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Photo via Kevin Lisota
Photo via Kevin Lisota

Seattle is the fastest-growing major city in the U.S.

That’s the latest from the most recent U.S. Census Report, which notes a 2.8 percent increase in population for Seattle (634,635 to 652,405) from July 2012 to July 2013 — the fastest clip out of the top 50 largest cities in the U.S.

As Gene Balk of the Seattle Times notes here, Austin had held the crown of fastest-growing-city for the past two years, but Seattle now claims that title. The Emerald City had grown by 2.1 percent from 2011 to 2012, but upped that rate by 0.7 percent in the most recent Census survey.

Austin, meanwhile, grew by 2.4 percent — Charlotte and Denver also increased its population at the same rate. On the flip side, cities like Detroit (-1.4 percent), Cleveland (-0.3 percent), Memphis (-0.2 percent) and Baltimore (-0.1 percent) and suffered the biggest population losses among the top 50 largest cities.

Seattle, which is now the 21st most-populous city in the U.S., has seen its unemployment continue to drop over the past four years to 5.2 percent as of last month. The city added 15,000 jobs from 2012 and 2013, while the state of Washington has seen a net job growth of 193,000 from February 2010 to January 2014.

The tech industry certainly has played its part in the population increase, with companies like, Microsoft, F5 Networks, Tableau and others attracting talent from around the nation. More than 460,000 people were employed in Washington’s technology-based industries in 2013, representing 14 percent of total employment and accounting for $55 billion in payroll. With multiplier effects, the tech industry supports 1.4 million jobs, or about 42 percent of the workforce.

Check out the population changes for all cities with more than 50,000 people here.


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