Counties with the most born-and-bred residents in Washington

Written by:
August 6, 2022
Joe Mabel // Wikimedia Commons

Counties with the most born-and-bred residents in Washington

The COVID-19 pandemic, rising inflation and a higher cost of living in major cities have combined with opportunities for remote work over the past two years. This combination has fueled a major migration across the country. In the first year of the pandemic, migration out of densely populated, expensive cities like New York and San Francisco was especially notable. Many moved to Sunbelt cities where the weather is warmer and the cost of living significantly lower.

But not everyone who moved in recent years went very far. Analysis of movement out of crowded cities shows that many of those leaving city centers moved into nearby suburbs in the same state, rather than making cross country moves.

Other trends suggest that many people are sticking close to home, remaining in or moving back to the state, or even the town they were born in. Even before the pandemic, the number of younger adults living with their parents was on the rise, mostly due to financial difficulties. This economic hardship was made worse by the pandemic, and resulted in many moving back in with their parents. By the end of 2020, more than half of Americans under the age of 29 were living at home, exceeding the share of young adults living with their parents during the Great Depression.

Apart from the pandemic, many people choose not to leave the state they were raised in, for reasons ranging from wanting to be close to family to not having the resources to leave, to sticking with a lower cost of living.

In order to determine where people stay put, Stacker compiled a list of counties with the most born-and-bred residents in Washington using data from the U.S. Census Bureau. Counties are ranked by the highest percentage of residents that were born in the state according to 2020 5-year estimates.

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Williamborg // Wikimedia Commons

#39. Asotin County

- Population: 22,636
- Born in Washington: 5,171 (22.8% of population)
- Born in a different state: 16,472 (72.8% of population)
--- Midwest (6.9%), Northeast (1.7%), South (4.7%), West (59.4%)
- Born in another country: 705 (3.11% of population)
--- Africa (0.23%) , Asia (1.01%), Europe (0.42%), Latin America (1.06%), North America (0.35%), Oceania (0.04%)

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MagicalT // Wikimedia Commons

#38. Klickitat County

- Population: 22,055
- Born in Washington: 6,852 (31.1% of population)
- Born in a different state: 12,883 (58.4% of population)
--- Midwest (11.0%), Northeast (3.7%), South (5.8%), West (38.0%)
- Born in another country: 2,126 (9.64% of population)
--- Africa (0.09%) , Asia (0.51%), Europe (1.84%), Latin America (7.12%), North America (0.08%), Oceania (0.00%)

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Jelson25 // Wikimedia Commons

#37. San Juan County

- Population: 16,953
- Born in Washington: 5,727 (33.8% of population)
- Born in a different state: 9,551 (56.3% of population)
--- Midwest (13.0%), Northeast (7.9%), South (7.4%), West (28.0%)
- Born in another country: 1,316 (7.76% of population)
--- Africa (0.10%) , Asia (1.28%), Europe (2.53%), Latin America (2.13%), North America (1.15%), Oceania (0.57%)

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Steve Morgan // Wikimedia Commons

#36. Clark County

- Population: 481,950
- Born in Washington: 168,216 (34.9% of population)
- Born in a different state: 256,411 (53.2% of population)
--- Midwest (7.9%), Northeast (2.9%), South (5.3%), West (37.1%)
- Born in another country: 51,312 (10.65% of population)
--- Africa (0.28%) , Asia (3.36%), Europe (3.33%), Latin America (2.85%), North America (0.41%), Oceania (0.41%)

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U.S. Geological Survey // Wikimedia Commons

#35. Skamania County

- Population: 11,906
- Born in Washington: 4,314 (36.2% of population)
- Born in a different state: 6,921 (58.1% of population)
--- Midwest (8.4%), Northeast (3.4%), South (5.5%), West (40.9%)
- Born in another country: 523 (4.39% of population)
--- Africa (0.00%) , Asia (0.60%), Europe (0.90%), Latin America (2.17%), North America (0.50%), Oceania (0.23%)

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Joe Mabel // Wikimedia Commons

#34. Island County

- Population: 84,187
- Born in Washington: 31,683 (37.6% of population)
- Born in a different state: 44,550 (52.9% of population)
--- Midwest (11.3%), Northeast (6.4%), South (12.3%), West (22.9%)
- Born in another country: 6,209 (7.38% of population)
--- Africa (0.15%) , Asia (3.65%), Europe (1.39%), Latin America (1.44%), North America (0.56%), Oceania (0.18%)

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kan_khampanya // Shutterstock

#33. King County

- Population: 2,225,064
- Born in Washington: 877,657 (39.4% of population)
- Born in a different state: 778,623 (35.0% of population)
--- Midwest (8.3%), Northeast (5.2%), South (6.4%), West (15.1%)
- Born in another country: 527,658 (23.71% of population)
--- Africa (2.03%) , Asia (13.30%), Europe (3.15%), Latin America (3.95%), North America (0.88%), Oceania (0.42%)

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Dcoetzee // Wikimedia Commons

#32. Kitsap County

- Population: 268,945
- Born in Washington: 111,471 (41.4% of population)
- Born in a different state: 133,018 (49.5% of population)
--- Midwest (10.4%), Northeast (6.1%), South (10.2%), West (22.7%)
- Born in another country: 18,066 (6.72% of population)
--- Africa (0.11%) , Asia (3.59%), Europe (1.08%), Latin America (1.35%), North America (0.41%), Oceania (0.18%)

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Adbar // Wikimedia Commons

#31. Jefferson County

- Population: 31,825
- Born in Washington: 13,600 (42.7% of population)
- Born in a different state: 15,988 (50.2% of population)
--- Midwest (12.4%), Northeast (8.3%), South (6.7%), West (22.8%)
- Born in another country: 1,569 (4.93% of population)
--- Africa (0.12%) , Asia (1.23%), Europe (1.95%), Latin America (0.89%), North America (0.60%), Oceania (0.15%)

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Walter Siegmund // Wikimedia Commons

#30. Wahkiakum County

- Population: 4,318
- Born in Washington: 1,908 (44.2% of population)
- Born in a different state: 2,180 (50.5% of population)
--- Midwest (7.0%), Northeast (1.8%), South (2.8%), West (38.9%)
- Born in another country: 215 (4.98% of population)
--- Africa (0.56%) , Asia (1.67%), Europe (1.51%), Latin America (1.11%), North America (0.14%), Oceania (0.00%)

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Calvin Beale // Wikimedia Commons

#29. Garfield County

- Population: 2,258
- Born in Washington: 1,016 (45.0% of population)
- Born in a different state: 1,129 (50.0% of population)
--- Midwest (6.7%), Northeast (1.2%), South (5.4%), West (36.8%)
- Born in another country: 87 (3.85% of population)
--- Africa (0.00%) , Asia (3.68%), Europe (0.18%), Latin America (0.00%), North America (0.00%), Oceania (0.00%)

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Bluedisk // Wikimedia Commons

#28. Thurston County

- Population: 284,698
- Born in Washington: 129,962 (45.6% of population)
- Born in a different state: 123,653 (43.4% of population)
--- Midwest (9.5%), Northeast (4.3%), South (8.8%), West (20.9%)
- Born in another country: 23,534 (8.27% of population)
--- Africa (0.22%) , Asia (4.06%), Europe (1.26%), Latin America (2.18%), North America (0.32%), Oceania (0.23%)

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Sam Beebe // Wikimedia Commons

#27. Pacific County

- Population: 22,121
- Born in Washington: 10,232 (46.3% of population)
- Born in a different state: 10,325 (46.7% of population)
--- Midwest (8.2%), Northeast (3.4%), South (4.5%), West (30.6%)
- Born in another country: 1,395 (6.31% of population)
--- Africa (0.02%) , Asia (1.00%), Europe (1.08%), Latin America (3.73%), North America (0.29%), Oceania (0.19%)

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Neonstar // Wikimedia Commons

#26. Clallam County

- Population: 76,482
- Born in Washington: 37,064 (48.5% of population)
- Born in a different state: 34,504 (45.1% of population)
--- Midwest (11.0%), Northeast (4.9%), South (6.8%), West (22.5%)
- Born in another country: 3,953 (5.17% of population)
--- Africa (0.10%) , Asia (1.32%), Europe (1.35%), Latin America (1.60%), North America (0.77%), Oceania (0.02%)

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Ilyaunfois // Wikimedia Commons

#25. Whitman County

- Population: 49,577
- Born in Washington: 24,765 (50.0% of population)
- Born in a different state: 18,566 (37.4% of population)
--- Midwest (5.6%), Northeast (2.1%), South (6.0%), West (23.7%)
- Born in another country: 5,474 (11.04% of population)
--- Africa (1.17%) , Asia (6.48%), Europe (1.69%), Latin America (1.41%), North America (0.23%), Oceania (0.07%)

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SounderBruce // Wikimedia Commons

#24. Snohomish County

- Population: 811,572
- Born in Washington: 405,499 (50.0% of population)
- Born in a different state: 253,752 (31.3% of population)
--- Midwest (7.1%), Northeast (3.0%), South (5.4%), West (15.8%)
- Born in another country: 138,332 (17.04% of population)
--- Africa (1.38%) , Asia (8.41%), Europe (2.71%), Latin America (3.65%), North America (0.56%), Oceania (0.34%)

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SounderBruce // Wikimedia Commons

#23. Pierce County

- Population: 891,862
- Born in Washington: 445,898 (50.0% of population)
- Born in a different state: 329,031 (36.9% of population)
--- Midwest (7.6%), Northeast (3.7%), South (8.3%), West (17.3%)
- Born in another country: 88,465 (9.92% of population)
--- Africa (0.65%) , Asia (4.25%), Europe (1.70%), Latin America (2.61%), North America (0.38%), Oceania (0.32%)

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Squarestate7 // Wikicommons

#22. Walla Walla County

- Population: 60,785
- Born in Washington: 30,662 (50.4% of population)
- Born in a different state: 22,902 (37.7% of population)
--- Midwest (6.3%), Northeast (2.1%), South (5.7%), West (23.6%)
- Born in another country: 5,711 (9.40% of population)
--- Africa (0.13%) , Asia (1.23%), Europe (1.07%), Latin America (6.19%), North America (0.62%), Oceania (0.16%)

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Williamborg // Wikimedia Commons

#21. Franklin County

- Population: 93,681
- Born in Washington: 48,278 (51.5% of population)
- Born in a different state: 23,245 (24.8% of population)
--- Midwest (3.3%), Northeast (1.8%), South (4.1%), West (15.7%)
- Born in another country: 20,240 (21.61% of population)
--- Africa (0.26%) , Asia (1.08%), Europe (1.03%), Latin America (19.04%), North America (0.19%), Oceania (0.01%)

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Nick Kelly / Faithlife Corporation

#20. Whatcom County

- Population: 224,538
- Born in Washington: 117,457 (52.3% of population)
- Born in a different state: 79,845 (35.6% of population)
--- Midwest (8.1%), Northeast (3.8%), South (4.9%), West (18.8%)
- Born in another country: 22,458 (10.00% of population)
--- Africa (0.19%) , Asia (2.86%), Europe (1.76%), Latin America (2.51%), North America (2.55%), Oceania (0.13%)

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formulanone // Wikimedia Commons

#19. Benton County

- Population: 200,715
- Born in Washington: 106,386 (53.0% of population)
- Born in a different state: 70,416 (35.1% of population)
--- Midwest (7.0%), Northeast (2.5%), South (5.9%), West (19.7%)
- Born in another country: 22,045 (10.98% of population)
--- Africa (0.35%) , Asia (2.30%), Europe (1.32%), Latin America (6.68%), North America (0.30%), Oceania (0.02%)

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Sam Beebe // Wikimedia Commons

#18. Cowlitz County

- Population: 108,399
- Born in Washington: 57,471 (53.0% of population)
- Born in a different state: 45,544 (42.0% of population)
--- Midwest (6.9%), Northeast (2.6%), South (5.1%), West (27.4%)
- Born in another country: 4,243 (3.91% of population)
--- Africa (0.11%) , Asia (0.97%), Europe (0.50%), Latin America (1.93%), North America (0.25%), Oceania (0.15%)

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Joe Mabel // Wikimedia Commons

#17. Adams County

- Population: 19,702
- Born in Washington: 10,611 (53.9% of population)
- Born in a different state: 4,191 (21.3% of population)
--- Midwest (2.4%), Northeast (1.0%), South (3.3%), West (14.5%)
- Born in another country: 4,801 (24.37% of population)
--- Africa (0.05%) , Asia (0.32%), Europe (0.48%), Latin America (22.69%), North America (0.32%), Oceania (0.51%)

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Ron Reiring // Wikicommons

#16. Spokane County

- Population: 513,402
- Born in Washington: 277,075 (54.0% of population)
- Born in a different state: 202,238 (39.4% of population)
--- Midwest (7.5%), Northeast (2.8%), South (5.7%), West (23.4%)
- Born in another country: 27,536 (5.36% of population)
--- Africa (0.30%) , Asia (1.94%), Europe (1.48%), Latin America (0.95%), North America (0.46%), Oceania (0.24%)

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Ruthven78 // Wikimedia Commons

#15. Pend Oreille County

- Population: 13,588
- Born in Washington: 7,345 (54.1% of population)
- Born in a different state: 5,669 (41.7% of population)
--- Midwest (9.6%), Northeast (2.0%), South (3.8%), West (26.4%)
- Born in another country: 500 (3.68% of population)
--- Africa (0.01%) , Asia (1.05%), Europe (0.74%), Latin America (1.25%), North America (0.63%), Oceania (0.00%)

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Joe Mabel // Wikicommons

#14. Skagit County

- Population: 127,442
- Born in Washington: 68,913 (54.1% of population)
- Born in a different state: 44,567 (35.0% of population)
--- Midwest (8.0%), Northeast (3.2%), South (5.9%), West (17.9%)
- Born in another country: 11,985 (9.40% of population)
--- Africa (0.11%) , Asia (1.29%), Europe (1.20%), Latin America (6.07%), North America (0.67%), Oceania (0.06%)

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Ian Poellet // Wikimedia Commons

#13. Mason County

- Population: 65,326
- Born in Washington: 35,917 (55.0% of population)
- Born in a different state: 24,402 (37.4% of population)
--- Midwest (7.0%), Northeast (4.3%), South (5.9%), West (20.2%)
- Born in another country: 3,897 (5.97% of population)
--- Africa (0.34%) , Asia (0.81%), Europe (0.57%), Latin America (3.68%), North America (0.44%), Oceania (0.12%)

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Irra // Shutterstock

#12. Grant County

- Population: 96,648
- Born in Washington: 54,371 (56.3% of population)
- Born in a different state: 24,473 (25.3% of population)
--- Midwest (4.8%), Northeast (1.0%), South (3.9%), West (15.7%)
- Born in another country: 16,920 (17.51% of population)
--- Africa (0.02%) , Asia (0.57%), Europe (1.47%), Latin America (15.05%), North America (0.39%), Oceania (0.01%)

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Thayne Tuason // Wikimedia Commons

#11. Douglas County

- Population: 42,520
- Born in Washington: 24,018 (56.5% of population)
- Born in a different state: 11,126 (26.2% of population)
--- Midwest (5.7%), Northeast (1.3%), South (3.5%), West (15.6%)
- Born in another country: 6,809 (16.01% of population)
--- Africa (0.16%) , Asia (0.45%), Europe (0.84%), Latin America (14.06%), North America (0.40%), Oceania (0.11%)

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BrandonHansen18 // Wikimedia Commons

#10. Stevens County

- Population: 45,233
- Born in Washington: 25,915 (57.3% of population)
- Born in a different state: 17,594 (38.9% of population)
--- Midwest (6.6%), Northeast (2.7%), South (4.5%), West (25.2%)
- Born in another country: 1,329 (2.94% of population)
--- Africa (0.06%) , Asia (0.65%), Europe (0.97%), Latin America (0.42%), North America (0.80%), Oceania (0.04%)

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Jennifer Gottwald // Wikicommons

#9. Chelan County

- Population: 76,653
- Born in Washington: 44,075 (57.5% of population)
- Born in a different state: 21,600 (28.2% of population)
--- Midwest (6.2%), Northeast (2.3%), South (5.4%), West (14.2%)
- Born in another country: 10,191 (13.29% of population)
--- Africa (0.07%) , Asia (0.57%), Europe (0.46%), Latin America (11.65%), North America (0.52%), Oceania (0.03%)

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John Stanton // Wikimedia Commons

#8. Columbia County

- Population: 4,024
- Born in Washington: 2,351 (58.4% of population)
- Born in a different state: 1,435 (35.7% of population)
--- Midwest (5.7%), Northeast (2.9%), South (3.7%), West (23.4%)
- Born in another country: 221 (5.49% of population)
--- Africa (0.00%) , Asia (1.27%), Europe (0.07%), Latin America (3.90%), North America (0.25%), Oceania (0.00%)

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Steven Pavlov // Wikimedia Commons

#7. Lewis County

- Population: 79,430
- Born in Washington: 46,779 (58.9% of population)
- Born in a different state: 28,010 (35.3% of population)
--- Midwest (7.4%), Northeast (2.6%), South (5.0%), West (20.3%)
- Born in another country: 3,888 (4.89% of population)
--- Africa (0.06%) , Asia (0.69%), Europe (0.77%), Latin America (2.94%), North America (0.35%), Oceania (0.08%)

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Kevmi // Wikimedia Commons

#6. Ferry County

- Population: 7,643
- Born in Washington: 4,502 (58.9% of population)
- Born in a different state: 2,935 (38.4% of population)
--- Midwest (7.9%), Northeast (3.3%), South (4.8%), West (22.4%)
- Born in another country: 111 (1.45% of population)
--- Africa (0.12%) , Asia (0.27%), Europe (0.67%), Latin America (0.18%), North America (0.21%), Oceania (0.00%)

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Michael S. Shannon // Wikimedia Commons

#5. Yakima County

- Population: 250,649
- Born in Washington: 150,860 (60.2% of population)
- Born in a different state: 51,781 (20.7% of population)
--- Midwest (3.8%), Northeast (1.1%), South (3.8%), West (11.9%)
- Born in another country: 46,107 (18.40% of population)
--- Africa (0.16%) , Asia (0.69%), Europe (0.33%), Latin America (16.87%), North America (0.17%), Oceania (0.18%)

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Bouldernavigator // Wikimedia Commons

#4. Okanogan County

- Population: 42,080
- Born in Washington: 25,632 (60.9% of population)
- Born in a different state: 11,722 (27.9% of population)
--- Midwest (6.1%), Northeast (2.0%), South (4.7%), West (15.0%)
- Born in another country: 4,111 (9.77% of population)
--- Africa (0.04%) , Asia (0.56%), Europe (0.31%), Latin America (8.05%), North America (0.78%), Oceania (0.02%)

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MrX // Wikimedia Commons

#3. Kittitas County

- Population: 47,097
- Born in Washington: 30,205 (64.1% of population)
- Born in a different state: 14,129 (30.0% of population)
--- Midwest (5.4%), Northeast (3.0%), South (3.6%), West (18.0%)
- Born in another country: 2,191 (4.65% of population)
--- Africa (0.15%) , Asia (0.83%), Europe (0.56%), Latin America (2.25%), North America (0.59%), Oceania (0.26%)

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Publichall // Wikimedia Commons

#2. Lincoln County

- Population: 10,732
- Born in Washington: 6,921 (64.5% of population)
- Born in a different state: 3,527 (32.9% of population)
--- Midwest (8.6%), Northeast (2.0%), South (5.0%), West (17.2%)
- Born in another country: 185 (1.72% of population)
--- Africa (0.01%) , Asia (0.61%), Europe (0.37%), Latin America (0.38%), North America (0.27%), Oceania (0.07%)

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Joe Mabel // Wikimedia Commons

#1. Grays Harbor County

- Population: 73,769
- Born in Washington: 47,657 (64.6% of population)
- Born in a different state: 22,021 (29.9% of population)
--- Midwest (6.4%), Northeast (1.7%), South (4.7%), West (17.2%)
- Born in another country: 3,242 (4.39% of population)
--- Africa (0.13%) , Asia (0.89%), Europe (0.54%), Latin America (2.49%), North America (0.33%), Oceania (0.01%)

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