Snohomish County is seeing housing developments and apartment complexes pop up everywhere. The county’s population could soon surpass 800,000 people, if it hasn’t already reached it. (Herald file)

Snohomish County is seeing housing developments and apartment complexes pop up everywhere. The county’s population could soon surpass 800,000 people, if it hasn’t already reached it. (Herald file)

County population expected to surpass 800,000 this year

The estimate last year was 789,400. Snohomish County is now bigger than four states and D.C.

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.

Snohomish County population estimates
  2017 2016 2015 2014 2013
Snohomish County 789,400 772,860 757,600 741,000 730,500
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
Everett 109,800 108,300 105,800 104,900 104,200
Marysville 65,900 64,940 64,140 62,600 62,100
Edmonds 41,260 40,900 40,490 39,950 39,950
Lynnwood 36,950 36,590 36,420 36,030 35,960
Lake Stevens 31,740 30,900 29,900 29,170 28,960
Mountlake Terrace 21,290 21,090 21,090 20,530 20,160
Mukilteo 21,240 21,070 20,900 20,540 20,440
Mill Creek 19,960 19,900 19,760 18,780 18,600
Arlington 18,690 18,620 18,490 18,360 18,270
Monroe 18,350 18,120 17,620 17,660 17,510
Bothell (Snohomish County part) 17,510 17,390 17,230 17,020 17,020
Snohomish 10,010 9,625 9,385 9,270 9,220
Stanwood 6,785 6,635 6,585 6,530 6,340
Brier 6,560 6,555 6,500 6,345 6,315
Sultan 5,030 4,860 4,680 4,665 4,660
Granite Falls 3,485 3,395 3,390 3,390 3,385
Gold Bar 2,125 2,125 2,115 2,085 2,080
Darrington 1,400 1,350 1,350 1,350 1,350
Woodway 1,340 1,335 1,335 1,310 1,300
Index 175 165 160 180 180

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;; @HBJnews.

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