Politics from the Palouse to Puget Sound

Monday, July 03, 2006

"Washington's Population Booming"

Professor Deirdre Rogers and PARD would like you to believe that Pullman is experiencing negative population growth, that Pullman is fine just the way it is. Balderdash.

Pullman is growing raidly along with the rest of Washington. 300 of the 95,000 new jobs mentioned in the story below are going to be at SEL. That's in addition to the 168 jobs being created this year. Drive up Hopkins Ct. The orange runoff barriers are already in place. Ground will be broken on the new manufacturing facility in a matter of weeks.

Where are all these new residents going to live? Where are they going to shop? Where is the money going to come from for the needed infrastructure growth? Who knows? The city is bogged down in a legal quagmire, thanks to the "heroic" PARDners.

Washington's population has surged by 120,000 in the past year, pushing the total to nearly 6.4 million, and more in-migration is expected as the state economy continues to pump out new jobs.

Washington's employment has been growing twice as fast as the national average and is proving to be a magnet for strong population growth, said Theresa Lowe, the state's chief population expert.

If the trend continues, Washington will grow to 6.8 million people by 2010 - an increase of 1 million over the course of this decade.

"As always, continued growth depends on how Washington's employment opportunities stack up against what other states have to offer," Lowe said Thursday in a report released by the governor's budget office on Friday.

Washington added 77,000 jobs last year and is on track to produce another 95,000 this year, the Office of Financial Management said.

The latest estimate of the state population is 6,375,600. In-migration accounted for 81,000 of the new 120,000 Washington residents, with California accounting for nearly half of the newcomers. An estimated 38,000 Californians moved here and got driver's licenses.

Since 2000, growth has been largely concentrated in Western Washington, with the largest gains in King County (98,254), Pierce (72,682), Snohomish (65,776), and Clark (58,262).

Fastest growing counties since the 2000 census: Franklin, 30.1 percent; Clark, 16.9; Benton, 12.7; and Kittitas, 12.1.

The population of cities and towns topped 3.9 million as of April, up more than 380,000 since the 2000 census. Annexations and new incorporations accounted for about a third of the increase.

Seattle remains the state's undisputed largest city, gaining slightly over the past year to hit 578,700. Spokane kept its bragging rights for No. 2, remaining just ahead of Tacoma in size. The next 10, in order: Vancouver, Bellevue, Everett, Spokane, Federal Way, Kent, Yakima, Bellingham, Kennewick, and Lakewood.
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