2008 King County Annual Growth Report
More than 25 years of growth reporting land development and demographic information for King County, its cities and unincorporated areas.
2008 King County Annual Growth Report and Economic Benchmark Report show mixed signs of growth
The 2008 Annual Growth Report (AGR) indicates that the Growth Management Act continues to successfully funnel residential growth to cities, helping preserve rural lands and lifestyle. The report shows that the rate of annexations of unincorporated areas in King County has increased and residential growth has focused increasingly in King County’s urban areas. Rural areas saw barely 3% of countywide residential growth in 2007.
As highlighted in the AGR, residential construction increased 24% in 2007 over the 2006 level [2008 AGR, p.69]. Construction of apartments and condominiums grew significantly, especially in the cities of Seattle, Bellevue and Renton. Single family home construction in both the urban and rural areas remained relatively stable in 2007.
Within the urban area, three large annexations to Auburn and Renton early in 2008 contributed to the growth of King County cities, and continued the transfer of unincorporated residents into cities with city services. With these annexations, the population of the urban unincorporated area decreased almost 13%, falling below 200,000 residents.
“This report shows the Growth Management Act is succeeding at preserving our rural areas and focusing growth into the urban area,”said King County Executive Ron Sims. “Unfortunately, King County cannot continue to provide the costly urban services, so we need to have urban areas of unincorporated King County annex to cities," he said. "Although over 31,000 residents annexed to cities in 2008, since 2005 the results of annexation elections have been mixed. We are continuing to work with cities and residents to promote annexation or incorporation in the remaining unincorporated area. We are also exploring a variety of strategies to address the diverse needs and geography of these areas."
The 2008 Economic Benchmark Report shows mixed signs of growth in the local economy. Following exceptional growth during the late 1990’s and a subsequent recession in the early years of this decade, income measures are again on the rise. However, these gains have struggled to keep pace with inflation. When adjusted for inflation, 2006 average wages, per capita personal income and median household income show little to no increase over the last six years.
Other indicators show uncertainty in the local economy. Despite business closings between 2002 and 2006, King County experienced small gains in employment, with a 4% increase during this time period. Strong growth in employment and wages were experienced in both construction and administrative/ waste services. Conversely, the information sector experienced decreases in both firms and wages. Despite these losses, the information sector continues to pay higher wages than any other sector in King County, with employees averaging $108,000 annually.
Printed copies of the AGR are available for $45 (includes tax plus shipping and handling, without shipping and handling: $40)
Make checks payable to: King County Office of Finance.
King County Licensing
King County Administration Building, Room 403
500 4th Avenue
Seattle, Washington 98104
For more information, please contact:
Nanette Lowe, AGR Project Manager
Performance Management Section
King County Office of Strategic Planning and Performance Management
Note: The 2008 King County Annual Growth Report is available for viewing in Adobe Acrobat .pdf format. You will need to have a copy of Adobe Acrobat Reader installed on your computer to view the report files. You can download a free copy of the Acrobat Reader here or visit Adobe's site to get more information.