King County population grows rapidly; large increase in diversity

King County is growing and has a diverse multitude of residents, based on data revealed Feb. 23 by the U.S. Census Bureau. The census counted 1,931,249 residents in King County, a number that confirms the county's rapid population growth during the first decade of the 21st century, according to a county media release.

  • BY Wire Service
  • Thursday, February 24, 2011 3:26pm
  • News

King County is growing and has a diverse multitude of residents, based on data revealed Feb. 23 by the U.S. Census Bureau.
The census counted 1,931,249 residents in King County, a number that confirms the county's rapid population growth during the first decade of the 21st century, according to a county media release.
Based on data collected in April of last year, the county gained just under 200,000 residents, an increase of 11.2 percent, since the last complete census in 2000. King County grew faster than the nation as a whole, which grew at a rate of 9.7 percent.
“I want to thank every resident of King County for responding to the Census last year,” said King County Executive Dow Constantine. “These long-awaited results are exciting because they show our diversity and growth. The data will be used by the county to more efficiently target our products and services to the communities where they are most needed.”
The data also confirms the growing diversity of King County’s population as people of color now make up more than one-third of our population. The number of non-Hispanic white people is slightly smaller than it was in 2000, dropping from 1.275 million to 1.251 million, a decrease of 23,827.
The entire population increase consisted of persons of color. Asian-Americans accounted for nearly half the increase over the decade, jumping to 280,029 from 186,615. The number of Hispanics increased to 172,378 from 95,242.
Additionally, there were smaller increases in African-Americans (116,326 from 91,798) and Pacific Islanders (14,068 from 8,737). The number of Native Americans dropped from 14,278 to 12,931.
Recent Census Bureau estimates indicate that King is the nation’s 14th most populous county, and is larger than 14 states including Idaho, Montana, Alaska, and West Virginia. However, the release of Census 2010 is not yet complete with final counts for all areas of the nation expected by mid-March.
King County’s population growth comprised nearly one-quarter of Washington state’s 830,000 increase during the decade. The state increase of 14 percent was enough to gain an additional seat in Congress, the only state outside the Sunbelt to do so in 2010. The Census data released this year will be used to redraw Congressional, legislative and county council district boundaries during 2011.


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