Welcome to State Fair Park - Home of the Yakima Valley SunDome & Central Washington State Fair!
Home > About Us > Master Development Strategy > Basis of the Strategy > The People

The People

The original Yakima people are the Sahaptin-speaking North American Indian Tribe that have lived in the region, more particularly along the Columbia and Wenatchee Rivers, in what is now called the South-Central region of Washington state. As with many other
Sahaptin Plateau Indians, the Yakama were primarily Salmon fishers before colonization. As the white man appeared in greater numbers in the mid 1850’s, the Yakama fiercely resisted the taking of land and the infamous Yakima Wars broke out, lasting for nearly five years. Early 21st Century population estimates indicate some 11,000 individuals of Yakama Nation ancestry live in the Yakima Valley. After World War II, Japanese families that were interned during the war came to the valley, as did Latino families, Filipino and other foreign nationals seeking a home and employment in the growing agricultural industry. Today nearly a quarter million people of all walks of life and ethnic backgrounds live in the Yakima region. From the days of early white settlers to today, they are a rugged, independent people that appreciate the value of education and hard work and are striving to live in harmony. The following provides an indication of the population and demographic characteristics of the Yakima Valley as presented by the Yakima Chamber of Commerce.

 
 
Yakima County Demographics

Total Population
Male
Female
Median Age (years)
18 years and over
21 years and over
62 years and over
65 years and over
 
Race
White
Black or African American
American Indian and Alaska Native
Asian
Other
Hispanic or Latino (of any race)
 
Total Households
Average Household Size

 
233,062
116,749
116,313
32.6
162,041
152,279
32,654
26,939
 
 
173,228
3,585
12,360
3,742
44,684
94,739
 
77,682
2.94
Source:  US Census Bureau 2007 American Community Survey
of
Yakima County Economic Characteristics

Labor Force
Civilian Labor Force
Employed
Unemployed
Unemployment Rate
 
Occupation
Management, Professional & Related
Service
Sales & Office
Farming, Fishing & Forestry
Construction, Maintenance/Repair
Production, Transportation/Materials
 
Income
Median Family
Mean Family
Per Capita
Percent Population Below Poverty Rate

 
106,878
97,123
9,755
9.1%
 
 
25,043
17,938
20,861
11,183
7,422
14,676
 
 
$49,151
$61,333
$19,218
5.2% 
 
of
Household Income Distribution
 
Less than $10,000
$10,000 - $25,000
$25,000 - $35,000
$35,000 - $50,000
$50,000 - $100,000
$100,000 and Over 
Yakima Metro
13%
26%
14%
14%
24%
9%
Yakima County
10%
22%
13%
16%
30%
9%
Source:  US Census Bureau 2007 American Community Survey
 
 
of
Next 20 Year Growth Estimates
 
50,000 increase in population. This is an average annual growth rate of 1 percent. Over 64 percent of the population growth is expected to be in the Greater Yakima metro area.

25,000 new nonagricultural employees. This is an average annual growth rate of 1.3 percent. Over 84 percent of new employee growth is expected to be in the Greater Yakima metro area.

28,000 new residential units. This is an average annual growth rate of 1.4 percent. Over 95 percent of new residential growth is expected to be in the Greater Yakima metro area.

of
of
Back to
Top
< Back
X