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No metro area in the state of Washington is growing faster this decade than the Tri-Cities.

Since the start of 2020, the Tri-Cities population has grown at a 3.5% rate. That ranks us tops in the state ahead of Spokane in second (2.5%) and Wenatchee (2.3%) in third.

All of this data comes from the U.S. Census Bureau and was just reported a few days ago in the Seattle Times. Here’s the chart that the Times shared in its article showing population changes in all 13 major metro areas across the state.

Washington population growth chart showing Tri-Cities as fastest growing area in the state

As you can see, we were also the fastest-growing metro for all of the last decade, too, at an 18.3% clip.

Meanwhile, on the west side of the state — and this is the angle the Seattle Times took in its article — the bigger metro areas like Seattle and Portland/Vancouver are barely growing at all this decade. That’s something we’ve seen up close. During the pandemic, particularly, a lot of Seattleites and Portlanders packed up and moved to the Tri-Cities. Apparently, a lot are also moving to Spokane and Wenatchee. As the Times’ article says…

The high cost of housing has, of course, hampered growth. And the rise of remote work since 2020 has given many folks the freedom to settle outside the Seattle metro, in areas where they could get more for their dollars. To be sure, it’s not just housing costs luring people to smaller cities and towns. Many also prefer living in areas with less congestion, easy access to nature and outdoor recreation, and fewer big-city problems.

What’s strange is that Walla Walla’s population has declined so far this decade — down 1.6% since 2020. And to our west, Yakima has seen no population growth at all this decade. Looks like everyone moving to SE Washington is settling right here in the Tri-Cities!

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Cari McGee

Hi, I'm Cari McGee. 👋 I've lived in the Tri-Cities since 1994 and I've been a licensed Realtor® since 2004. That's a lot of local knowledge and real estate experience that I put into every article you read on my website! We've helped more than 560 families buy or sell property in the Tri-Cities. In 2023, our community voted us the bronze winner for Best Real Estate Team in the Tri-Cities Best voting. Learn more about me by clicking the link right above. And if you have any questions, get in touch anytime!

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