The population of Seattle is on the rise and has been for decades. You can argue the growth is due to any number of factors. It’s true—the allure of Seattle’s beautifully temperate climate, delicious coffee, amazing natural surrounds and plentiful things to do is strong. You'll hear more than one transplant to the area denounce the climates they came from, whether that means some place cold and snowy or hot and humid.
The growth also ties in with the many big businesses located in and around Seattle, as people move to the Northwest for a new job or to look for work often. People probably aren't moving here for the real estate prices (especially not as of late), but there's more than one source in the area proclaiming the Seattle metro area as the next San Francisco in terms of growth, appeal...and cost.
Whatever the case, the population of Seattle and surrounding cities and towns are on the up-and-up. Here are a few facts about Seattle's population, but also about how that population compares to other Washington city populations and the state population overall. You might be surprised just how many people live in and around Washington's largest city!
What is the population of Seattle?
As of the 2010 census, the Emerald City’s population was 608,660. Current stats put the population closer to 725,000! That’s up from about 560,000 in 2000 and 516,000 in 1990. The entire Seattle metro area, which includes Bellevue, Tacoma and other cities, is home to 3.7 million people! Seattle is growing in every way possible, from population to real estate prices to traffic.
Just behind Seattle, in the second largest city spot, is Spokane located on the far eastern side of Washington State. Spokane's population is around 217,000 and its metro area is much smaller without any other larger cities to create the big-city feel that Seattle has.
Seattle is also often compared to another major Northwest city—Portland, Oregon, three hours to the south. Portland is a bit smaller than Seattle's 725,000 with about 650,000 residents. Like Seattle, Portland is also a popular transplant city and continuously growing. It combines its metro area with several other Oregon cities as well as Vancouver, Washington, and is home to about 3 million people, which is smaller than Seattle, but still sizeable!
What is the population of Tacoma?
Just to the south of Seattle is Washington State’s third largest city, Tacoma, which is far smaller than Seattle, but still a respectably populated mid-sized city. As of the 2010 census, the city of Tacoma had 198,397 people within the city limits (and an estimated 213,000 as of early 2019).
While Tacoma is growing just like Seattle is, you'll find far less traffic and other density-related issues to the south of the city. However, this is starting to turn a corner as more and more Seattle residents and transplants look to the Sound Sound to find a better cost of living.
How does that compare to all of Washington State?
The entire state of Washington has approximately 6.7 million residents, meaning about 12 percent of the state’s population is located in Seattle and Tacoma alone—this doesn’t count all the many suburb and bedroom communities in the Seattle-Tacoma area. In fact, Western Washington, while smaller in area than Eastern Washington on the other side of the Cascade mountains is home to the bulk of the Washington State population. Out of 6.7 million residents in the state, 5.2 million live in Western Washington, according to the 2010 census.
This side of the state is home to major cities ranging from Bellingham to Everett, Seattle to Tacoma, and Olympia to Vancouver.
Facts about Seattle's Demographics and Households:
- The average Seattle household size is just 2.06 people and the average family size is 2.87 people.
- Most Seattle residents are between 25 and 34 years old.
- 56% of the population older than 25 has a bachelor’s degree or higher.
- The median household income is $67,100.
- Seattle’s population is approximately 69.5% white, 14% Asian, 8% African-American, and 6.6% Latino and Hispanic.
- A staggering 97.5% of Seattle’s population lives within a quarter mile of a Metro bus stop or other public transportation stop.
- Seattle is one of the nation’s most walkable cities.
More Useful Information about Seattle:
Looking for more trivia and information about the Emerald City? Look no further! Below is a list of common questions about Seattle useful for those new to the city or people looking to move here.
- Seattle.gov population facts
- Seattle.gov land use facts