Some of our most popular posts in 2016 focused on major growth trends: population, transit ridership, jobs and more. Looking ahead, the region is expected to keep on growing. By 2040, the population for the four counties is forecast to reach more than 4.9 million.
Here’s a look back at some of our top data stories from 2016:
Population edges over 4 million people
We reported that population in the central Puget Sound region reached 3,985,040 in April 2016, growing by 86,320 people in the past year. This was the biggest gain this century and the highest growth rate in 20 years. Based on the rate of population growth (about 236 people per day), the region likely surpassed 4 million people in June.
Job gains highest since 2000
The region started the year building on six years of robust job growth, adding 269,600 jobs since January 2010. That’s 150 jobs per day. The majority of the job gains occurred in King and Snohomish counties. Throughout the year, job growth continued to accelerate, with the region gaining 32,800 jobs in the first six months of 2016.
Total jobs in the region surpassed the 2 million mark and job growth is on pace to meet the region’s forecast of nearly 3 million jobs by 2040.
Transit ridership keeps growing
Monthly boardings on the region’s transit system were up approximately 3.6% in the first seven months of 2016 and continue to outpace employment and population growth. The region’s transit boardings have grown faster than any other large metropolitan area in the United States since 2005.
More Puget Sound workers living outside the region
More than 100,000 workers commute into the region – about 5% of the entire workforce of central Puget Sound (King, Snohomish, Pierce and Kitsap counties).
On pace for another record year at Sea-Tac Airport
Over 26 million passengers passed through Sea-Tac in the first seven months of 2016 — 2.2 million more than the record-setting first seven months of 2015 (a 9.4% increase).
You can check out more regional data on our Puget Sound Trends page. Happy New Year!