Our Northwest

King County booms while rural counties shrink

Friday, March 28, 2014by  Jon Osterberg

King County residents likely aren’t surprised to learn theirs is the fourth-fastest growing county in the U.S. Heavy traffic and crowded stores tell them that.
   But if you live along the Pacific coast, you’re among Washington’s 11 rural counties that shrank over the past year. The biggest drop was seen in Clallam County, home to places like Port Angeles, Sequim, Forks, and Neah Bay.
   Using new Census data, The Seattle Times reported that factors typically contributing to a decline are an aging population, low birth rate, and a poor economy that fails to attract younger people.
   King County owes its growth spurt primarily to migration, with two-thirds of its 37,000 new residents moving here from elsewhere in the U.S. and other countries.

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