Ridgefield 3rd in state in population growth

City's 6.4% increase over past year trails only Waverly, Port Orchard

By Erin Middlewood, Columbian special projects reporter

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Ridgefield was the third-fastest-growing city in Washington over the last year, according population estimates released by the state Office of Financial Management on Thursday.

The city along Interstate 5 north of Vancouver is home to 5,545 residents. It grew by 335 people, or 6.4 percent, between April 2012 and April 2013, according to the state data. Only Waverly and Port Orchard grew more quickly.

"Ridgefield was one of the first places to start seeing some housing construction coming out of the meltdown," said Scott Bailey, regional economist for the state Employment Security Department.

Estimates show growth below 2 percent for Clark County's other cities. Yacolt and Woodland were the slowest growing, each adding 0.6 percent to their populations. Vancouver grew 0.8 percent to 164,500, and maintained its rank as Washington's fourth-largest city.

Clark County's total population grew 1 percent. It remains the fifth-largest county in the state, behind King, Pierce, Snohomish and Spokane counties.

Washington overall grew by 64,630 residents — or 0.95 percent — to 6.9 million, the largest gain since 2010.

Clark County's "pretty low" 1 percent growth rate, as Bailey put it, represents a slight acceleration over years past. The Clark County grew 0.6 percent between 2010 and 2011, and 0.8 percent between 2011 and 2012.

The state bases its population estimate on U.S. Census data and city- and county-specific information, including birth and death rates, housing permits, automobile registrations and school enrollment.

Erin Middlewood:360-735-4516; erin.middlewood@columbian.com