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Future Cities

Published by Steve Campion. Category: Counties & Towns

Some of their names appear on a map now and then, but more often they’re the spaces on a map between cities.  You could walk every street and not find a city hall … yet.

We’re speaking of CDPs — census-designated places.  Many of them are vibrant unincorporated communities with residents and businesses associating under a commonly accepted name.  In other cases, they are statistical conveniences invented by the US Census to clump clusters of people who coincidentally live in close proximity.  Either way, there is no organized formality to a CDP.  They’re people living near each other.

Below we list the 20 largest CDPs in Washington State today.  There’s no guarantee city-hood movements will take hold in any of them, but if you’re looking for potential towns, this list might give you some good bets.  A similar list a few decades ago would have included such current cities as Covington, Federal Way, Lakewood, Sammamish, and University Place. And like those former CDPs, those in the current crop have substantial population bases.  The South Hill community near Puyallup, for instance, would instantly become the 20th largest city in the state if incorporated tomorrow.  It won’t incorporate tomorrow, but maybe in ten years.  Or twenty.  We’ll just have to wait and see.

MOST POPULOUS UNINCORPORATED COMMUNITIES IN WASHINGTON

Rank Census Designated Place
County Population (2010)
 1. South Hill Pierce  52,431
 2. Parkland Pierce  35,803
 3. East Hill-Meridian King  29,878
 4. Spanaway Pierce  27,227
 5. Graham Pierce  23,491
 6. Inglewood-Finn Hill King  22,707
 7. Cottage Lake King  22,494
 8. Seattle Hill-Silver Firs King  20,891
 9. Eastmont Snohomish  20,101
10. Salmon Creek Clark  19,686
11. Orchards Clark  19,556
12. Hazel Dell Clark  19,435
13. Silverdale Kitsap  19,204
14. Cascade-Fairwood King  19,102
15. Union Hill-Novelty Hill King  18,805
16. Frederickson Pierce  18,719
17. Five Corners Clark  18,159
18. Bothell West Snohomish  16.607
19. North Lynnwood Snohomish  16,574
20. Mill Creek East Snohomish  15,709

Source: US Census

PHOTO © Steve Campion

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