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What the numbers can tell us about Spokane County's booming growth

The latest census data paints explosive growth in Spokane County while housing lags behind.

SPOKANE COUNTY, Wash. — The word 'Boomtown' is more than just a word or phrase, the numbers prove it is what’s happening in Spokane County. 

Every 10 years, the U.S. Census Bureau conducts a nationwide survey to gather information about communities across the country. The results help explain how communities change from decade to decade.

Data released by the Census Bureau in 2020 shows Spokane is among the country's fastest-growing and most housing-scarce cities.

Population growth

Spokane County’s population increased by 68,000 people since the last census in 2010. Then, the population was 471,221, fast forward to 2020, the population exceed the half-million mark at 539,339. 

Many counties in Washington State saw growth in the last ten years. Spokane stayed as the 4th largest county behind Snohomish, Pierce, and King counties.

Income growth

The median income rose by nearly $16,000 dollars. In 2010 the median income was $41,146 by 2020 the median income was $50,306.

While incomes did increase, so did the number of people living in poverty. As of 2020, 17% of people live in poverty.

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Cost of living

The cost of living continued to soar. Renters paid almost $300 more for rent per month in Spokane County.

The average rent in 2010 was $685 per month, while in 2020 it rose to $913 per month. And as we’ve seen even in the last two years, rent has climbed even higher. It’s important to note, these values are averages, many renters paid hundreds of dollars more than these amounts.

Homebuyers know what a challenge it is to purchase a home. One number local real estate agents use is called “housing units.” This is a house, an apartment, a mobile home, a group of rooms, or a single room that is occupied or if vacant, is intended for occupancy.

Spokane county saw a 10% increase in housing units in the last decade. In 2010, there were 201,967 housing units available. In 2020, there were 223,079. 

It’s good news more homes were added to the county, but the population grew by nearly 15 percent, which outpaced places to live.

This is just a snapshot of the census report, there is so much more including how Spokane is becoming more diverse. If you want to read more about the census you can visit the U.S. Census Bureau’s website to access local data for your community.


WATCH MORE: What's the future of growth in Spokane County? | Boomtown

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