Vancouver is a city that is located in the state of Washington. It serves as the county seat for Clark County and is a suburb of Portland. The city has an estimated population of 172,860, making it the fourth most populous city in the state. Through the years, Vancouver has been named as one of the best places to live in the country.
The Chinook and Klickitat tribes were the original inhabitants of Vancouver. Europeans arrived in the late 1700s, bringing along with them smallpox which eradicated about half of the Native American population by the early 1800s. The population of these original inhabitants and their ancestors continued to decline with the introduction of other diseases including malaria and measles.
Despite arriving in the area in the 1700s, Europeans did not settle in what is now Vancouver until 1824. The city began as Fort Vancouver and served as a fur trading post. The area came under the control of the U.S. in 1846 following the signing of the Oregon Treaty. Shortly before this a claim was laid and registered under the name Vancouver City. The claim was traced over just a few short years later, with the name changing to Columbia City before being changed to its current name in 1855. Only two years later, it was incorporated as a city.
Vancouver was once the capital of the Washington Territory, but this only lasted for a short time before Olympia became the capital once again.
In the 1900s, the city became quite prosperous following an economic boom from its three shipyards. The city continued to grow with the addition of an aluminum plant, which was powered using hydropower turbines. After Pearl Harbor was bombed, one of Vancouver’s shipyards went to work producing various ships, with a population of shipyard employees expanding to over 80,000.
The city has seen rapid growth throughout the years following its incorporation, with multiple annexations occurring throughout its history. In the 1940s, the city experienced an industrial boom with the addition of shipyards and a paper mill. Today, however, the city’s economy is now mostly reliant on high tech and service industry jobs. The Port of Vancouver, the third largest in the state, continues to operate and sees over 400 vessels each year, as well as barges.
Vancouver Population Statistics
Vancouver has an estimated population of over 175,000, which shows substantial growth since the 2010 census, which showed a population of 161,791. The city has an area of almost 50 square miles with a population density of over 3,482 people per square mile.
The largest age group found in Vancouver is those that are 25 to 44 years old, making up almost 29% of the population. Over one-quarter of the population is 45 to 64, while 24% are under 18. Over 12% are at least 65 years old, and the city has attracted many retirees.
There are more females than males living in Vancouver, with 96.9 men for every 100 women. Just over 12% of the total population lives below the federal poverty line. The city’s largest employer is PeaceHealth Southwest Medical Center. Other significant employers include Evergreen Public Schools, Vancouver Public Schools, the County of Clark and Fred Meyer, each of which employs over 1,000 people.
Vancouver Population Growth
Vancouver has seen extensive population growth. In some cases, it has been due to the expansion of the city limits through annexation. The largest growth occurred between the censuses taken in 1990 and 2000 when the population grew from just over 46,000 to over 143,000. Though growth in recent years hasn’t been quite as staggering, since the 2010 census, estimates show that the population has grown by over 8%, indicating that Vancouver is well on its way to hitting 200,000 residents in the near future.