About Seattle

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Race & Ethnicity Quick Statistics

2010 Census Estimates

  • 2010 Population Count: 608,660
  • Race:
    White - 69.5%
    Black or African American - 7.9%
    Amer. Indian & Alaska Native - 0.8%
    Asian - 13.8%
    Native Hawaiian & Other Pac. Islander - 0.4%
    Other race - 2.4%
    Two or more races - 5.1%
  • Hispanic or Latino ethnicity (of any race): 6.6%
  • Persons of color: 33.7%

2006-2010 American Community Survey

  • Foreign born: 17.3%
  • Population (age 5+) speaking language other than English at home: 21.3%


  • Largest racial groups in Seattle: The 2010 Census indicates that the largest racial group in Seattle is White (69% of the city’s population). The next largest group is Asian (14%), followed by Black or African American (8%).
  • Race and Hispanic/Latino ethnicity: The Census Bureau looks at race and ethnicity as two different concepts and asks about these characteristics in separate questions.

    The 2010 Census found that 7% of Seattle’s residents are of Hispanic or Latino ethnicity.
  • Multiracial population: Five percent of Seattle residents indicated two or more races on their Census form in 2010. (This was only the second decennial Census that gave people a chance to identify as two or more races.)

Seattle's race and ethnicity is 69% white, 14% Asian, 8% Black or African American, 5% Two or More Races, and 4% Other

The percentage pf persons of color in 2000 was 32% in Seattle, 27% in King County, and 31% in the U.S., and in 2010 was 34% in Seattle, 35% in King County, and 36% in the U.S.

  • Fastest growing groups: The racial and ethnic groups that grew most quickly in Seattle over the last decade were Asians, multiracial persons, and persons of Hispanic or Latino ethnicity.
  • Overall, persons of color make up more than a third of Seattle’s population: As the 2010 Census showed, more than 34% of Seattle residents are persons of color. (“Persons of color” include people of any race other than White alone, and also include Hispanic/Latino persons of any race.)
  • Seattle, King County and U.S. trends: The share of the population who are people of color has continued to increase in Seattle, although less quickly than in King County and the U.S. as a whole.
  • Socioeconomic disparities: Recent estimates from sources including the American Community Survey show continued, deep disparities in the social and economic well-being of Seattle residents.

    Disparities by race and ethnicity show up in every major indicator of well-being measured in the ACS: education, income, unemployment rates, homeownership, housing costs burdens, vehicle availability, and others.

    In general, the largest disparities in Seattle, as well as in the nation as a whole, are for the Black and Hispanic / Latino populations compared with White, non-Hispanic population. Asians and multi-race persons are also doing more poorly than non-Hispanic Whites on many of these indicators.

    Seattle’s Race and Social Justice Initiative (RSJI) is working to reduce these kinds of socioeconomic disparities.

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Census 2010 Citywide Reports:

Maps on Race and Ethnicity
This series of maps show 2010 Census estimates for Census tracts in Seattle. They indicate the share of population who are:

Maps on Language Spoken at Home
This series of maps show 2006-2010 American Community Survey estimates for Census tracts in Seattle. These maps show the share of population (age 5 and older) who speak following language at home:

The maps also show the overall share of the population that speak languages other than English, and a subset that speaks English less than very well.

Note: American Community Survey estimates can have very large margins of error. The language maps should be used cautiously. Language concentrations on these maps are best viewed as general locations of language communities. English-speaking ability is not reflected in the maps for individual languages.

Key Data Sources

U.S. Census Bureau Data
Two Census Bureau programs provide the most commonly used sources of demographic data at a community and neighborhood level.

  • The decennial census is done every 10 years to count the population and gather basic information about population demographics, households, and housing units. It includes estimates of the number of people by race and Hispanic ethnicity, and provides data showing how basic population and household characteristics (including age, sex, household composition, and owner / renter status) vary by race and ethnicity.
  • The American Community Survey is a continuous survey that produces estimates on a broad set of population, social, economic, and housing characteristics. The American Community Survey (ACS) covers language spoken at home, education, employment, income, vehicle availability, monthly housing costs, and more. The ACS provides estimates for the population as a whole, individual race and ethnic groups, and the foreign born. The ACS has replaced the long form that used to be part of the decennial census.

Where to Go From Here

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Quick Census Facts

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