The latest population stats released by the state (TNT story) show Tacoma’s No. 3 again, just 1,200 souls behind Spokane. But Spokane cheated.
Randy Lewis, Tacoma’s loyal government relations guy (translation: lobbyist) issued a memo pointing out that Spokane edged out the City of Destiny only because it completed a large annexation in 2005.
Since 2000, Spokane has added 1,469 residents by annexation; Tacoma, only three. Drop those out, and Tacoma would be No. 2 with 201,697 bodies, 1,266 ahead of Spokane.
So Tacoma grew the honest way: through births and in-migration.
Other notes from Randy:
Tacoma’s growth since the 2000 census has been at a rate of 4.2 percent compared to Seattle’s 4.1, Spokane’s 3.7 and Bellevue’s 7.5.
It is clear that had Spokane not completed a large annexation in 2005, Tacoma’s growth rate would have allowed the city to surpass Spokane as the state’s second largest.
61 percent of Washington’s population lives in cities. In 2000, 59 percent of the population lived in cities. Interestingly, Pierce County’s population is growing in the opposite direction: in 2007, 53.7 percent of the population lives in cities. In 2000, 55 percent of the county population was in cities. In King County, 80 percent of the population now lives in cities compared to 79 percent in 2000. Pierce does better than Kitsap or Thurston Counties, where the percent of the population living in cities is 30 and 43 respectively.
The list of the state’s 10 largest cities has seen no change at all in over 100 years in the top three, but there is significant change in the other 7. In 1907, the 10 largest cities in order: Seattle, Spokane, Tacoma, Everett, Walla Walla , Yakima, Aberdeen, Vancouver, Hoquiam, and Olympia. In 2007, the list is: Seattle, Spokane, Tacoma, Vancouver, Bellevue, Everett, Spokane Valley, Federal Way, Kent, and Yakima.