As King County booms, how many people live on Capitol Hill? 32,989… and counting

Ways of clapping

“The Seattle area is the ninth fastest-growing metro in the nation, gaining about 1,100 residents per week,” the Puget Sound Business Journal reported Thursday. For those wondering, no, they aren’t all moving to Capitol Hill.

About 32,989 people live in the neighborhood, according to 2016 estimates from the U.S. Census Bureau. But if you feel like the rate of growth around you has been increasing, you are right. King County, it turns out, gained the fourth highest total of new residents from 2015 to 2016 with an increase of 35,714 neighbors in the county.

How fast is Capitol Hill growing? First, the 32,989 datapoint for 2016 comes with some caveats. CHS used census tracts which most closely match the boundaries of Capitol Hill, which we generally consider to be from I-5 to 23rd Ave, and Roanoke to Madison. Since the census tracts don’t quite match up with our definition (bigger in some places, smaller in others, (get with it census)), the numbers are going to be a bit off. For those keeping score at home, we used census tracts 64, 65, 74, 75, 76, 83 and 84.

Also it should be noted that the 2016 numbers are Census Bureau estimates which, while reliable, aren’t quite as reliable as the official decennial census.

As you might have guessed in a neighborhood experiencing waves of redevelopment, the population has been expanding steadily. Using those same census tracts, the population in 2010 was 31,339, meaning we welcomed 1,650 new neighbors over the past six years, an increase of roughly 5%.

Citywide, the 2016 estimate is 686,800. In 2010, it was 608,660, about a 12.8% increase, meaning the city overall has been growing even faster than Capitol Hill.

Going back another 10 years to the 2000 census, there were 29,549 people in those Capitol Hill tracts. Meaning between 2000 and 2010, we added 1,790 people to the hill. That’s about a 6% increase over the 10 years from 2000 to 2010.

Put that together and yes, the neighborhood has been growing much more rapidly recently – it took 10 years to add 1,790 people (179 per year), and only six more to add 1,650 (275 per year).

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5 thoughts on “As King County booms, how many people live on Capitol Hill? 32,989… and counting

  1. This shows how much reality can differ from perceptions. If someone had asked me to guess how many people live in Capitol Hill, I’d have guessed twice as many.

  2. Just another data point- I used block-level estimates from the Office of Financial Management for a finer grained approach (I-5 to Roanoke to Interlaken to 23rd to Madison to Boren) and came up with slightly higher estimates:

    2010 33,789
    2011 34,432
    2012 34,602
    2013 36,456
    2014 37,716
    2015 39,754
    2016 42,857

  3. According to the city, Seattle’s neighborhood boundaries are not official, and are often interpreted differently (depending on one’s perspective). There is a city webpage that delineates them, but it says these are not truly defined edges. So, your “ballpark” measure is just fine.