It’s just a number, but it’s a big number: 800,000.
Snohomish County could reach that in population this year if growth keeps pace with recent years.
The county has been adding thousands of people every year, according to the U.S. Census and the state Office of Financial Management.
Just since 2007, the population has grown by more than 100,000 people — roughly equivalent to the population of Everett.
The county saw a lull in growth during the recession of 2008-09, but each of the past three years has seen gains of about 16,000 people.
Snohomish County reached 789,400 people last year, according an estimate by the Office of Financial Management.
To put that in perspective, Snohomish County is bigger in population than four states — Wyoming, Vermont, Alaska and North Dakota — as well as the District of Columbia.
The county seems likely to continue to grow. Large apartment complexes are being added in Lynnwood, Mountlake Terrace and other south county cities. Everett is seeing large new housing developments along the Snohomish River and the waterfront.
The North Creek area between Mill Creek and Bothell has been called the hottest housing market in the state.
|Unincorporated Snohomish County||349,800||338,995||330,260||320,335||312,500|
|Incorporated Snohomish County||439,600||433,865||427,340||420,665||418,000|
|Bothell (Snohomish County part)||17,510||17,390||17,230||17,020||17,020|
In a recent report on growth, the county says this is a challenge.
Growth has not been as great in cities such as Everett, Lynnwood and Bothell as in unincorporated areas. Between 2011 to 2016, areas outside cities absorbed 53 percent of the population growth.
Growth slowed during the recession but has picked up steam the past three or four years. Since 2010, Snohomish County is averaging 10,886 new residents per year, according to the county.
That’s only slightly more than the 10,731 new residents the county averaged between 2000 to 2010.
And it’s also lower than the previous two decades; the county grew by 14,040 on average between 1990 and 2000 and 12,791 between 1980 and 1990.
Percentage-wise, the biggest growth gains occurred between the 1950s and 1970s, when the county grew at a clip of 4.4 percent each year. The county has grown at a more modest 1.5 percent since 2010.
From 2010 to 2017, 13 percent of statewide population growth occurred in Snohomish County, according to Census and state figures.
Snohomish County is the third-largest in the state, behind King and Pierce. King County had a population of 2.153 million last year. Pierce County, which passed the 800,000 mark in 2010, had a population of 859,400 last year.
Snohomish County ranks 79th in the U.S. and 22nd in the West.
Among the Pacific Northwest states of Washington, Alaska, Oregon and Idaho, Snohomish County ranks fourth behind King, Pierce and, in Oregon, Multnomah County.
Jim Davis: 425-339-3097; firstname.lastname@example.org; @HBJnews.