Yelm Water Tower

Yelm Water Tower

Thurston County added 5,200 new residents over the last year, according to new data from the Thurston County Regional Planning Council (TRPC).

As of April 1, 2020, the county's population was about 291,000, a 1.8 bump since April 2019.

While population growth slowed in 2020, those losses were offset by gains in the last three quarters of 2019, including the expansion of personnel at Joint Base Lewis-McChord, just across the Pierce County line.

Lacey saw the largest population growth of any city in Thurston County, adding 1,640 people -- plus 490 people moved into its Urban Growth Area (UGA). UGAs include the unincorporated areas adjacent to cities that will eventually become parts of the cities.

Meanwhile, the city of Olympia added 1,380 residents, and Tumwater added 540. Growth within their UGAs was slight: Olympia's grew by 60 people, Tumwater's by 10.

The city of Olympia continues to be the biggest city in the county with 54,150 residents, compared to No. 2 Lacey, with 52,910 residents. However, when you include the UGAs, Lacey is much larger, with 90,100 in its city-UGA combined, while Olympia has 66,790.

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Other new city populations:

* Tumwater: 24,600, or 27,930 with its UGA

* Yelm: 9,400, or 10,800 with its UGA

* Rainier: 2,210, or 2,330 with its UGA

* Tenino: 1,850, or 18,700 with its UGA

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