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Yakima County Profile



Overview | Geographic facts | Outlook | Labor force and unemployment |
Industry employment | Wages and Income | Population

Overview

Regional context

Yakima County is located in south central Washington state among seven neighboring counties. The geography varies from densely timbered, mountainous terrain in the west, rolling foothills, broad valleys and arid regions to the east and fertile valleys in its central and southern parts. Agriculture has been the staple of the economy over the last 100 years.

According to the Yakima County Economic Profile published by the Yakima County Development Association’s New Vision office, Yakima is the second largest county in Washington state at 2.75 million acres. Three entities own 63.4 percent of this total:

  • The Yakama Nation (1,074,174 acres)
  • The US Forest Service (503,726 acres)
  • The Yakima Training Center (165,787 acres)

Yakima County was separated from Kittitas County in 1883. Yakima County’s development was shaped largely by the Northern Pacific Railroad and the Yakima River. Most of the county’s population is concentrated along this river, largely because irrigation was critical to the success of the communities and the farmers who settled in this area.

The Washington Legislature passed the State Fair Act in 1893 and designated North Yakima in Yakima County as the site for an annual State Agricultural Fair. Some say it was a consolation prize for Yakima which lost its bid to Olympia to be named the state capital.

Local economy

Yakima settlers developed the land into a commercial agricultural enterprise in the 1880s. With irrigation and railroads, commercial fruit production flourished. Yakima established wine grape vineyards in 1869 and hops acreage in 1872, which remain major parts of its agricultural industry today. Forestry and livestock, dairies and the growing, storage and shipping/processing of deciduous tree fruits (cherry, pears, apples, etc.), are bedrocks of Yakima County’s economy.

In terms of jobs provided, agriculture is certainly the “big kid on the block” in Yakima County. The two other local industries in second and third place in terms of employment are health services and local government. Specifically, on an average annual basis in 2015, agricultural employers provided 30,191 jobs, or 27.7 percent of total covered employment countywide. Health services provided 14,930 jobs, or 13.7 percent; and local government averaged 13,147 jobs, or 12.1 percent of total employment. Hence, these three industries/sectors, accounted for over half (specifically 53.5 percent) of total covered employment in the County in 2015.

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Geographic facts

(Source: U.S. Census Bureau QuickFacts)

Yakima County Rank in state
Land area, 2010 (square miles) 4,295.4 2
Persons per square mile, 2010 56.6 16

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Outlook

The Yakima County labor market added approximately 1,800 nonfarm jobs between 2014 and 2015, an average annual increase of 2.2 percent. The most recent labor force and nonfarm employment data available at the time of report preparation is for August 2016 and these data show that, on a monthly basis, Yakima County’s nonfarm employment registered year over year increases for the 45-month period from December 2012 through August 2016. However, in each of the most recent twelve months (September 2015 through August 2016) for which employment data are available, nonfarm growth has been slower countywide than statewide. Yakima County’s nonfarm market provided 82,200 jobs in August 2016 versus 81,700 in the corresponding month in 2015, a modest 500 job and 0.6 percent upturn.

In comparison, between 2014 and 2015, Washington's labor market provided 86,200 new nonfarm jobs, an annual average increase of 2.8 percent. The state’s economy has also posted year-over-year nonfarm employment increases for the 71-month period from October 2010 through August 2016. The most current nonfarm employment estimate show that in August 2016, businesses and government organizations across Washington supplied 3,255,900 nonfarm jobs (not seasonally adjusted), compared to 3,160,600 jobs in August 2015, a 3.0 percent year-over-year employment increase. 

Recent trends for the Yakima County’s nonfarm labor market:

  • Annual average job growth during 2015 was a little less robust in Yakima County (2.3 percent) than in Washington state (2.8 percent).
  • Nonfarm growth has a longer “growth streak” in the state versus in the county. Washington’s nonfarm market has been growing for 71 consecutive months (October 2010 through August 2016) while Yakima County’s nonfarm market has been growing for 45 months (December 2012 through August 2016).
  • In each of the most recent twelve months (September 2015 through August 2016) for which employment data are available, nonfarm growth has been slower countywide than statewide.

Long-term (i.e. ten-year) industry employment projections produced by the Employment Security Department are for a 1.4 percent average annual nonfarm growth rate from 2014-2024 for the four-county South Central WDA (i.e., Kittitas, Klickitat, Skamania and Yakima) and for a 1.5 percent growth rate for Washington state.

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Labor force and unemployment

(Source: Employment Security Department)

Current labor force and unemployment statistics are available on the Labor area summaries page.

Unemployment rates in Yakima County were remarkably consistent in the four-year period from 2005 to 2008 (before the recession). Rates ranged from a low of 6.3 percent in 2007 to a high of 7.4 percent in 2005. This was a relatively narrow range. During the recession however, unemployment rates in Yakima County increased to 10.6 percent in 2010 and in 2011 before decreasing annually each year from 2012 through 2015 (when unemployment averaged 8.0 percent).

Between 2014 and 2015 in Yakima County:

  • Not seasonally adjusted unemployment rate declined from 8.6 to 8.0 percent, a six-tenths percentage point contraction. In comparison, Washington state’s unemployment rate decreased four-tenths of a point (from 6.1 percent in 2014 to 5.7 percent in 2015).
  • The average number of unemployed fell from 10,293 to 9,716, equating to 577 fewer residents out of work in the county area during 2015. Also, the civilian labor force (CLF) rose by 2,552, from 119,501 to 122,052 residents - a 2.1 percent increase. This was good economic news for at least two reasons. First, the local CLF grew at a faster clip that Washington’s labor force (which expanded by 1.4 percent during 2015) in 2015. Second, with a local CLF upturn of 2,552 residents (up 2.1 percent) and an average annual nonfarm increase countywide of 1,800 jobs (up 2.2 percent), it is probable that some residents were drawn back into the labor force last year to work in Yakima County’s agricultural sector.

As mentioned earlier, Yakima County’s CLF expanded 2.1 percent between 2014 (119,501 residents) and 2015 (122,052 residents) and the county’s labor force has been increasing for the past 26 months, growing 0.7 percent between the Augusts of 2015 and 2016, from 128,227 to 129,096 residents, equating to 869 more residents in the CLF this August. Unfortunately, the number of unemployed residents increased more rapidly, up 10.6 percent and by 913 residents, to 9,534 in August 2016 versus 8,621 in August 2015. Hence, Yakima County’s unemployment rate increased seven-tenths of a point, from 6.7 percent in August 2015 to 7.4 percent in August 2016. It is likely that some of this labor force expansion was due to job growth in the agricultural sector since Yakima County’s nonfarm sector grew only marginally between the Augusts of 2015 and 2016.

When evaluating recent labor force trends in Yakima County, it is also helpful to look at the bigger picture (i.e., what’s going on in Washington state). Washington's Civilian Labor Force (CLF) expanded by 50,156 residents (a 1.4 percent upturn) from 2014 to 2015. The state’s labor force has increased, year over year, for the past 32 months (January 2014 through August 2016). In August 2016, Washington’s CLF tallied 3,645,713 residents versus 3,543,814 in August 2015 equating to 101,899 more Washingtonians in the labor force (up 2.9 percent).

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Industry employment

(Source: Employment Security Department)

Current industry employment statistics are available on the Labor area summaries page.

The analysis in the first part of this “Industry employment” section is derived primarily from Quarterly Benchmarked (WA-QB) data. One advantage of these data is that the employment information is very current and data are updated monthly using WA_QB employment estimates. However, estimates are nonfarm related (i.e., they do not include agricultural employment figures).

The analysis in the second part of this “Industry employment” section are derived from the Bureau of Labor Statistics’ Quarterly Census of Employment and Wage (QCEW) program, conducted by the Washington State Employment Security Department. Although it takes a little longer to acquire QCEW data (than WA-QB data), the economic information provided is broader and more detailed than that provided by WA-QB. First, QCEW includes employment, wage, and size of firm figures for the agricultural sector, which WA-QB does not include. Second, QCEW data provide employment, wage and size of firm figures for businesses and government organizations in Yakima County down to the 3-digit NAICS sub-sector level (i.e., more detail than WA-QB). QCEW data include agricultural and nonagricultural employment and wages for firms, organizations and individuals whose employees are covered by the Washington State Employment Security Act. Also included are data for Federal Government agencies covered by Title 5, U.S.C. 85. Covered employment generally exceeds 85 percent of total employment in the state of Washington. Types of jobs not covered under the unemployment compensation system and hence not included in QCEW data include casual laborers not performing duties in the course of the employer’s trade or business; railroad personnel; newspaper delivery people; insurance or real estate agents paid on a commission basis only; non-covered employees working for parochial schools, religious, or non-profit organizations; employees of sheltered workshops; inmates working in penal institutions; non-covered corporate officers; etc.

Analysis using Quarterly Benchmarked data:

Although the National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER) announced that the national recession occurred from December 2007 through June 2009, the effects of this recession were felt in the Yakima County nonfarm labor market in the five-year (inclusive) period from 2009 through 2013. Nonfarm employment in Yakima County peaked at an average of 79,600 jobs in 2008. Then the recession hit and (as previously mentioned) the local nonfarm market experienced five lethargic years with the trough occurring in 2012 (when the local economy averaged only 77,500) and the “peak” occurring in 2013 (when the local economy averaged 78,200). In effect, there was little movement (up or down) in the job market during this timeframe. Hence, the recovery began in earnest here in Yakima County in 2014. Following is a summary of average annual nonfarm job changes since the recent recession:

  • In 2009 - Nonfarm employment across Yakima County dropped 1.9 percent (down 1,500 jobs) to an average annual figure of 78,100. Losses were centered in manufacturing (down 900 jobs and 10.3 percent) and in construction (down 600 jobs and 16.4 percent). If there was any consolation to the dismal performance of the local economy in 2009, it was that the state’s nonfarm market fared even worse – falling by 4.4 percent between 2008 and 2009. 
  • In 2010 – Nonfarm employment countywide ebbed by 0.4 percent (down 300 jobs) to an average annual figure of 77,800. In relative terms, Washington state’s economy fared worse as the number of nonfarm jobs declined 0.9 percent between 2009 and 2010. 
  • In 2011 – Yakima County’s labor market rebounded by 0.2 percent (up 200 jobs) to 78,000 jobs in 2011. During 2011 the state’s economy began to recover as the number of nonfarm jobs expanded 1.3 percent. This was the first year of economic recovery for Yakima County and for Washington following the recession. 
  • In 2012 – The local economy slipped backwards 0.6 percent (down 500 jobs) to 77,500. Conversely, Washington’s nonfarm economy moved upwards by 1.6 percent between 2011 and 2012. 
  • In 2013 – The Yakima County nonfarm sector regained its footing by growing 0.9 percent (up 700 jobs) to 78,200. This calendar year was, in reality, the final year of a five-year slump in Yakima County’s nonfarm economy. The tempo of job growth improved statewide as well. Washington’s economy averaged a 2.3 percent nonfarm job growth rate between 2012 and 2013.
  • In 2013 – The Yakima County nonfarm sector regained its footing by growing 0.9 percent (up 700 jobs) to 78,200. This calendar year was, in reality, the final year of a five-year slump in Yakima County’s nonfarm economy. The tempo of job growth improved statewide as well. Washington’s economy averaged a 2.3 percent nonfarm job growth rate between 2012 and 2013.
  • In 2015 - It took seven years for the Yakima County economy to get back to the 2008 total nonfarm employment peak of 79,600 jobs. But it finally did so in 2015 as nonfarm employment countywide averaged 81,000 jobs, with a growth rate of 2.2 percent (up 1,800 jobs). Industries that had a particularly good year in 2015: construction (up 400 jobs and 11.3 percent), wholesale trade (up 300 jobs and 5.8 percent), retail trade (up 400 jobs and 4.3 percent), food services (up 400 jobs and 8.3 percent) and local government (up 200 jobs and 1.7 percent). How did the state’s economy fare in 2015? Washington’s economy averaged a 2.8 percent nonfarm job growth rate between 2014 and 2015. 

Using the most current monthly WA-QB data, Yakima County’s employment has registered year-over-year increases for the past 45 consecutive months (December 2012 through August 2016) although job growth rates have been less robust than Washington’s in each of the past twelve months (September 2015 through August 2016). The local nonfarm market provided only 82,200 jobs in August 2016 versus 81,700 in the corresponding month in 2015, a modest 500 job and 0.6 percent upturn.

Between 2014 and 2015, Washington's labor market provided 86,200 new nonfarm jobs, an annual average increase of 2.8 percent. This August, businesses and government organizations across Washington supplied 3,255,900 nonfarm jobs (not seasonally adjusted), compared to 3,160,600 jobs in August 2015, a 3.0 percent year-over-year employment increase. The state’s economy has posted year-over-year nonfarm employment increases for the past 71 consecutive months (October 2010 through August 2016). Hence, one could generalize that not only has the state’s economy been growing longer than the county’s (71 versus 45 consecutive months of year-over-year nonfarm job growth) but the pace of job growth during the “recovery” has been more robust in Washington state than in Yakima County.

Analysis using QCEW data:

The North American Industry Classification System (NAICS) is an industry classification system that groups businesses/organizations into categories or sectors based on the activities in which they are primarily engaged. There are 19 private sectors and three government sectors (for a total of 22 sectors) at the 2-digit NAICS code level, within each county-level economy. One can observe much about the structure of a county’s economy by quantifying and comparing the number of jobs and the percentage of jobs in these sectors by using annual average Quarterly Census of Employment and Wage (QCEW) data. The most recent average annual employment data available for Yakima County are for 2015 and these data show:

The top five Yakima County sectors in 2015 in terms of employment were:

Sector Number of jobs Share of employment
1. Agriculture, forestry and fishing 30,191 27.7%
2. Health Services 14,930 13.7%
3. Local government 13,147 12.1%
4. Retail trade 10,384 9.5%
5. Manufacturing 8,279 7.6%
All other industries 31,902 29.3%
Total covered employment 108,833 100%

More than seventy percent (70.7 percent, to be exact) of all jobs in Yakima County were in five, two-digit NAICS industries or sectors (i.e., agriculture, health services, local government, retail trade and manufacturing). A comparison of the top five sectors that provided the most jobs in Yakima County in 2015 with the sectors that produced the highest payrolls follows:

  • Agriculture provided 27.7 percent of all jobs countywide, but supplied only 21.3 percent of total wage income. Why? Many agricultural jobs are seasonal.
  • Conversely, health services tallied 13.7 percent of total covered employment but accounted for 15.8 percent of total wage income – indicating it is a relatively “good paying” industry.
  • Local government provided 12.1 percent of total covered employment but accounted for 14.6 percent of total wage income – indicating, as in health services, that this is a relatively “good paying” industry. Jobs with local public school districts (primary and secondary schools) are tallied under the local government category. Jobs and wages at Native American (tribal) businesses/organizations are also tallied under local government.
  • The local retail trade sector accounted for 9.5 percent of all covered jobs in the county, but only 7.5 percent of total wage income. 
  • Manufacturing (with many jobs in the food processing industry) provided 7.6 percent of all jobs in Yakima County, but accounted for 9.3 percent of total wage income.

If one analyzes employment changes in Yakima County over the past twelve years (2004-2015) using Washington State Employment Security Department’s annual average Quarterly Census of Employment and Wage (QCEW) data the following employment trends emerge:

In Yakima County, total covered employment increased from 93,988 in 2004 to 108,833 in 2015, a 14,845 job and 15.8 percent expansion during this eleven-year period. Of the 22 NAICS sectors mentioned earlier, there were five major sectors/industries that accounted for 65.4 percent of all jobs countywide in 2004. The same “Top Five” accounted for 70.7 percent of all covered employment countywide eleven years later, in 2015. Hence, the Yakima County economy was not a tremendously diverse economy in 2004 and QCEW employment data indicate it has become even less diverse by 2015. In 2015; agriculture provided 27.7 percent, health services 13.7 percent, local government 12.1 percent, retail trade 9.5 percent and manufacturing 7.6 percent of total covered employment countywide. In 2004; agriculture provided 21.3 percent, local government 13.0 percent, health services 11.6 percent, manufacturing 9.8 percent and retail trade 9.7 percent of total covered employment. Hence, there was some repositioning within the “Top Five” rankings of job-providing sectors during this most recent twelve-year period (i.e., from 2004-2015), as follows:

  • Employment in agriculture, forestry and fishing (where the vast majority are in agriculture) jumped 50.5 percent (from 20,057 jobs in 2004 to 30,191 in 2015) as agriculture strengthened its “Number One” position during this twelve -year period. 
  • Local government registered a modest 7.7 percent employment upturn (from 12,209 jobs in 2004 to 13,147 in 2015) but it moved downwards in the “Top Five” ranking; from the second largest industry employment-wise in 2004 to the “Number Three” position in 2015. 
  • Health services posted a dynamic 36.8 percent expansion (from 10,914 jobs in 2004 to 14,930 in 2015) improving its ranking from the third largest industry countywide in 2004 to the “Number Two” position in 2015.
  • Manufacturing employment in Yakima County decreased 9.8 percent (from 9,181 jobs in 2004 to 8,279 in 2015) and this sector/industry slipped from the “Number Four” to the “Number Five” position in the “Top Five” rankings between 2004 and 2015. Why? Durable goods manufacturing took some hits in the decade from 2000-2010. Layoffs were particularly severe in transportation equipment manufacturing (i.e., closures at Chinook Trailwagons and Western RV) and in lumber and wood products (i.e. the Yakima Resources closure). Nondurable goods manufacturing was not immune to layoffs either as food processing shed jobs when DelMonte closed their asparagus cannery in Toppenish. However, annual QCEW employment data show that although Yakima County’s manufacturers “troughed” at 7,470 jobs in 2010, this subsector has generally been on an uptrend since then. Specifically, manufacturing employment rose to 7,869 in 2011, ebbed to 7,813 in 2012, expanded to 8,222 in 2014, virtually stalled at 8,216 jobs in 2014 before advancing to 8,279 jobs in 2015. These data indicate a slow, but not steady, resurgence in Yakima County’s manufacturing employment since 2010. Following are examples of some manufacturing subsectors that have shown promise in recent years:
    • Paper manufacturing (NAICS 322) averaged 404 jobs in 2011 and generally edged upwards in the three years from 2012 through 2014 (to 410 jobs in 2012, to 414 in 2013 and to 411 in 2014) - before jumping to 436 in 2015. This advance from 404 jobs (in 2011) to 436 jobs (in 2015) equates to 32 more paper manufacturing jobs (up 7.9 percent) in this five-year period.
    • Plastics and rubber product manufacturing (NAICS 326) escalated modestly from 1,102 jobs in 2009 to 1,345 in 2015, a 243 job and 22.1 percent upturn.
    • In 2009 the number of fabricated metal product (NAICS 332) manufacturing jobs bottomed out in Yakima County at 674, but this subsector has generally been in a growth mode ever since and from 2013 through 2015 payrolls have numbered in the 870-range (i.e., 872 jobs in 2013, 871 in 2014 and 874 in 2015). Clearly, this is a manufacturing subsector that has established a niche here in the county.
    • Machinery manufacturing (NAICS 333) progressed from 473 jobs in 2010, to 502, in 2011, to 539 in 2012, the 573 in 2013, before stabilizing at 602 jobs in 2014 and 2015. Hence, from 2010 through 2015 this subsector tallied 129 more jobs, a 27.3 percent employment gain.
  • Retail trade employment increased 13.5 percent (from 9,145 jobs in 2004 to 10,384 in 2015) raising its ranking from the fifth-largest job providing industry countywide in 2004 to the “Number Four” position in 2015.

For historical industry employment data, contact an economist.

Industry employment by age and gender

(Source: The Local Employment Dynamics)

The Local Employment Dynamics (LED) database, a joint project of state employment departments and the U.S. Census Bureau, matches state employment data with federal administrative data. Among the products is industry employment by age and gender. All workers covered by state unemployment insurance data are included; federal workers and non-covered workers, such as the self-employed, are not. Data are presented by place of work, not place of residence. Some highlights:

In 2015, women held 48.6 percent of the jobs in Yakima County. However, there were substantial differences in gender by industry.

  • Male-dominated industries included utilities (83.5 percent), construction (82.8 percent) and mining (80.9 percent).
  • Female-dominated industries industries included healthcare and social assistance (79.2 percent), finance and insurance (71.1 percent) and educational services (68.3 percent).

There were differences in 2015 between Yakima County and Washington state in the percentages of workers by age class:

  • Only 20.3 percent of workers in Yakima County in all industries were in the 25-34 years of age group versus 21.9 percent statewide.
  • 8.2 percent of workers in Yakima County in all industries were 65-99 years of age versus only 5.7 percent statewide.
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Wages and income

(Source: Employment Security Department; Bureau of Labor Statistics; Bureau of Economic Analysis; U.S. Census Bureau; U.S. Census Bureau, American Community Survey)

The total covered payroll in 2015 in Yakima County was approximately $3.87 billion. The average annual wage was $35,600 or 62.9 percent of the state average of $56,642.

The top five Yakima County industries in 2015 in terms of payrolls were:

Sector Payroll Share of payrolls
1. Agriculture, forestry and fishing $824,510,422 21.3%
2. Health services $611,840,052 15.8%
3. Local government $565,210,435 14.6%
4. Manufacturing $360,934,660 9.3%
5. Retail trade $289,565,953 7.5%
All other industries $1,222,438,018 31.6%
Total covered payrolls $3,874,499,540 100%

As shown in the table above, QCEW data showed that Yakima County’s workers received $3.87 billion in wages in calendar year 2015. Over two-thirds of this wage income was earned in five, two-digit NAICS industries or sectors (i.e., agriculture, health services, local government, manufacturing and retail trade). Agriculture was the largest provider of wages and jobs in the county in 2015, supplying 21.3 percent of total earned wage income and accounting for 27.7 percent of all jobs. The disparity in percentages between wages and employment is primarily due to the fact that there is a relatively high proportion of seasonal jobs in the agricultural sector. Private health services (i.e. jobs at a doctor/dentist’s office, in a hospital, nursing home, vocational rehab facility, etc.) ranked second out of 22 industries in 2015 in terms of wages, providing $611.8 million in payroll and 15.8 percent of total earned wage income while accounting for 13.7 percent of total covered employment, indicating that this is a relatively good paying industry.

Annual average wages in 2015 were highest in utilities ($85,965) and in management of companies and enterprises ($68,621). Conversely, annual average wages were lowest in accommodation and food services ($15,805) and in arts, entertainment and recreation ($20,270).

Personal income

Personal income includes earned income, investment income, and government payments such as Social Security and Veterans Benefits. Investment income includes income imputed from pension funds and from owning a home. Per capita personal income equals total personal income divided by the resident population.

Per capita income in Yakima County in 2015 was $37,630 compared to the state at $49,610 and the nation at $46,049.

Median household income in 2014 was $43,956 in Yakima County, 72.9 percent of the state’s median household income ($60,294) and 82.1 percent of the nation’s ($53,482) according to Census QuickFacts.

Yakima County’s poverty rate in 2014 was considerably higher (20.5 percent) than the state’s (12.2 percent) and the nation’s (13.5 percent) poverty rates according to Census QuickFacts. The state and national rates are not directly comparable to the county rate because they each use different data sources.

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Population

(Source: U.S. Census Bureau, Office of Financial Management )

During the last ten years, Yakima County had an annual average population growth rate of about 0.7 percent, which was slower than Washington’s 1.1 percent growth pace.

Yakima County’s population was estimated at 248,830 in 2015, up 2.3 percent from the 243,231 county residents in 2010. Washington’s state’s population grew 6.6 percent, to 7,170,351 residents in 2015 from 6,724,543 in 2010. Hence the local population grew a little more than one-third as fast as the state’s population during the past five years. 

During the next ten years (2015 through 2025) Yakima County’s population is estimated to grow annually by 1.0 percent, close to the state’s projected yearly growth rate of 1.1 percent. 

Population facts

(Source: U.S. Census Bureau QuickFacts)

Yakima County Washington state
Population 2015 248,830 7,170,351
Population 2010 243,231 6,724,543
Percent change, 2010 to 2015 2.3% 6.6%

Age, gender and ethnicity

(Source: U.S. Census Bureau QuickFacts)

Compared with the state, Yakima County’s 2015 population has substantially more children under 5 years old and more youth under 18 years old. Nearly 30.0 percent of the county’s residents are under 18 years old compared to 22.5 percent statewide. The county’s population age 65 or older totals 13.1 percent compared to 14.4 percent in Washington state.

Yakima County has a higher percentage of Latino and Hispanic residents than the state and nation. Specifically, Yakima County’s Hispanic or Latino population makes up 48.3 percent of its population, much higher than Washington state (12.4 percent). Yakima County’s American Indian/Native Alaskan population was 6.2 percent compared to 1.9 percent in the state, reflecting the presence of the Yakama Nation.

Demographics

(Source: U.S. Census Bureau QuickFacts)

Yakima County Washington state
Population by age, 2015
Under 5 years old 8.3% 6.2%
Under 18 years old 29.8% 22.5%
65 years and older 13.1% 14.4%
Females, 2015 50.0% 50.0%
Race/ethnicity, 2015
White, not Hispanic or Latino 44.3% 69.8%
Black 1.5% 4.1%
American Indian, Alaskan Native 6.2% 1.9%
Asian, Native Hawaiian, Other Pacific Islander 1.7% 9.1%
Hispanic or Latino, any race 48.3% 12.4%

Educational attainment

(Source: U.S. Census Bureau QuickFacts)

According to the American Community Survey, during the period 2010 to 2014, 71.5 percent of Yakima County’s population 25 years and older were high school graduates or higher. This figure is considerably lower than the statewide average of 90.2 percent and the national average of 86.3 percent.

Yakima County also had a lower percentage of adults with a bachelor’s degree or higher (15.9 percent) compared to the state at 32.3 percent and the nation at 29.3 percent during the same time period.

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