Tacoma, Washington Population 2021

221,259
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Tacoma is a city located in Pierce County Washington. It is also the county seat of Pierce County. With a 2020 population of 221,259, it is the 3rd largest city in Washington (after Seattle and Spokane) and the 102nd largest city in the United States . Tacoma is currently growing at a rate of 0.78% annually and its population has increased by 11.52% since the most recent census, which recorded a population of 198,397 in 2010. Tacoma reached it's highest population of 221,259 in 2021. Spanning over 62 miles, Tacoma has a population density of 4,447 people per square mile.

The average household income in Tacoma is $80,460 with a poverty rate of 14.64%. The median rental costs in recent years comes to $1,180 per month, and the median house value is $277,900. The median age in Tacoma is 35.7 years, 34.8 years for males, and 36.7 years for females.

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: 64.81%
  • Black or African American: 10.45%
  • Two or more races: 9.47%
  • Asian: 8.75%
  • Other race: 3.77%
  • Native American: 1.64%
  • Native Hawaiian or Pacific Islander: 1.10%
The current population of Tacoma, Washington is 221,259 based on our projections of the latest US Census estimates. The US Census estimates the 2018 population at 216,111.The last official US Census in 2010 recorded the population at 198,397.

Tacoma, Washington Population 2021

2019 and 2020 population is estimated by projecting the raw 2018 numbers.

Year Population Growth Growth Rate
20214,069,18044,6701.10%
20204,024,51044,6701.11%
20193,979,84044,6601.12%
20183,935,18049,6001.26%
20173,885,58069,2201.78%
20163,816,36076,7102.01%
20153,739,65064,4901.72%
20143,675,16062,8101.71%
20133,612,35053,5201.48%
20123,558,83054,9401.54%
20113,503,89054,6501.56%
20103,449,2400.00%

Tacoma Metro Area Population by Year

Population by Race

Race Population Percentage
White137,96364.81%
Black or African American22,24610.45%
Two or More Races20,1639.47%
Asian18,6278.75%
Some Other Race8,0283.77%
American Indian and Alaska Native3,4981.64%
Native Hawaiian and Other Pacific Islander2,3441.10%
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Tacoma Population by Race

Tacoma Population Pyramid $2021

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Tacoma Median Age

35.7


Total

34.8


Male

36.7


Female

Tacoma Adults

There are 166,917 adults, (27,640 of whom are seniors) in Tacoma.

Tacoma Age Dependency

52.8

Age Dependency Ratio

19.8

Old Age Dependency Ratio

33

Child Dependency Ratio

Tacoma Sex Ratio

Female

106,940

50.24%

Male

105,929

49.76%

Tacoma Population by Age

Tacoma Renter vs Owner Occupied by Household Type

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Tacoma Household Types

Type Owner Renter
Married71.1%28.9%
All52%48%
Male44.1%55.9%
Female43.4%56.6%
Non Family37.3%62.7%

52.0%

Rate of Home Ownership

Tacoma Households and Families

Type Count Average Size Owned
All83,6882.4752
Non Family35,4421.337.3
Married33,4423.2771.1
Female10,1553.543.4
Male4,6493.3344.1

3.17

Average Family Size

2.47

Average Household Size

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Tacoma Households by Type

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Education Attained Count Percentage
Less Than 9th Grade5,8864.02%
9th to 12th Grade9,9336.79%
High School Graduate37,59525.69%
Some College35,28324.11%
Associates Degree14,1519.67%
Bachelors Degree27,81119.01%
Graduate Degree15,66310.70%
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Tacoma Educational Attainment by Sex (over 25)

Tacoma Educational Attainment by Race

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Race Total High School Bachelors
White93,94887,80832,496
Black15,50514,1012,933
Asian13,4339,9393,581
Hispanic12,5538,8121,939
2+ Races8,5007,8542,336
Other Race3,9582,349471
Native American2,3551,835297
Islander1,5811,422127

The highest rate of high school graduation is among white people with a rate of 93.46%.

The highest rate of bachelors degrees is among white people with a rate of 34.59%.

Tacoma Educational Attainment by Race

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Name Average Male Female
Overall$42,310$47,136$37,091
Less Than 9th Grade$27,304$30,981$23,840
High School Graduate$34,612$40,055$28,628
Some College$39,788$45,536$33,522
Bachelors Degree$53,269$59,066$50,419
Graduate Degree$72,001$80,115$67,944

$42,310

Average Earnings

$47,136

Average Male

$37,091

Average Female

Tacoma Earnings by Educational Attainment

Tacoma Language by Age

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Tacoma Language

81.17% of Tacoma residents speak only English, while 18.83% speak other languages. The non-English language spoken by the largest group is Asian and Pacific Island languages, which is spoken by 7.52% of the population.

Tacoma Language

Tacoma Poverty by Race

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Name Total In Poverty Poverty Rate
White121,94213,86911.37%
Hispanic25,1615,43821.61%
Black21,9444,32319.70%
Multiple19,8103,24816.40%
Asian18,4393,20217.37%
Other7,9471,60920.25%
Native3,38166819.76%
Islander2,26841118.12%

14.64%

Overall Poverty Rate

13.38%

Male Poverty Rate

15.90%

Female Poverty Rate

Poverty in Tacoma

The race most likely to be in poverty in Tacoma is Hispanic, with 21.61% below the poverty level.

The race least likely to be in poverty in Tacoma is White, with 11.37% below the poverty level.

The poverty rate among those that worked full-time for the past 12 months was 2.11%. Among those working part-time, it was 17.12%, and for those that did not work, the poverty rate was 27.01%.

Tacoma Poverty

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Name Poverty
Less Than 9th Grade26.78%
High School15.35%
Some College11.96%
Bachelors or Greater5.92%

Tacoma Poverty Rate by Education

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Rate Poverty
Female Unemployed38.82%
Male Unemployed32.04%
Female Employed6.65%
Male Employed5.33%

Tacoma Poverty Rate by Employment Status and Sex

Tacoma Income by Household Type

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Name Median Mean
Households$62,358$80,460
Families$78,526$94,671
Married Families$92,691$111,510
Non Families$43,576$56,661
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Income by Household Type

Tacoma Marital Status

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Marriage Rates

41.8%

Overall Marriage Rate

42.9%

Male Marriage Rate

40.7%

Female Marriage Rate

Tacoma Married by Age and Sex

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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

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Tacoma Marital Status

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18,410

Number of Veterans

16,514

Male Veterans

1,896

Female Veterans

War Veterans
Second Gulf War5,678
Vietnam5,302
First Gulf War4,283
Korea961
World War II497

Tacoma Veterans by War

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Age Group Veterans
35 to 544,881
55 to 643,864
65 to 743,572
18 to 343,384
75+2,709

Tacoma Veterans by Age

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Name Veterans % of Total
White12,97511.60%
Black3,02817.20%
Hispanic9646.00%
2+ Races8227.73%
Asian7444.84%
Other Race4228.08%
Islander26513.60%
Native American1545.93%

Tacoma Veterans by Race

Tacoma Veterans by Education

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8.30%

Veteran Poverty Rate

27.81%

Veteran Disability Rate

Tacoma Veterans by Education

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65.4%

Labor Force Participation

61.1%

Employment Rate

5.2%

Unemployment Rate

Tacoma Employment by Age

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Tacoma Employment by Race

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Tacoma Employment by Education

Origin of Non-Citizens

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

Origin of Naturalized Citizens

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50.36%

Born in Tacoma

87.01%

Native Born

12.99%

Foreign Born

6.06%

Non Citizen

6.92%

Naturalized

Place of Birth

87.01% of Tacoma residents were born in the United States, with 50.36% having been born in Washington. 6.06% of residents are not US citizens. Of those not born in the United States, the largest percentage are from Asia.

Tacoma Place of Birth

Year Population Growth Annual Growth Rate
2021221,2591,7160.78%
2020219,5431,7160.79%
2019217,8271,7160.79%
2018216,1112,6941.26%
2017213,4173,1691.51%
2016210,2483,4641.68%
2015206,7843,0441.49%
2014203,7401,6130.80%
2013202,1275900.29%
2012201,5372,0181.01%
2011199,5191,2890.65%
2010198,2304,6740.24%
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%

Tacoma Population by Year