Seattle Booms in Latest Census City-Level Estimates

Seattle. Photo Credit: Rattlhed at Wikipedia – Public Domain

Seattle tops the growth charts among the top 25 cities in the Census Bureau’s latest release of 2016 city and town population estimates.

Seattle, a land-locked (no annexation) city in the Pacific Northwest with a limited history of high density, managed to add 20,847 people last year, a growth rate of over 3% – tops among the 25 largest cities.  Seattle has added about 94,000 people just since 2010. That’s over 15% growth. The total population growth in Seattle last year was about the same as that in New York City. Even if you rank by total change instead of percentage, Seattle would still be 5th out of the top 25 – ahead of some much larger places and some much sprawlier places.

Seattle’s urban and regional population growth are strong.  It is a national bright spot for transit growth. Its tech economy is nova hot. I haven’t been there in a while, but it seems to me that Seattle is a city undergoing a significant transformation to the next level.

All but three of the top 25 cities posted growth in population, showing that there’s definitely central city growth happening in many places, even if the preponderance of national growth is suburban. The older cores of NYC, SF, DC, Boston, and Philly are all growing. Even the cities of Dallas and Ft. Worth grew nicely. Only Chicago, Detroit, and Memphis lost population. Houston, a geographically gigantic central city, posted fairly weak growth compared to what one might have expected.

In the Midwest, Columbus passed Indianapolis to become the 14th largest city in the country. Detroit, despite enormous population loss, is still about the same population as Boston and Washington, DC.

Here are the 25 largest cities in the country in 2016, ranked by year over year population growth rate:

Rank City 2015 2016 Total Change Pct Change
1 Seattle city, WA 683,505 704,352 20,847 3.05%
2 Fort Worth city, TX 834,171 854,113 19,942 2.39%
3 Phoenix city, AZ 1,582,904 1,615,017 32,113 2.03%
4 Denver city, CO 680,032 693,060 13,028 1.92%
5 Austin city, TX 930,152 947,890 17,738 1.91%
6 Charlotte city, NC 826,395 842,051 15,656 1.89%
7 San Antonio city, TX 1,468,037 1,492,510 24,473 1.67%
8 Washington city, DC 670,377 681,170 10,793 1.61%
9 Dallas city, TX 1,297,327 1,317,929 20,602 1.59%
10 Jacksonville city, FL 867,164 880,619 13,455 1.55%
11 Columbus city, OH 850,044 860,090 10,046 1.18%
12 San Diego city, CA 1,390,915 1,406,630 15,715 1.13%
13 Boston city, MA 665,984 673,184 7,200 1.08%
14 San Francisco city, CA 862,004 870,887 8,883 1.03%
15 Nashville-Davidson metropolitan government (balance), TN 654,078 660,388 6,310 0.96%
16 Houston city, TX 2,284,816 2,303,482 18,666 0.82%
17 Los Angeles city, CA 3,949,149 3,976,322 27,173 0.69%
18 El Paso city, TX 678,570 683,080 4,510 0.66%
19 Indianapolis city (balance), IN 852,295 855,164 2,869 0.34%
20 San Jose city, CA 1,022,627 1,025,350 2,723 0.27%
21 New York city, NY 8,516,502 8,537,673 21,171 0.25%
22 Philadelphia city, PA 1,564,964 1,567,872 2,908 0.19%
23 Memphis city, TN 654,454 652,717 -1,737 -0.27%
24 Chicago city, IL 2,713,596 2,704,958 -8,638 -0.32%
25 Detroit city, MI 676,336 672,795 -3,541 -0.52%

And here are the top 25 ranked by the 2010-2016 growth rate.

Rank City 2010 2016 Total Change Pct Change
1 Austin city, TX 815,587 947,890 132,303 16.22%
2 Seattle city, WA 610,403 704,352 93,949 15.39%
3 Denver city, CO 603,329 693,060 89,731 14.87%
4 Fort Worth city, TX 748,719 854,113 105,394 14.08%
5 Charlotte city, NC 738,561 842,051 103,490 14.01%
6 Washington city, DC 605,183 681,170 75,987 12.56%
7 San Antonio city, TX 1,333,952 1,492,510 158,558 11.89%
8 Phoenix city, AZ 1,450,629 1,615,017 164,388 11.33%
9 Dallas city, TX 1,200,711 1,317,929 117,218 9.76%
10 Houston city, TX 2,105,625 2,303,482 197,857 9.40%
11 Nashville-Davidson metropolitan government (balance), TN 604,893 660,388 55,495 9.17%
12 Columbus city, OH 790,864 860,090 69,226 8.75%
13 Boston city, MA 620,701 673,184 52,483 8.46%
14 San Francisco city, CA 805,766 870,887 65,121 8.08%
15 San Diego city, CA 1,306,153 1,406,630 100,477 7.69%
16 San Jose city, CA 955,290 1,025,350 70,060 7.33%
17 Jacksonville city, FL 823,318 880,619 57,301 6.96%
18 El Paso city, TX 650,604 683,080 32,476 4.99%
19 Los Angeles city, CA 3,796,292 3,976,322 180,030 4.74%
20 New York city, NY 8,192,026 8,537,673 345,647 4.22%
21 Indianapolis city (balance), IN 821,659 855,164 33,505 4.08%
22 Philadelphia city, PA 1,528,427 1,567,872 39,445 2.58%
23 Chicago city, IL 2,697,736 2,704,958 7,222 0.27%
24 Memphis city, TN 652,456 652,717 261 0.04%
25 Detroit city, MI 711,088 672,795 -38,293 -5.39%

And the top 25 ranked by total 2016 population:

Rank City 2016
1 New York city, NY 8,537,673
2 Los Angeles city, CA 3,976,322
3 Chicago city, IL 2,704,958
4 Houston city, TX 2,303,482
5 Phoenix city, AZ 1,615,017
6 Philadelphia city, PA 1,567,872
7 San Antonio city, TX 1,492,510
8 San Diego city, CA 1,406,630
9 Dallas city, TX 1,317,929
10 San Jose city, CA 1,025,350
11 Austin city, TX 947,890
12 Jacksonville city, FL 880,619
13 San Francisco city, CA 870,887
14 Columbus city, OH 860,090
15 Indianapolis city (balance), IN 855,164
16 Fort Worth city, TX 854,113
17 Charlotte city, NC 842,051
18 Seattle city, WA 704,352
19 Denver city, CO 693,060
20 El Paso city, TX 683,080
21 Washington city, DC 681,170
22 Boston city, MA 673,184
23 Detroit city, MI 672,795
24 Nashville-Davidson metropolitan government (balance), TN 660,388
25 Memphis city, TN 652,717

from Aaron M. Renn
http://www.urbanophile.com/2017/05/25/seattle-booms-in-latest-census-city-level-estimates/

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