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As Congress moves forward with immigration reform, we take a look at how this issue connects to culture, business and families in the Northwest.Our region is home to a unique blend of immigrants who work in all parts of our economy — from high-tech to agriculture. This population already has a deeply-rooted history here. And its ranks are expanding rapidly.Proposals for comprehensive immigration reform address border security, employment verification, guest-worker programs and pathway to citizenship for an estimated 11 million unauthorized immigrants in the US.

Washington is BOOMING: 5th in nation for population growth

New Census numbers out Thursday reinforce a trend a you’ve probably noticed: The state’s population is booming. Washington ranks fifth for states that added the most new residents in the past year.

TRANSCRIPT

So where are these people coming from? China, India and Mexico are few top spots. Nearly 30 percent of the state’s recent population growth is from immigration. In the Seattle area, it's even higher.

Washington's been a top state for growth in recent years. But this year we edged out North Carolina and Arizona to claim the no. 5 spot.

Since last July, the state added about 107,000 people. That’s roughly the size of Everett.

The Census also shows a steady rise in the Latino population – about 20 percent in the past five years.

And a couple other top honors for our state in the age department. Across the country, Whitman County ranks as the eighth youngest county. (That's Coug country, in case you were scratching your head.) 

Jefferson County, ranks as the sixth oldest in the nation. It’s near the Olympics and the coast, so probably not a bad place to retire.

Year started with KUOW: 2006