Did Washington Really Grow Faster Than Most States in the US?
If I told you that last year (2022) Washington grew faster than almost all other states in the US, would you believe me? Everyone I know says that people are moving away from Washington in droves but is that really true?
US Census Bureau Releases Population Data by State
Around the end of December 2022, the United States Census Bureau released its population report separated by state. Not only does the study show the current population numbers for each state but it also showed the percentages of different groups responsible: "domestic migration, net international migration, and natural increase." Out of 50 states, Washington had the 8th largest growth in 2022 according to this report by the US Census Bureau. How exactly did that happen?
Washington State Grew by 45,000 People in 2022
Out of all 50 United States, Washington was 8th in rank in states for total numeric growth. Washington State increased by 45,041 people from 2021 to 2022 growing from 7,740,745 to 7,785,786 in total population. Texas was number one in total population growth with a total of 470,000 people more than in 2021. Washington State has actually grown in population every year since 1947 when it dropped by 3.37% according to MacroTrends. Surprisingly for 2022, part of the numbers show that Washington State had 94 people moving in the state for every 100 people moving away to other states. With those numbers, how did Washington still maintain a strong population growth last year?
Domestic, International, and Natural Increase Migration
The census report splits up each state into 3 different groups that are responsible for any population changes in a state: domestic migration, international migration, and Natural Increase migration. Domestic migration is defined as people moving from inside the US from one state to another. International migration can be described as people moving to the US from outside the country or immigrating. Natural increase is the term used for the balance of people that are born or die inside the state they live. Washington State had growth better than 84% of all other states in the USA mainly because of international and natural increase in migration. Domestic migration for Washington State fell slightly as mentioned above.
Why Population Growth is Important for Washington State
The wealth potential of any state is tied directly to its population growth. The higher the population, the more access to finances the state has for expenses with tax revenue. A growing economy and population can also attract more qualified and skilled workers to the area helping maintain that cycle of population increase. Not only that, population numbers have a direct effect on grants awarded by the federal government that can really affect the local economy in a positive way.
Washington State is Still a Great Place to Relocate
Washington has continued to lead the country in life expectancy and low unemployment according to MoveBuddha. It is also one of the most beautiful states with plenty of space to explore and visit. I have lived here all my life but the more I travel outside Washington, the more I love it here. Washington State continues to grow in a steady and healthy direction and is a great place to move to, no matter what my neighbors try and tell me.