We’re No. 2! We’re No. 2! Clark County is the second-fastest-growing county in the state, and Vancouver takes second place for net population gain. Clark County also continues to be second in terms of population density.
The county grew by 9,020 people between April 1, 2014, and April 1, 2015, an increase of 2.04 percent, according to estimates released Thursday by the state’s Office of Financial Management. This is the county’s biggest population boost in at least five years.
Vancouver gained an estimated 3,000 people over the last year.
So, what locales bumped us from the top spot? Washington’s major metropolis, Seattle, accounted for almost one-quarter of the state’s growth, gaining a whopping 21,900 people in the last year. Seattle is within King County, where the population density is estimated at 970.3 people per square mile, compared with Clark County’s 718.3 people per square mile. Snohomish County, in Northwest Washington, had the fastest population growth rate.
Overall, Washington experienced its largest annual population increase since 2008. Clark County’s growth rate of 2.04 percent outpaced the state’s overall rate of 1.34 percent.
The increase is largely driven by more people moving to the state than leaving it. Migration into the state has been on the rise for the last two years, according to the Office of Financial Management, which uses population data for state planning and budgeting.
- Washington's population is estimated at 7,061,400.
- The state grew by 93,200 people from April 1, 2014, to April 1, 2015.
- Clark County accounted for nearly 10 percent of that growth.
- Clark County makes up 6.4 percent of the state's total population.
Population growth is dynamic, with people coming and going all the time.
The data show that people are more attracted to metropolitan areas — which are centers of economic activity. Local growth is inevitably attached to our neighbor city to the south.
“When Oregon, especially Portland, is doing well, we expect Clark County to do well,” said Mike Mohrman, the department’s senior forecast analyst.
Every city in Clark County experienced growth, according to the estimates, except for Yacolt and the small part of Woodland that’s within county boundaries; both of those areas’ populations stayed the same.
Ridgefield continues to be the county’s fastest-growing city in terms of the percentage of population growth, evident to anyone who’s passed by the throngs of new construction there. The small city grew by an estimated 365 people, but that’s a 6.05 percent gain.
Battle Ground also experienced a healthy influx of 570 new residents — a population increase of 3.05 percent.