Washington state’s population grew by 117,000 people this year from last, to 7.4 million people. That’s like gaining a city the size of Everett.
But the state's Office of Financial Management observes that's down slightly from last year. Growth is still going strong, it says, just not at the frenetic pace we've seen over the last few years.
Thirty percent of the state's growth is happening the old-fashioned way: babies.
The rest is in-migration from other places, and that's largely about jobs. A tech boom led by Amazon in Seattle is a key center of growth in the state. Half the population explosion in the state since 2010 happened within driving range of Seattle’s tech jobs, and the jobs that got created by the tech jobs.
That’s 350,000 new people in King and Snohomish counties since 2010. But the surge in population extends well beyond the immediate commuter zone, and it's meaningful. Now 55 percent of the population of the state lives in the Puget Sound region.