Tacoma, Washington Population 2020

222,603

Tacoma is a city located in Pierce County, Washington. With a 2020 population of 222,603, it is the 3rd largest city in Washington (after Seattle and Spokane) and the 100th largest city in the United States. Tacoma is currently growing at a rate of 1.44% annually and its population has increased by 12.20% since the most recent census, which recorded a population of 198,397 in 2010. Spanning over 62 miles, Tacoma has a population density of 4,474 people per square mile.

The average household income in Tacoma is $75,649 with a poverty rate of 15.88%. The median rental costs in recent years comes to $1,106 per month, and the median house value is $250,400. The median age in Tacoma is 35.8 years, 35 years for males, and 36.8 years for females. For every 100 females there are 99.5 males.

Tacoma is located along the Puget Sound, just miles from the cities of Seattle and Olympia.

The city has seen its ups and downs throughout the years in terms of population, but recent restorations and revitalization projects have been launched in hopes of drawing in more inhabitants.

Tacoma Population Statistics

There are many international companies located in Tacoma. The top employer is the Joint Base Lewis-McChord, which employs over 66,000 people. The public-school districts, the State of Washington, and the city’s health systems are also significant employers.

Tacoma Population Growth

Despite some troubles in its past, the city of Tacoma has always seen population growth at every 10-year census. The population experienced its most significant growth between 1880 and 1890, growing by over 3,000%. Population growth has slowed in recent years, but it continues to climb. Based on current estimates, the population has increased by 6.5% since the last census taken in 2010. Revitalization of the city, particularly the downtown area, is expected to continue to bring in new residents to this city.

Native Americans inhabited what is now Tacoma for years before being settled by Europeans. The Puyallup was a notable group that lived in the region during its earliest years. What would later become Tacoma was settled by Nicolas Delin who built a sawmill close to Commencement Bay. However, all was later abandoned during the Indian War. It was in 1864 when Job Carr came to live in the area, but later sold his claim to Morton McCarver, who came up with the idea of Tacoma City.

The city was incorporated in 1875 because it was to be the site of a Northern Pacific Railroad depot. However, the depot was built several miles from the development as an area known as New Tacoma. These regions, however, merged in 1884 and experienced a population boom shortly thereafter.

It was in 1885 that hundreds of Chinese residents were evicted from the city and sent to Portland, Oregon. As the 19th century ended, a streetcar accident occurred in Tacoma, resulting in many deaths. During the early 20th century, smelter workers went on strike in Tacoma, demanding a pay raise. The strike ended just months later, with the workers not getting the extra pay they were seeking.

The 1920s saw a period of growth with the development of the first movie studio in the city. However, the stock market crash of 1929 brought misfortune to the city. Shortly after, Tacoma experienced one of its coldest winters in history, resulting in major power outages. The local economy was impacted, businesses shut their doors, and foreclosures were on the rise. The 1930s saw an increase of population in Hooverville, the city’s homeless community, as families were evicted from their homes.

The 1950s brought about more problems for the city as government corruption was uncovered. The commission-style government was changed to a mayor and city-manager system. The city’s economy continued to decline, with many streets and stores completely abandoned. The 1980s and early 1990s saw a higher rate of crime, but with the 2000s came a reduction in crime. The city was later named as one of the Most Livable Communities.

It was during the 1990s that revitalization efforts began. Among the renovations were the federal courthouse, the Tacoma Art Museum, and America’s Car Museum.

Tacoma Demographics

According to the most recent ACS, the racial composition of Tacoma was:

  • White: 64.85%
  • Black or African American: 9.95%
  • Asian: 9.17%
  • Two or more races: 9.17%
  • Other race: 4.03%
  • Native American: 1.60%
  • Native Hawaiian or Pacific Islander: 1.22%
The current population of Tacoma, Washington is 222,603, based on our projections of the latest US Census estimates. The US Census estimates the 2018 population at 216,279. The last official US Census in 2010 recorded the population at 198,397.
Year Total Population Growth Annual Growth Rate
20204,049,15154,8941.36%
20193,994,25754,8941.37%
20183,939,36354,8941.39%
20173,884,46970,1001.80%
20163,814,36976,0531.99%
20153,738,31666,2491.77%
20143,672,06761,2291.67%
20133,610,83856,3541.56%
20123,554,48455,3801.56%
20113,499,10449,8291.42%
20103,449,2750.00%

Population by Race

Race Population Percentage
White136,25864.85%
Black or African American20,9099.95%
Asian19,2759.17%
Two or More Races19,2689.17%
Some Other Race8,4624.03%
American Indian and Alaska Native3,3711.60%
Native Hawaiian and Other Pacific Islander2,5601.22%

Tacoma Population Pyramid 2020

Tacoma Median Age

35.8


Total

35


Male

36.8


Female

Tacoma Adults

There are 165,207 adults, (27,038 of whom are seniors) in Tacoma.

Tacoma Age Dependency

52.1

Age Dependency Ratio

19.6

Old Age Dependency Ratio

32.5

Child Dependency Ratio

Tacoma Sex Ratio

Female

105,333

50.13%

Male

104,770

49.87%

Tacoma Households and Families

Tacoma Renter vs Owner Occupied by Household Type

Tacoma Household Types

Type Owner Renter
Married70.1%29.9%
All50.8%49.2%
Male44.5%55.5%
Female42.3%57.7%
Non Family36.1%63.9%

50.8%

Rate of Home Ownership

Type Count Average Size Owned
All82,5402.4750.8
Non Family35,4571.3236.1
Married32,7193.2570.1
Female10,1073.5442.3
Male4,2573.4844.5

3.18

Average Family Size

2.47

Average Household Size

7.7%

Unmarried (Opposite Sex)

0.5%

Unmarried (Same Sex)

Tacoma Education

Education Attained Count Percentage
Less Than 9th Grade6,1774.27%
9th to 12th Grade10,9907.61%
High School Graduate37,06125.65%
Some College35,71824.72%
Associates Degree13,4919.34%
Bachelors Degree26,24918.16%
Graduate Degree14,82410.26%

Tacoma Educational Attainment by Race

Name Total High School Bachelors
White92,79485,85931,135
Black14,68513,2742,478
Asian13,91210,1293,421
Hispanic12,4668,6281,895
Multiple Races7,9517,1872,010
Other Race4,2032,560380
Native American2,3181,923291
Islander1,6201,423134

The highest rate of high school graduation is among white people with a rate of 92.53%.

The highest rate of bachelors degrees is among white people with a rate of 33.55%.

Name Average Male Female
Overall$40,651$44,690$34,620
Less Than High School$25,903$29,528$22,589
High School Grad$31,885$37,112$26,583
Some College$37,909$43,069$31,145
Bachelors Degree$52,197$57,844$48,627
Graduate Degree$70,689$79,949$65,476

$40,651

Average Earnings

$44,690

Average Male

$34,620

Average Female

Tacoma Language

Tacoma Language by Age

Tacoma Language

80.38% of Tacoma residents speak only English, while 19.62% speak other languages. The non-English language spoken by the largest group is Asian and Pacific Island languages, which is spoken by 8.07% of the population.

Tacoma Poverty

Tacoma Poverty by Race

Name Total In Poverty Poverty Rate
White120,60715,02712.46%
Hispanic24,6655,82323.61%
Black20,6334,37721.21%
Multiple18,8813,52018.64%
Asian19,0523,50918.42%
Other8,3431,77721.30%
Native3,23452116.11%
Islander2,53033013.04%

15.88%

Overall Poverty Rate

14.52%

Male Poverty Rate

17.24%

Female Poverty Rate

Poverty in Tacoma

The race most likely to be in poverty in Tacoma is Hispanic, with 23.61% below the poverty level.

The race least likely to be in poverty in Tacoma is White, with 12.46% below the poverty level.

The poverty rate among those that worked full-time for the past 12 months was 2.37%. Among those working part-time, it was 17.80%, and for those that did not work, the poverty rate was 29.54%.

Name Poverty
Less Than High School29.32%
High School16.69%
Some College13.07%
Bachelors or Greater5.78%
Name Poverty
Female Unemployed42.59%
Male Unemployed31.83%
Female Employed7.38%
Male Employed5.56%

Tacoma Income

Tacoma Income by Household Type

Name Median Mean
Households$58,617$75,649
Families$72,173$89,277
Married Families$88,045$105,091
Non Families$40,981$53,354

Tacoma Marital Status

Tacoma Marital Status

Marriage Rates

41.5%

Overall Marriage Rate

42.6%

Male Marriage Rate

40.5%

Female Marriage Rate

Tacoma Married by Age and Sex

Tacoma Marriage

The age group where males are most likely to be married is Over 65, while the female age group most likely to be married is 35-44.

Tacoma Marital Status by Race

Tacoma Veterans

18,232

Number of Veterans

16,328

Male Veterans

1,904

Female Veterans

War Veterans
Vietnam5,536
Second Gulf War5,117
First Gulf War4,240
Korea1,100
World War II496
Age Group Veterans
35 to 544,962
55 to 643,899
65 to 743,553
18 to 343,142
75+2,676
Name Veterans % of Total
White12,96611.66%
Black3,02218.24%
Hispanic1,0216.52%
2 or More6996.98%
Asian6944.39%
Other4878.91%
Hawaiian1899.49%
Indian1756.94%

$Tacoma Veterans by Education

8.84%

Veteran Poverty Rate

28.09%

Veteran Disability Rate

Tacoma Employment Status

65.1%

Labor Force Participation

60.5%

Employment Rate

5.7%

Unemployment Rate

Tacoma Place of Birth

Origin of Non-Citizens

Non citizens include legal permanent residents (green card holders), international students, temporary workers, humanitarian migrants, and illegal immigrants.

Origin of Naturalized Citizens

50.17%

Born in Washington

86.46%

Native Born

13.54%

Foreign Born

6.35%

Non Citizen

Place of Birth

86.46% of Tacoma residents were born in the United States, with 50.17% having been born in Washington. 6.35% of residents are not US citizens. Of those not born in the United States, the largest percentage are from Asia.

Year Population Growth Annual Growth Rate
2020222,6033,1621.44%
2019219,4413,1621.46%
2018216,2792,8491.33%
2017213,4303,1621.50%
2016210,2683,4671.68%
2015206,8013,0391.49%
2014203,7621,6320.81%
2013202,1305990.30%
2012201,5312,0381.02%
2011199,4931,2660.64%
2010198,2274,6710.24%
2000193,55616,8920.92%
1990176,66418,1631.09%
1980158,5014,0940.26%
1970154,4076,4280.43%
1960147,9794,3060.30%
1950143,67334,2652.76%
1940109,4082,5910.24%
1930106,8179,8520.97%
192096,96513,2221.48%
191083,74346,0298.30%
190037,7141,7080.46%
189036,0060.00%