to one of the largest Samoan populations in the mainland United States.

There is also a large lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender population in Seattle, which is one of the highest per capita in the country. 12.9% of Seattle citizens identify as gay, lesbian or bisexual, just behind San Francisco.

Seattle History

The Seattle area was inhabited by Native Americans for about 4,000 years prior to the first European settlements. The first European to visit the area was George Vancouver in 1792 during an expedition to chart the region. In 1851, members of the Denny Party founded the village of Dewamps, which was later renamed Seattle after Chief Sealth of the Suquamish and Duwamish tribes. Seattle was incorporated in 1865. 
 Seattle's early history experienced many boom-and-bust cycles like other areas near natural and mineral resources. The first boom covered the lumber industry, although there were tensions between management and labor and ethnic tensions culminating in the anti-Chinese riots of the late 19th century. The second boom and bust was caused by the Klondike Gold Rush. After this, Seattle became a major center for transportation. It was during this time that American Messenger Company (which became UPS) was founded in the area. There was also a shipbuilding boom during World War I that nearly turned Seattle into a company town.

Today, Seattle's economy is more diverse and involves several major technology companies -- including Nintendo of America and -- and biomedical corporations like Eli Lily and Company and Boston Scientific. Seattle now ranks high for quality of living, sanitation, crime, recreation and public services.

Seattle Population Growth

Seattle has been undergoing a population boom over the last decade and, according to recent Census data, it had the 14th largest population increase in the country, adding more than 12,600 residents between 2011 and 2012.

Seattle has struggled with its population growth and it has experienced trouble creating space for more residents. Planners in 2006 projected the population will grow an additional 200,000 by 2040, and work has been underway to construct apartment buildings to house new residents. Since 2009, the downtown area alone has experienced a growth of 77% in twenty years.

By 2040, the larger Seattle area is expected to grow by 1.7 million people, with a total of 782,00 in Seattle proper by 2040.

Year Population Change
2015 684,451 12.50%
2010 608,660 8.00%
2000 563,374 9.10%
1990 516,259 4.50%
1980 493,846 -7.00%
1970 530,831 -4.70%
1960 557,087 19.10%
1950 467,591 27.00%
1940 368,302 0.70%
1930 365,583 15.90%
1920 315,312 32.90%
1910 237,194 194.00%
1900 80,671 88.30%
1890 42,837 1112.50%
1880 3,533 221.20%
1870 1,100 0.00%

Seattle Population in 2017 Source: Rattlhed at English Wikipedia

Seattle Race Data

Race Population Percentage
White 445,886 69.90%
Black or African American 46,687 7.32%
American Indian and Alaska Native 4,562 0.72%
Asian 90,799 14.24%
Native Hawaiian and Other Pacific Islander 2,985 0.47%
Some Other Race 10,747 1.68%
Two or More Races 36,184 5.67%

Population Pyramid

Seattle Housing Indicators

Indicator Value
Total Housing Units 315,950
Owner-Occupied Units 136,823
Renter-Occupied Units 159,810
Median Home Value $452,800
Median Rent $1,185
Vacancy Rate 6.1%
Houses With Mortgage 101,316
Houses Without Mortgage 35,507
Median Number of Rooms (per House) 4.4

This chart shows the employment and labor force participation rates in Seattle for residents over 16 years of age. The 2015 unemployment rate is 4.1% and the labor force participation rate is 72.5%.

Seattle Family/Household Indicators

Indicator Value
Average Household Size 2.12
Average Family Size 2.9
Married Couple Families 104,971
Male Householder (no wife) Families 8,233
Female Householder (no husband) Families 20,015
Non Family Households
Unmarried Partner Households (Opposite Sex) 7.4%
Unmarried Partner Households (Same Sex) 1.5%