The latest run of interim census estimates by city - releases in Washington and Idaho have generated news stories in recent days - look for the most part normal. But what happens if you turn the lists upside down?
In Washington, for example, here are the 10 communities with the largest raw-number population drop so far this decade.
|Lake Forest Park||12,770||-101||0|
The final column refers to population changes attributable to changes in city boundaries, generally annexation. (The numbers were developed through the Washington Office of Financial Management.)
Some of these population changes are about as you'd expect. Many of the state's resource communities were hit: Hoquiam, Clarkston and Ione, for example, on this list. (Aberdeen was estimated to lose 11 people.) Not really a shock.
A little more curious was the case of the south Seattle suburbs, Burien and Des Moines, though they're so tightly linked to nearby cities that the numbers may simply be a fluctuating fluke.
But did the mention of Medina jump out at you? You know, Medina, as in that little jurisdiction east of Seattle that serves as home town to Bill Gates, the richest (oops - second richest) man in the world? Medina is not going through any kind of depressed economy; not close. Nor, for that matter, are Shoreline or Lake Forest Park or Clyde Hill - all solidly "upscale" places, right there among the state's population losers . . .
Does the explosion of mega-houses in some of the places explain much of this? Are being being priced out? Or is something else going on?