In five years the population of Seattle has risen 9% from 608,600 to 662,400 (including me, still New To Seattle). That’s a hefty increase of 53,800, a compounded annual rate of 1.6%. The city certainly has been feeling the growing pains, thanks in large part to limited land forming an isthmus between two bodies of water and an infrastructure not really up to the task.
But that rate of growth is nothing compared with the epic boom that exploded hereabouts a century ago. From 1900 to 1920 Seattle’s population rose an astounding 290% from 80,671 to 315,312. That’s a compounded annual rate of 6.5%–four times higher than now.
Whereas the current population boom is fueled mainly by new jobs in technology, the one a century ago was a lot more primeval. Its roots were primarily gold and vice–the latter of which which led to the voter recall of Seattle Mayor Hiram Gill in 1911.
But of course, at the heart of both booms was economics. Continue readingShare on Facebook