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Office of Financial Management (OFM) Population Report: Washington State's Immigrant Population 2010-21

by Wei Yen, Ph.D.

  • Immigrant population has increased by 29% in Washington during 2010-21, with a larger increase in the immigrant group of naturalized citizens (37%). In 2021, the total immigrant population was 1,149,000.

  • Shares of females in each immigrant population group remained about the same across the years, although the shares varied among the groups, between 40% and 60%.

  • While the share of adults 18-64 declined in the U.S.-born citizen group to 58%, it remained the same in the immigrant groups (around 75% for naturalized citizen group and legal immigrant group, and 90% for the undocumented immigrant group).

  • The share of individuals with Hispanic origin had a gradual but steady increase in the U.S.-born citizen group (8% to 12%). However, the undocumented immigrant group share declined from 54% to 39%.

  • The shares of non-Hispanic white population declined in the U.S.-born citizen group (80% to 72%)3 and the legal immigrant group (32% to 23%).

  • The shares of non-Hispanic Asians or Pacific Islanders increased in the legal Office of Financial Management 2 immigrant group (27% to 36%) and the undocumented immigrant group (27% to 43%).

  • In the adult population age 18-64, all groups except the legal immigrant group had increased shares with a 4-year college degree or higher. The undocumented immigrant group had the largest change (22% to 47%).

  • For all groups, shares of adults 18-64 who were employed increased to the highest point in 2019 (above 70%) and then declined in 2021.

  • Shares of adults 18-64 in low-income families (less than 200% of the federal poverty level) declined in all groups, particularly in the undocumented immigrant group in which the share dropped by half (56% to 28%).

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