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Aug. 19, 2022

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Clark County’s population grows faster than state’s, tops out at 520,900

By , Columbian staff writer
Published:

Clark County’s population continues to surge, despite disruptions from the COVID-19 pandemic and rising inflation.

The county’s population, which topped 500,000 in 2020, has grown to an estimated 520,900, according to the state Office of Financial Management. The county’s population grew by 2 percent between 2020 and 2021 and by 1.5 percent between 2021 and 2022, outpacing the statewide growth rate of 1.25 percent for 2022.

Once the second-fastest growing county in the state, Clark County now sits in sixth place. Whitman County in Eastern Washington saw its population grow by 7.2 percent in 2022, offsetting the same percentage of residents the county lost between 2020 and 2021. Kitsap and Whatcom counties, which also had population losses between 2020 and 2021, grew by 4.4 percent and 2.4 percent in 2022, respectively.

The only county with a large urban center growing more quickly than Clark County was Spokane County, which saw its population increase by 1.6 percent in 2022.

Clark County remains the fifth most populated county in the state behind King, Pierce, Snohomish and Spokane counties. The total population for the state topped 7.86 million in April 2022, up from 7.7 million in 2020 and 7.77 million in 2021. If Washington’s growth rate continues at the same pace, it may match or even exceed the 15 percent growth the state saw between 2010 and 2020.

The county’s population is nearly evenly split between unincorporated and urban areas, with 237,650 residents (46 percent) living in unincorporated areas and 283,520 residents (54 percent) living in incorporated cities.

Ridgefield is still the fastest growing city in the county. From 2021 to 2022, the city’s population grew by 14.5 percent, up from an estimated 11,910 residents in 2021 to 13,640 in 2022. The most recent increase is in addition to Ridgefield’s population doubling between the 2010 and 2020 Census.

The second fastest growing city in the county is La Center, which saw its population go from 3,424 in 2020 to 3,605 in 2021, an increase of 5.3 percent. In 2022, the population is estimated at 3,835, an additional increase of 6.4 percent.

Battle Ground grew from 20,743 residents in 2020 to 21,780 in 2022. That’s an increase of 2 percent for 2021 and 2.9 percent for 2022, according to the OFA data.

In Vancouver, where housing shortages, skyrocketing rent prices and a growing homeless population are already straining resources, the population grew by 3.5 percent between 2020 and 2022. The number of residents living in the city in 2020 was 190,915, which grew to 194,400 in 2021 and 197,600 in 2022, the OFA data shows.

Washougal’s population grew by an estimated 1 percent in both 2021 and 2022, while Woodland and Yacolt’s populations were nearly unchanged.

For the full OFA report and data on other cities and counties in the state, go to https://bit.ly/2PRSKYY.

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