The overall resident population of Mountlake Terrace is older, more racially diverse and living in smaller family groups than it was 10 years ago, according to statistics released on Monday by city officials.
The numbers come from data comparisons of 2000 and 2010 U.S. Census statistics and are part of a Housing Data Report presented to the Mountlake Terrace City Council on March 17.
The total population of Mountlake Terrace changed little between 2000 and 2010, but the make-up of the city’s residents shifted sharply in age. In 2000, about 35 percent of city residents were between the ages of 25-44; but by 2010 that age group represented only 29 percent of the city’s population.
In 2000, Mountlake Terrace residents age 45 and older made up only 29 percent of the population, but 10 years later that percentage increase to 37 percent.
City officials noted that the numbers were reflective of the “baby boom” generation getting older and the younger generation having smaller families. The population trend in Mountlake Terrace is similar to figures for Snohomish County and most areas of the U.S.
Another statistic shared in the report that supports the idea that younger Mountlake Terrace residents make up a declining percentage of the city population is the enrollment numbers at Mountlake Terrace High School. In 2004-2005, the grades 9-12 high school had 1,643 students; during the 2012-2013 school year the student body numbered only 1,216. The high school has been losing an average of 2.89 percent of its number of students annually since 2004.
The racial makeup of the city also trended sharply over recent years. “Mountlake Terrace is a very diverse place compared to 10 years ago,” stated Darryl Greer, the city’s Geographic Information Specialist. “We have an increase in the African American community and the Asian community, and I think we’re pretty comparable in general to King County.”
While those self-identifying as a race other than white was just 23.3 percent in 2000, that number climbed to 28.2 percent by 2010. Snohomish County as a whole reported a minority race population of 21.6 percent in 2010.
As the Mountlake Terrace total population grows older statistically, it also shifts into more households of just one person. In 2000, only 26.2 percent of city residents lived alone; by 2010 that percentage increased to 30.3 percent.
The number of residents living alone in a city that saw little change in its total population between 2000 and 2010 would require more places for those households of one to call home. The number of living units did increase in Mountlake Terrace: the number of single-family homes in the city increased by more than 200 in 10 years (5,130 in 2003; 5,368 in 2013) and apartment and condominium units grew by 129 (3,091 in 2003; 3,220 in 2013).
While the number of homes in the city has increased, the majority of houses in Mountlake Terrace are still more than 40 years old. Of all the single-family dwellings in the city, 51.08 percent were built before 1969.
City officials are studying population and housing trends in preparation for major updates to be completed to the city’s comprehensive plans and development regulations. “Having information about who lives here and how that’s changed over the years is useful,” said Hope Shane, the city’s Community and Economic Development Director.
You can view the entire PowerPoint presentation of the Housing Data Report here.
— Story and photo by Doug Petrowski