Washington State, also known as “The Evergreen State,” is home to around 7.5 million people. This is no surprise as the state has incredible access to the outdoors, four-season weather, and a vibrant arts and entertainment scene. If you’re considering living in Washington and don’t know what cities to consider, we created a list of the fastest-growing cities in Washington State. These cities saw the greatest population increase over a 5-year span from 2017 to 2021. From the state’s capital, Olympia, to the home of the Gonzaga Bulldogs, Spokane, keep reading to see what cities made the list.
#1: Redmond, WA
Taking the top spot is Redmond, WA. The city is home to large companies like Microsoft and Nintendo of America. Redmond currently has a population of around 76,400, which is an increase of 18% from 2017.
It’s no surprise that many people are choosing to call this place home with the many parks like Idylwood Park, Marymoor Park, and Grass Lawn Park. While living in Redmond, locals will find a bustling arts and entertainment scene with venues such as the SecondStory Repertory. Many diverse restaurants, like Woodblock, Pomegranate Bistro, and Agave Cocina & Cantina, are also sure to please your taste buds.
#2: Lacey, WA
If you like stunning views of the mountains, parks, and lakes, then you should consider living in Lacey, WA. Lacey saw a 10% increase in population to its current population of around 54,500.
There are a lot of exciting things to do in Lacey. You can take a stroll at Rainier Vista Community Park, Woodland Creek Community Park, and Long Lake Park; enjoy a delicious meal at German Diner, Jim Bob’s Chuck Wagon, and Ricardo’s Kitchen and Bar; check out beautiful art pieces at Lacey Museum, or enjoy a show at James Koval Center for the Performing Arts.
#3: Richland, WA
Richland, WA, is well known for its great outdoor activities and 300 beautiful sunny days a year. If you want to try a local restaurant, check out LU LU Craft Bar + Kitchen, Porter’s Real Barbecue, or Sage Port Grille. After a delicious bite, you can visit one of the many parks like Howard Amon Park, Leslie Groves Park, and Badger Mountain Community Park. Lastly, be sure to get tickets to a show at Uptown Theatre, Jokers Comedy Club, and HAPO Community Stage.
The population of Richland, WA is about 62,000, a 9% increase since 2017.
#4: Spokane Valley, WA
Known for its central location in the Spokane-Coeur d’Alene corridor, Spokane Valley, WA, makes number four on our list. Spokane Valley’s current population is around 106,000, which is a 9% increase since 2017.
There are many fun activities in Spokane Valley, from setting up a picnic in Mirabeau Point Park, Valley Mission Park, or Terrace View Park to grabbing a quick bite at Conley’s Place Restaurant, Casa De Oro, and Little Euro. If you love history, make sure you check out Spokane Valley Heritage Museum.
#5: Pasco, WA
Median sale price: $419,000
Average rent for a 2-bedroom apartment: $1,699
Pasco, WA homes for sale
Pasco, WA apartments for rent
Considering moving to Pasco, WA? The city is well known for being one of the three cities in the Tri-Cities region in Washington State. It is located at the confluence of the Snake and Columbia Rivers and is the fifth fastest growing city in Washington. The city’s population increased 8% to nearly 79,000 residents.
Wondering what’s there to do in Pasco? Check out these fun activities: playing sports at Chiawana Park, Memorial Park, and Kurtzman Park, visiting the Sacajawea State Park Interpretive Center and Franklin County Historical Museum, or trying a delicious meal at Andy’s North, El Charrito, and Magill’s Restaurant.
#6: Olympia, WA
Coming in at sixth on our list of fastest growing cities in Washington is the state capital of Olympia, WA. The city grew 8% since 2017 to its current population of about 56,000. There are various things to do for those living in Olympia, Washington. Some popular activities include visiting the Olympia Farmers Market, hiking at Capitol State Forest, kayaking on Puget Sound, and exploring the Olympia Brewing Company. Also, in a little over an hour’s drive, you’ll find yourself at the Olympic National Park, a park filled with lush rainforests, canyons, and waterfalls.
#7: Vancouver, WA
Trying to figure out if you want to move to Vancouver, WA? Known for its small-town charm and stunning natural surroundings, About 192,000 people call this place home, a 7% increase.
There are plenty of things to do if you’re moving to Vancouver, Washington. For starters, you can explore the beautiful Columbia River Gorge, go hiking or biking in the many trails and parks, or visit the historic Fort Vancouver. If you’re looking for something more cultural, Vancouver is also home to several museums and art galleries, such as the Fort Vancouver National Historic Site, Pearson Air Museum, and Clark County Historical Museum. And you’ll want to try some of the city’s best restaurants, including Little Conejo, Beaches Restaurant & Bar, and Gustav’s Pub & Grill.
#8: Auburn, WA
Auburn, WA, comes in at eighth and is best known as the gateway to Mt. Rainer National Park. It saw an increase of 5% to its current population of around 86,000.
If you’re curious about what activities you can do in Auburn, WA, don’t worry there is plenty. The city is home to many great parks, such as Les Gove Park, Game Farm Park, and Isaac Evans Park, and entertainment venues like White River Amphitheatre and Auburn Performing Arts Center (A.P.A.C.). Make sure to check out local favorite restaurants Trotter’s Restaurant, Starting Gate Restaurant, and Frugals for a taste of what the city has to offer or visit the White River Valley Museum.
#9: Spokane, WA
Known for being the second-largest city in Washington, home of the Gonzaga University Bulldogs, and The Spokane River (which runs right through the center of this town), Spokane, WA, is the ninth fastest growing city in Washington. The city is home to around 229,000 people, which is a 5.36% increase since 2017.
Trying to figure out what there is to do while living in Spokane, WA? You can read a book at Riverfront Park, Manito Park, and Audubon Park. If you are a foodie, be sure to swing by Clinkerdagger, Mizuna Restaurant and Wine Bar, and Frank’s Diner. If you love the arts and entertainment scene, pay a visit to the Knitting Factory, The Big Dipper, First Interstate Center for the Arts, Northwest Museum of Arts and Culture, and the Mobius Discovery Center. Lastly, take a walk along the Centennial Trail and end your night at the Kendall Yard’s Night Market.
#10: Lakewood, WA
Closing out our list at number ten is Lakewood, WA. The city is best known for being a Tacoma suburb with gorgeous surroundings and easy access to surrounding cities. There was a 5% increase in population to its current population of nearly 63,350.
There is no shortage of fun in Lakewood, WA. There are several parks, including American Lake Park and Fort Steilacoom Park. There are also several museums, including the Lakewood Historical Museum and the Tillicum Village Heritage Center. Residents can also enjoy a variety of shopping and dining options.
Methodology: Population growth was calculated over a 5-year span (2017 vs. 2021). Only cities with a population of over 50,000 were used, as anything smaller is considered a town. Population data sourced from the United States Census Bureau. Median home sale price data from the Redfin Data Center during July 2022. Average rental data from Rent.com during July 2022.