Mercer Island population up 3 percent, county up by 11

The population of Mercer Island is up by three percent since 2000 to 22,699 people, according to the latest census data. Not surprisingly, most of the increase is clustered in and around the Town Center.

The new U.S. Census data from the 2010 survey also includes information on diversity. Of the present Island population, 78 percent of the residents declared that they were white, with about 16 percent listed as Asian and just over one percent as African-American. Finally, four percent of Islanders identified themselves as being of two or more races.

King County as a whole grew faster than the nation, which grew 9.7 percent. The county gained just under 200,000 residents, an increase of 11.2 percent, since 2000.

The new data also confirms the growing diversity of King County’s population: persons of color now make up more than one-third of the population. The number of non-Hispanic white persons is slightly smaller than it was in 2000. The entire population increase consisted of persons of color. Asian-Americans accounted for nearly half the increase over the decade, and Hispanic or Latino persons accounted for more than one-third. Additionally, there were smaller increases in the African-American, Pacific Islander and Native American populations, and persons who reported more than one race.

Recent Census Bureau estimates indicate that King County is the nation’s 14th most populous county, and is larger than 14 states.

King County’s population growth comprised nearly one-quarter of Washington state’s 830,000 increase during the decade. The state increase of 14 percent was enough to gain an additional seat in Congress.

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