Fastest-growing counties in Washington

Written by:
July 1, 2022
kan_khampanya // Shutterstock

Fastest-growing counties in Washington

Why do people move from one county or region to another? The usual suspects are jobs, family, significant others, and overall cost of living, but there are other elements at play. For those with children, moving within close proximity of a highly rated school district is a key contributing factor. For younger adults just starting out, living someplace with a vibrant social scene might be a top priority. And for those whose careers have wound down after a lifetime of work, finding retirement-friendly communities is the goal—communities deemed to be safe, offer accessibility to medical resources and leisure activities in equal measure, and be affordable for those on a limited income.

This is, of course, by no means an exhaustive list. People’s reasons for choosing to live where they do are as diverse as people themselves.

As far as why certain counties across the U.S. have experienced growth, relocation is not the sole, or even primary, reason why. While more than 1,800 counties saw population gains in 2021, approximately 73% of all U.S. counties saw what the U.S. Census Bureau characterizes as a natural decrease. This was a significant jump from 2020, when 55.5% of countries experienced such a decrease. According to the Bureau, natural decrease is the simple result of “when there are more deaths than births in a population over a given time period.” In 2021, the conflation of fewer births with an aging population that was also absorbing a higher-than-usual mortality rate due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic led to this “increased decrease.”

Nonetheless, as stated 1,800 counties nationwide have grown larger over the last year, and a sizable percentage of them are in Washington. Stacker compiled a list of the fastest-growing counties in Washington using data from the U.S. Census Bureau. Counties are ranked by the highest population growth from 2010 to 2020, based on the U.S. Decennial Census.

You may also like: Biggest sources of immigrants to Washington

1 / 39
Kevmi // Wikimedia Commons

#39. Ferry County

- 2010 to 2020 population change: -373
--- #2,005 among all counties nationwide
- 2010 to 2020 percent population change: -4.9%
--- #39 among counties in Washington, #2,321 among all counties nationwide
- 2020 population: 7,178
--- #36 largest county in Washington, #2,646 largest county nationwide
2 / 39
John Stanton // Wikimedia Commons

#38. Columbia County

- 2010 to 2020 population change: -126
--- #1,664 among all counties nationwide
- 2010 to 2020 percent population change: -3.1%
--- #38 among counties in Washington, #2,012 among all counties nationwide
- 2020 population: 3,952
--- #38 largest county in Washington, #2,893 largest county nationwide
3 / 39
Calvin Beale // Wikimedia Commons

#37. Garfield County

- 2010 to 2020 population change: +20
--- #1,466 among all counties nationwide
- 2010 to 2020 percent population change: +0.9%
--- #37 among counties in Washington, #1,349 among all counties nationwide
- 2020 population: 2,286
--- #39 largest county in Washington, #3,019 largest county nationwide
4 / 39
Publichall // Wikimedia Commons

#36. Lincoln County

- 2010 to 2020 population change: +306
--- #1,257 among all counties nationwide
- 2010 to 2020 percent population change: +2.9%
--- #35 among counties in Washington, #1,073 among all counties nationwide
- 2020 population: 10,876
--- #35 largest county in Washington, #2,352 largest county nationwide
5 / 39
Ruthven78 // Wikimedia Commons

#35. Pend Oreille County

- 2010 to 2020 population change: +400
--- #1,205 among all counties nationwide
- 2010 to 2020 percent population change: +3.1%
--- #33 among counties in Washington, #1,044 among all counties nationwide
- 2020 population: 13,401
--- #33 largest county in Washington, #2,188 largest county nationwide

You may also like: Counties with the highest COVID-19 death rate in Washington

6 / 39
Walter Siegmund // Wikimedia Commons

#34. Wahkiakum County

- 2010 to 2020 population change: +444
--- #1,176 among all counties nationwide
- 2010 to 2020 percent population change: +11.2%
--- #15 among counties in Washington, #362 among all counties nationwide
- 2020 population: 4,422
--- #37 largest county in Washington, #2,861 largest county nationwide
7 / 39
Williamborg // Wikimedia Commons

#33. Asotin County

- 2010 to 2020 population change: +662
--- #1,102 among all counties nationwide
- 2010 to 2020 percent population change: +3.1%
--- #34 among counties in Washington, #1,048 among all counties nationwide
- 2020 population: 22,285
--- #30 largest county in Washington, #1,701 largest county nationwide
8 / 39
U.S. Geological Survey // Wikimedia Commons

#32. Skamania County

- 2010 to 2020 population change: +970
--- #1,009 among all counties nationwide
- 2010 to 2020 percent population change: +8.8%
--- #23 among counties in Washington, #501 among all counties nationwide
- 2020 population: 12,036
--- #34 largest county in Washington, #2,277 largest county nationwide
9 / 39
Bouldernavigator // Wikimedia Commons

#31. Okanogan County

- 2010 to 2020 population change: +984
--- #1,004 among all counties nationwide
- 2010 to 2020 percent population change: +2.4%
--- #36 among counties in Washington, #1,130 among all counties nationwide
- 2020 population: 42,104
--- #26 largest county in Washington, #1,141 largest county nationwide
10 / 39
Joe Mabel // Wikimedia Commons

#30. Adams County

- 2010 to 2020 population change: +1,885
--- #834 among all counties nationwide
- 2010 to 2020 percent population change: +10.1%
--- #19 among counties in Washington, #411 among all counties nationwide
- 2020 population: 20,613
--- #31 largest county in Washington, #1,780 largest county nationwide

You may also like: Best counties to retire to in Washington

11 / 39
Jelson25 // Wikimedia Commons

#29. San Juan County

- 2010 to 2020 population change: +2,019
--- #813 among all counties nationwide
- 2010 to 2020 percent population change: +12.8%
--- #9 among counties in Washington, #297 among all counties nationwide
- 2020 population: 17,788
--- #32 largest county in Washington, #1,931 largest county nationwide
12 / 39
MagicalT // Wikimedia Commons

#28. Klickitat County

- 2010 to 2020 population change: +2,417
--- #760 among all counties nationwide
- 2010 to 2020 percent population change: +11.9%
--- #11 among counties in Washington, #330 among all counties nationwide
- 2020 population: 22,735
--- #29 largest county in Washington, #1,687 largest county nationwide
13 / 39
Sam Beebe // Wikimedia Commons

#27. Pacific County

- 2010 to 2020 population change: +2,445
--- #755 among all counties nationwide
- 2010 to 2020 percent population change: +11.7%
--- #13 among counties in Washington, #340 among all counties nationwide
- 2020 population: 23,365
--- #28 largest county in Washington, #1,666 largest county nationwide
14 / 39
Joe Mabel // Wikimedia Commons

#26. Grays Harbor County

- 2010 to 2020 population change: +2,839
--- #729 among all counties nationwide
- 2010 to 2020 percent population change: +3.9%
--- #32 among counties in Washington, #940 among all counties nationwide
- 2020 population: 75,636
--- #19 largest county in Washington, #738 largest county nationwide
15 / 39
BrandonHansen18 // Wikimedia Commons

#25. Stevens County

- 2010 to 2020 population change: +2,914
--- #719 among all counties nationwide
- 2010 to 2020 percent population change: +6.7%
--- #29 among counties in Washington, #653 among all counties nationwide
- 2020 population: 46,445
--- #23 largest county in Washington, #1,044 largest county nationwide

You may also like: Best counties to live in Washington

16 / 39
Adbar // Wikimedia Commons

#24. Jefferson County

- 2010 to 2020 population change: +3,105
--- #693 among all counties nationwide
- 2010 to 2020 percent population change: +10.4%
--- #18 among counties in Washington, #397 among all counties nationwide
- 2020 population: 32,977
--- #27 largest county in Washington, #1,363 largest county nationwide
17 / 39
Ilyaunfois // Wikimedia Commons

#23. Whitman County

- 2010 to 2020 population change: +3,197
--- #689 among all counties nationwide
- 2010 to 2020 percent population change: +7.1%
--- #28 among counties in Washington, #621 among all counties nationwide
- 2020 population: 47,973
--- #22 largest county in Washington, #1,023 largest county nationwide
18 / 39
MrX // Wikimedia Commons

#22. Kittitas County

- 2010 to 2020 population change: +3,422
--- #669 among all counties nationwide
- 2010 to 2020 percent population change: +8.4%
--- #24 among counties in Washington, #530 among all counties nationwide
- 2020 population: 44,337
--- #24 largest county in Washington, #1,087 largest county nationwide
19 / 39
Squarestate7 // Wikicommons

#21. Walla Walla County

- 2010 to 2020 population change: +3,803
--- #637 among all counties nationwide
- 2010 to 2020 percent population change: +6.5%
--- #30 among counties in Washington, #666 among all counties nationwide
- 2020 population: 62,584
--- #21 largest county in Washington, #852 largest county nationwide
20 / 39
Thayne Tuason // Wikimedia Commons

#20. Douglas County

- 2010 to 2020 population change: +4,507
--- #593 among all counties nationwide
- 2010 to 2020 percent population change: +11.7%
--- #12 among counties in Washington, #338 among all counties nationwide
- 2020 population: 42,938
--- #25 largest county in Washington, #1,119 largest county nationwide

You may also like: Most valuable crops grown in Washington

21 / 39
Ian Poellet // Wikimedia Commons

#19. Mason County

- 2010 to 2020 population change: +5,027
--- #566 among all counties nationwide
- 2010 to 2020 percent population change: +8.3%
--- #25 among counties in Washington, #538 among all counties nationwide
- 2020 population: 65,726
--- #20 largest county in Washington, #819 largest county nationwide
22 / 39
Neonstar // Wikimedia Commons

#18. Clallam County

- 2010 to 2020 population change: +5,751
--- #543 among all counties nationwide
- 2010 to 2020 percent population change: +8.1%
--- #27 among counties in Washington, #563 among all counties nationwide
- 2020 population: 77,155
--- #18 largest county in Washington, #727 largest county nationwide
23 / 39
Jennifer Gottwald // Wikicommons

#17. Chelan County

- 2010 to 2020 population change: +6,621
--- #517 among all counties nationwide
- 2010 to 2020 percent population change: +9.1%
--- #21 among counties in Washington, #470 among all counties nationwide
- 2020 population: 79,074
--- #17 largest county in Washington, #718 largest county nationwide
24 / 39
Steven Pavlov // Wikimedia Commons

#16. Lewis County

- 2010 to 2020 population change: +6,694
--- #514 among all counties nationwide
- 2010 to 2020 percent population change: +8.9%
--- #22 among counties in Washington, #496 among all counties nationwide
- 2020 population: 82,149
--- #16 largest county in Washington, #698 largest county nationwide
25 / 39
Sam Beebe // Wikimedia Commons

#15. Cowlitz County

- 2010 to 2020 population change: +8,320
--- #477 among all counties nationwide
- 2010 to 2020 percent population change: +8.1%
--- #26 among counties in Washington, #560 among all counties nationwide
- 2020 population: 110,730
--- #12 largest county in Washington, #553 largest county nationwide

You may also like: Counties with the lowest home prices in Washington

26 / 39
Joe Mabel // Wikimedia Commons

#14. Island County

- 2010 to 2020 population change: +8,351
--- #473 among all counties nationwide
- 2010 to 2020 percent population change: +10.6%
--- #17 among counties in Washington, #386 among all counties nationwide
- 2020 population: 86,857
--- #15 largest county in Washington, #670 largest county nationwide
27 / 39
Irra // Shutterstock

#13. Grant County

- 2010 to 2020 population change: +10,003
--- #422 among all counties nationwide
- 2010 to 2020 percent population change: +11.2%
--- #14 among counties in Washington, #358 among all counties nationwide
- 2020 population: 99,123
--- #13 largest county in Washington, #613 largest county nationwide
28 / 39
Joe Mabel // Wikicommons

#12. Skagit County

- 2010 to 2020 population change: +12,622
--- #380 among all counties nationwide
- 2010 to 2020 percent population change: +10.8%
--- #16 among counties in Washington, #384 among all counties nationwide
- 2020 population: 129,523
--- #11 largest county in Washington, #498 largest county nationwide
29 / 39
Michael S. Shannon // Wikimedia Commons

#11. Yakima County

- 2010 to 2020 population change: +13,497
--- #363 among all counties nationwide
- 2010 to 2020 percent population change: +5.5%
--- #31 among counties in Washington, #766 among all counties nationwide
- 2020 population: 256,728
--- #8 largest county in Washington, #274 largest county nationwide
30 / 39
Williamborg // Wikimedia Commons

#10. Franklin County

- 2010 to 2020 population change: +18,586
--- #307 among all counties nationwide
- 2010 to 2020 percent population change: +23.8%
--- #1 among counties in Washington, #80 among all counties nationwide
- 2020 population: 96,749
--- #14 largest county in Washington, #627 largest county nationwide

You may also like: Counties with the most born-and-bred residents in Washington

31 / 39
Dcoetzee // Wikimedia Commons

#9. Kitsap County

- 2010 to 2020 population change: +24,478
--- #251 among all counties nationwide
- 2010 to 2020 percent population change: +9.7%
--- #20 among counties in Washington, #437 among all counties nationwide
- 2020 population: 275,611
--- #7 largest county in Washington, #252 largest county nationwide
32 / 39
Nick Kelly / Faithlife Corporation

#8. Whatcom County

- 2010 to 2020 population change: +25,707
--- #243 among all counties nationwide
- 2010 to 2020 percent population change: +12.8%
--- #10 among counties in Washington, #298 among all counties nationwide
- 2020 population: 226,847
--- #9 largest county in Washington, #306 largest county nationwide
33 / 39
formulanone // Wikimedia Commons

#7. Benton County

- 2010 to 2020 population change: +31,696
--- #200 among all counties nationwide
- 2010 to 2020 percent population change: +18.1%
--- #3 among counties in Washington, #147 among all counties nationwide
- 2020 population: 206,873
--- #10 largest county in Washington, #331 largest county nationwide
34 / 39
Joe Mabel // Wikicommons

#6. Thurston County

- 2010 to 2020 population change: +42,529
--- #152 among all counties nationwide
- 2010 to 2020 percent population change: +16.9%
--- #5 among counties in Washington, #169 among all counties nationwide
- 2020 population: 294,793
--- #6 largest county in Washington, #240 largest county nationwide
35 / 39
Ron Reiring // Wikicommons

#5. Spokane County

- 2010 to 2020 population change: +68,118
--- #90 among all counties nationwide
- 2010 to 2020 percent population change: +14.5%
--- #8 among counties in Washington, #239 among all counties nationwide
- 2020 population: 539,339
--- #4 largest county in Washington, #131 largest county nationwide

You may also like: Counties with highest COVID-19 infection rates in Washington

36 / 39
Steve Morgan // Wikimedia Commons

#4. Clark County

- 2010 to 2020 population change: +77,948
--- #72 among all counties nationwide
- 2010 to 2020 percent population change: +18.3%
--- #2 among counties in Washington, #141 among all counties nationwide
- 2020 population: 503,311
--- #5 largest county in Washington, #142 largest county nationwide
37 / 39
SounderBruce // Wikimedia Commons

#3. Snohomish County

- 2010 to 2020 population change: +114,622
--- #45 among all counties nationwide
- 2010 to 2020 percent population change: +16.1%
--- #6 among counties in Washington, #191 among all counties nationwide
- 2020 population: 827,957
--- #3 largest county in Washington, #77 largest county nationwide
38 / 39
SounderBruce // Wikimedia Commons

#2. Pierce County

- 2010 to 2020 population change: +125,905
--- #40 among all counties nationwide
- 2010 to 2020 percent population change: +15.8%
--- #7 among counties in Washington, #198 among all counties nationwide
- 2020 population: 921,130
--- #2 largest county in Washington, #61 largest county nationwide
39 / 39
kan_khampanya // Shutterstock

#1. King County

- 2010 to 2020 population change: +338,426
--- #3 among all counties nationwide
- 2010 to 2020 percent population change: +17.5%
--- #4 among counties in Washington, #154 among all counties nationwide
- 2020 population: 2,269,675
--- #1 largest county in Washington, #12 largest county nationwide

Trending Now