BY THE NUMBERS
According to new estimates the state Office of Financial Management released Thursday:
Whatcom County had 184,300 people as of April 1, 2006, up 10.5 percent since 2000, making it the state's ninth-largest county and eighth-fastest growing county in the past six years.
Bellingham had 73,460 people, up 9.4 percent from 2000, making it the state's 11th largest city and 90th fastest growing.
Lynden had 10,750 people, up 19.2 percent, making it the 68th largest city and 38th fastest growing.
Ferndale had 10,280 people, up 17.4 percent, making it 71st largest and 45th fastest growing.
Blaine had 4,480 people, up 18.8 percent, making it 121st largest and 39th fastest growing.
Everson had 2,135 people, up 4.9 percent, making it 154th largest and 77th fastest growing.
Sumas had 1,125 people, up 15 percent, making it 191st largest and 55th fastest growing.
Nooksack had 1,004 people, up 16.3 percent, making it 198th largest and 49th fastest growing.
Details: go to www.ofm.wa.gov and click on "population."
The state Office of Financial Management puts Whatcom County's Population Density at 86.95/sq. mi.. Which for state purposes makes Whatcom a rural county (density less than 100/sq. mi.). That rural designation is somewhat deceptive since of Whatcom County's 2,126 square miles about two thirds of the area is part of either the Mt. Baker National Forest or the North Cascades National Park [source]. That make the "private land" part of the County about 700 sq. mi. and the population density within that area about 265/sq. mi. Of the 184,300 people who live in Whatcom County, 56% (103,234) live in Incorporated areas. Nearly 40% of the population lives in the City of Bellingham.