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.
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.
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 Amazon.com -- 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.