State's population growth at lowest level in two decades

Washington state’s population growth fell to its lowest level in two decades last year as the economy faltered and the number of new state residents increase only 1.3 percent.

According to a U.S. Census report released this week, Franklin and Benton counties led the state in population growth from July 2001 to July 2002, a trend economists attribute to job opportunities at the Hanford nuclear reservation.