Washington reaches 8 million-resident milestone


Washington state is experiencing unprecedented population growth, with the current estimate reaching 8 million residents, according to state officials. This surge is not only historic but also presents substantial challenges for the Evergreen State.

State officials emphasized the significance of planning for the future, as an additional 1.8 million people are projected to move to Washington by 2050.

The growth rate has been accelerating, with the state taking from 2000 to 2014 to increase from 6 million to 7 million residents, but only nine years to reach the 8 million mark, according to data from the state Office of Financial Management.

The agency estimates that Washington has officially surpassed the 8 million population milestone. Despite the recent rapid pace, experts predict a slight slowdown in growth in the coming years. Projections indicate that Washington may not reach the 9 million mark until 2037 or 2038.

The Washington State Department of Commerce estimates the need for an additional 1.1 million housing units in the next two decades to accommodate the growing population. Half of these units must be affordable for individuals or families making 50 percent of the state’s median income or less.

As of 2023, this means ensuring affordability for families with a median income of $57,000 for a family of four or $30,000 for a single-person household.

Residents aged 85 and older are projected to quadruple, increasing from approximately 135,000 today to an estimated 529,000 by 2050.