The Changing Face of Renton
The Human Services Division of the City of Renton has reviewed the data from the 2000 Census. The following information highlights some of the 2000 Renton data, and where appropriate, a comparison to 1990 data to highlight significant changes.
In 2000, Renton's population was 50,052; an increase of 8,364 from 1990*. The population is still comprised of 50.3% females and 49.7% males. The population in King County grew 15.2% from 1990 to 2000. Renton's growth was 20.1%, with just 1.5% of that growth attributed to annexation.
Due to the increase in the total population between 1990 and 2000, the number of Renton residents by age shows an increase in the number of persons in all age groups. However, when each age group is viewed as a percentage of the Renton population as a whole, as shown in the Age Comparison by Percentages, noticeable population shifts occurred in only two categories. The 20 to 24 age category decreased almost 3% from 1990 and the 45 to 64 age group increased 3.6%. There were minor shifts in the 0 to 4 and 65+ age groups.
Race, Ethnicity, and Nationality
Renton has become increasingly diverse in the past ten years, as has the rest of South King County. In 1990, 83.5% of the population reported themselves as White, but only 68.1% now identify as White. The Asian/Pacific Islander population doubled, from 6.9% in 1990 to 13.9% in 2000, and those identifying themselves as having Hispanic or Latino ethnicity have more than doubled, from 3% to 7.6% of the population. A person can identify as Hispanic/Latino and be of any race.
Reflective of the increasing diversity, there was a 123% increase from 1990 of people speaking languages other than English in the home. The population (over age 5) reporting speaking English "less than very well" increased from 3.7% in 1990 to 12% in 2000.
47 languages were represented in the Renton School District during the 2001 to 2002 school year. Other than English, the top languages spoken in the district by students were Spanish (529), Vietnamese (127), Russian (123), Ukrainian (110), and Somali (91).
Renton's foreign-born population increased over 11% since 1990, from 7.8% in 1990 to 19.2% in 2000. The percentage of foreign-born arriving in the United States between 1980 and 1990 comprised 3.1% of the total population, while the number entering between 1990 to 2000 was 10.1% of the population. From 1990 to 2000, 20% of Renton's foreign-born residents came from Europe, 49% from Asia, and 20% from Latin America.
The number of people owning their own homes has increased slightly. In 1990, 48.5% of households lived in owner-occupied units; 51.5% in rental units. By 2000, that number had changed to 50% owner-occupied households and 50% renter-occupied units.
The average household and family sizes in Renton showed very little change. The average household size in 2000 was 2.29 compared to 2.27 in 1990, and the average family size was 2.98 in 2000 and 2.92 in 1990. These are comparable to King County with a 2.39 average household size and a 3.03 average family size. A household includes all persons occupying a housing unit and may consist of a single family, one person living alone, two or more families living together, or any group of related or unrelated persons sharing living arrangements. Families consist of a householder and one or more other related persons living in the same household.
Household composition changed minimally from 1990 to 2000. In 2000, 34% of Renton residents live in one-person households.
The percentage of Renton residents 25 years of age or older with at least a bachelor's degree rose from 21.8% in 1990 to 27.8% in 2000. Renton's proportion of adults with a bachelor's degree or higher is greater than many other South King County cities, such as Kent 24%, Burien 21.2%, Federal Way 26.2%, and Tukwila 17.5%.
Seven percent of Renton's families (853) were below the poverty threshold in 2000, as were 9.7% of individuals (4798).
Poverty thresholds are used by the Census Bureau to determine who is poor. If a family's total income is less than the Bureau's threshold for that family size and composition, the family and every individual in the household is considered poor. These thresholds, are considerably less than the income guidelines used in determining eligibility for certain federal programs such as Community Development Block Grants (CDBG) or Temporary Aid to Needy Families (TANF).
For questions about the material presented, please contact Dianne Utecht at (425) 430-6655.
*The 2012 population in Renton is 93,910 according to the Washington State Office of Financial Management.