REPORT: Burien Second-Fastest Growing City In Washington In The Last Year

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There’s an old slogan from a rental car company that goes “We’re Number Two. We Try Harder.” which may be appropriate for Burien, since a new report released by the Washington State Office of Financial Management says that B-Town was the second-fastest growing city in the state last year, losing only to Kent.

The growth of course can be attributed to Burien’s annexation of the southern North Highline area, which increased population by 14,347 to a total of 47,660, making it the state’s 21st-largest city, just above Olympia (take that, Geoducks!).

Kent’s growth is also due to an annexation, which added approximately 24,000 new residents on July 1, 2010.

Here’s the top 10 as listed in the report:

  1. Kent: grew 25,789 to 118,200
  2. Burien: grew 14,347 to 47,660
  3. Seattle: grew 3,440 to 612,100
  4. Renton: grew 1,663 to 92,590
  5. Pasco: grew 1,219 to 61,000
  6. Sammamish: grew 1,160 to 46,940
  7. Bremerton: grew 1,061 to 38,790
  8. Bellevue: grew 1,037 to 123,400
  9. Richland: grew 1,032 to 49,090
  10. Redmond: grew 1,006 to 55,150

If Burien moves forward and annexes the rest of North Highline/White Center (aka “Area Y”), that would add over 19,300 new residents (according to a City of Seattle PDF study); so maybe we have a chance to be #1 soon?

Here’s more from the OFM website:

Washington state’s population continues to grow, but at a slower rate. The 2011 population estimate prepared by the Office of Financial Management (OFM) places Washington’s population at 6,767,900 as of April 1, 2011. This represents an increase of 43,360, or a growth rate of just 0.64 percent from the state’s official 2010 census count.

This unexpected slowdown in population growth is due to the slower than expected economic recovery, which affects two components of population change: natural increase (the number of births minus deaths) and migration.

The total number of births in Washington declined from 88,200 last year to 84,800 this year. With the second “echo” of baby boomers reaching childbearing age, births had been steadily increasing from 81,800 in 2005 to 89,800 in 2009. This upward trend would likely have continued if not for the recession and the slow pace of economic recovery.

Migration to Washington, largely driven by economic opportunity, is a major component of the state’s growth. This year’s net migration is estimated at 6,600, the lowest level in more than two decades. Worker mobility remains low nationwide because of difficulties with both selling homes and finding work. Part of the overall decrease in migration is due to a decline in international migration.

State population and migration continue to slow in 2011

Statewide, 57 percent of population growth between 2010 and 2011 took place in the Puget Sound region counties of King (11,400), Kitsap (2,800), Pierce (6,900) and Snohomish (3,700).

Four of the five counties experiencing the highest percentage of population growth are located in Eastern Washington. Franklin County gained nearly 3 percent after a decade of strong growth. Benton County grew 1.6 percent and Adams County grew 1.2 percent. Kitsap and Grant counties each had a growth rate of 1.1 percent. Consequently, the total percentage growth for Eastern Washington is at 0.70 percent, which is slightly higher than the 0.63 percent growth rate for the western portion of the state.

The population of Washington’s cities and towns totaled 4,313,267 on April 1, 2011, a growth of 67,050 people since the federal census count. Nine of the top 10 cities with the largest numeric population growth are located in King County or the Tri-City area. In order of descending rank, they are Kent, Burien, Seattle, Renton, Pasco, Sammamish, Bremerton, Bellevue, Richland and Redmond. Sixty-two percent of the population growth in incorporated areas is due to annexation activity. A substantial portion of the growth in Kent, Burien and Sammamish in King County can be attributed to annexations which occurred this year.

Slow population growth affects new housing construction. The state added 18,200 new units this year, in contrast to 28,200 units during the same time period last year. This is the lowest amount of housing growth in two decades. King County has added 6,100 housing units, approximately one-third of the state total.

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2 Responses to “REPORT: Burien Second-Fastest Growing City In Washington In The Last Year”
  1. VERY TIRED says:

    Nice to see a bit of journalism from our local blogs from time to time. Excellent post, Mr. Schaefer.

  2. John Bailo says:

    I question even these anemic “growth” numbers as my own estimate is that population here fell rapidly post 2007 and continues to drop overall. Just yesterday at the Kent Cornucopia fair, which used to have traffic backed up all the way up to East Hill, there was hardly any traffic at all getting to the valley…and the fair, while crowded, was not jam packed as it had been a few years ago.

    It makes more sense that Washington is on a negative population trend, so I would have to really scrutinize the boosters who make claims about population growth.

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