Island population increases for third year

There are about 300 more residents living on Mercer Island than a year ago, as the population has increased for the third straight year. According to data released by the Washington State Office of Financial Management on July 2, the Island’s population went up by 270 individuals from 2007 to 2008. The population estimates show that there are now 22,650 Island residents, which is about a one-percent increase from the previous count.

The Island’s lowest population in recent years occurred in 2005, when the estimated number of Islanders was 21,710. The trend from 2000 to 2005 was a slight decrease in population every year. After 2005, things began to change. The Island’s population has increased slowly for three straight years, and as of 2007, it passed the 2000 census count.

Countywide, population growth was about 1.3 percent, up by about 23,000. The 2008 population estimate for King County was 1,884,200. The state population of 6,587,600 increased by about 99,600, or 1.5 percent, over the past year. It also marks a moderate but continuing deceleration in state population growth since 2006, when annual state growth approached 120,000, according to Theresa Lowe, the state’s chief demographer.

Out of 281 cities, Mercer Island ranks number 42, slightly larger than Mountlake Terrace and below Oak Harbor. Bainbridge Island is above Oak Harbor, ranked number 40. Seattle, Spokane, Tacoma, Vancouver and Bellevue remain the most populated cities in the state.

The annual population determinations are based on actual change in school enrollment, housing, voters, driver’s licenses and other indicator data, and are used to distribute revenues to local governments for public services and transportation.

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