Washington’s population pushes past 8 million

Washington state’s population eclipsed 8 million with the addition of an estimated 84,550 people this past year, according to the Office of Financial Management.

The population was 8,035,700 as of April 1, 2024, according to annual estimates prepared by the department. It is the 13th most populous state, trailing Virginia and just ahead of Arizona, based on 2023 U.S. Census Bureau data.

While the state is growing, it is doing so at a slightly slower pace than last decade. The 84,550 in 2024 compares to an annual average increase of 98,200 people from 2010 to 2020, the department reported.

Washington recorded a net migration – the number of people moving in minus people moving out – of 69,100, which amounted to 82% of year-over-year population growth. Natural change, which is births minus deaths, totaled 15,500 people, and accounted for the other 18%, according to agency figures.

More than 68% of the growth occurred in the state’s five largest metropolitan counties – King, Clark, Snohomish, Pierce and Spokane. Asotin, Skamania, Ferry, Columbia, Garfield, and Wahkiakum counties grew the least, with each adding fewer than 100 people.

Seattle’s population grew by 18,500 people, the most of any city in Washington, and is at 797,700. Vancouver was next with 3,000 people which pushed its population to 202,600. Tacoma, Redmond, and Spokane Valley, round out the top five cities with the largest numeric increases, according to the annual report.

Sixteen cities are shown with a modest dip in population and another 60 recorded no change, according to the department’s data.

Inslee’s budget director leaving for state investment board post

David Schumacher, who has guided the writing of Gov. Jay Inslee’s budget proposals the past 12 years, will depart this fall as the finishing touches are put on the outgoing chief executive’s final spending plan.

Schumacher, director of the Office of Financial Management since January 2013, will become the government and public affairs director for the Washington State Investment Board. It’s a newly created post for the investment board which manages $203 billion in state retirement funds and other public trust accounts.

“David is coming on board because the WSIB is facing a more complex political and regulatory landscape,” wrote James Aber, institutional relations director for the board, in an email. “He will be focused on engagement rather than advocacy, serving as a resource for legislators and government officials, answering their questions and articulating the agency’s investment approach.”

He’ll also be responsible for monitoring and managing any legal or regulatory developments that might impact the state investment board, Aber said. A start date and salary are not yet set.

Schumacher said leaving in September or October “seems most likely.”

Inslee, who is not running for a fourth term, will put out a proposed budget for the 2025-27 biennium in mid-December. That document will serve as a template for the next governor and Legislature in the 2025 session.

In an email, Schumacher said a lot of work will be done before he leaves.

But what happens with three initiatives on the November ballot could require changes. The measures propose to scrap the state’s cap-and-trade system, end its capital gains tax and make a long-term care program optional. Each is expected to have a significant effect on state revenue if approved.

Before joining the Inslee administration, Schumacher did two tours of duty as staff director for the state Senate Ways & Means Committee, and worked as a government affairs director for The Boeing Co.

He is a University of Washington graduate. In April, Inslee appointed Schumacher to the university’s Board of Regents.

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