Seattle, Denver & Portland: Slowing Growth Rates & Convergence

Just released 2010 Census data indicates that the growth rates of the Seattle, Denver and Portland metropolitan areas fell significantly in the 2000s compared to the 1990s.

Seattle: Seattle metropolitan area population growth fell to 13 percent in the 2000s compared to 19 percent in the 1990s. The metropolitan area population in 2010 was 3,439,000, up from 3,041,000 in 2000. The historical core municipality of Seattle grew eight percent between 2000 and 2010 (from 563,000 to 608,000), while the suburbs grew 14 percent. The suburbs attracted 89 percent of the metropolitan population growth.

Denver: The Denver metropolitan area experienced a decline in growth rate from 32 percent to 17 percent, while the population increased from 2,179,000 to 2,543,000. The historical core municipality of Denver grew eight percent, from 554,000 to 600,000. The suburbs grew 20 percent and accounted for 83 percent of the metropolitan area population growth.

Portland: In the Portland Metropolitan area growth declined to 15 percent from 27 percent, with a population rising from 1,928,000 to 2,226,000. The historical core municipality of Portland grew 10 percent (from 529,002 583,000), while the suburbs gained 17 percent. The suburbs attracted 82 percent of the metropolitan population growth.

Convergence: These slower population growth rates indicate a convergence with the growth rates achieved by middle American metropolitan areas for which data is available. Indianapolis grew 15 percent and Oklahoma City grew 14 percent, more than Seattle and slightly less than Denver and Portland.

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