Demographics
Whatcom County, WA

Population Size

Whatcom County is growing. In 2019, Whatcom County had a population between 220,821 (American Community Survey 2015-2019) and 229,247 (US Census Bureau 2020) [1].  Of that, 58% of Whatcom’s population lives in the seven incorporated cities.

Some of the population change in Whatcom County is natural and due to births and deaths of current residents. However, the majority of the growth is from in-migration to the region. As shown below, in 2018-2019, the total increase in population was 4,950 people. Of that, 4,436 can from in-migration and the natural increase (births minus deaths) was only 514. Given Whatcom County’s proximity to Lower Mainland BC and Seattle, both of which have significantly higher populations as well as land and housing costs, this trend is likely to continue, particularly as remote and hybrid working options increase.

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Age Demographics

Whatcom County’s population is aging. According to the American Community Survey (2015-2019), an estimated 22.7% of Whatcom’s population was over 60 years of age and 16.4% were over 65. The figure illustrates the population broken down by age groups in Whatcom County and on the Lummi Reservation and Nooksack Reservation and Off-Reservation Trust Land.

Race and Ethnicity Demographics

As shown in the figure below, 83.9% of Whatcom County identifies as white. The next largest group within the county are people who identify as being two or more races, which comprises 4.4% of the population. 4.1% identify as Asian, and 3% identify as Native American or Alaska Native. Only 1% of the Whatcom population identifies as Black. Given the large amount of in-migration to Whatcom County that is occurring, we expect these demographics to shift significantly over time.

About the Data

[1]  US Census data from the 2020 Census will start to become available in September 2021 through the end of the year. Many of these data tables will be updated on the CEDS website as soon as the data becomes available. Data changes and updated will be incorporated into the CEDS report on an annual basis. The next update is in 2022.

Data is from the American Community Survey. The table numbers used are as follows: B01003, B25001, B01002, B19019, DP05.

Remaining data is from the Whatcom County Data Tables, Employment Security Department. For more information on the data tables, see The Whatcom County Profile.

This report uses the Census Bureau Data API but is not endorsed or certified by the Census Bureau.