About Tri-Cities Washington
The Tri-Cities are three closely linked cities (Kennewick, Pasco, and Richland) at the confluence of the Yakima, Snake, and Columbia Rivers in the Columbia Basin of Eastern Washington. Each city borders one another, making the Tri-Cities seem like one uninterrupted mid-sized city. The three cities function as the center of the Tri-Cities metropolitan area, which consists of Benton and Franklin counties. The Tri-Cities urban area consists of the city of West Richland, the CDPs of West Pasco and Finley, as well as the CDP of Burbank, despite the latter being located in Walla Walla County.
The official 2016 estimate of the Tri-Cities MSA population is 283,846, a more than 12% increase from 2010. 2016 U.S. MSA estimates show the Tri-Cities population as over 300,000. The combined population of the three principal cities themselves was 193,567 at the 2010 Census. As of April 1, 2016, the Washington State Office of Financial Management, Forecasting Division estimates the cities as having a combined population of 217,430.
The Tri-Cities Airport is located in Pasco and provides the region with commercial and private air service. Pasco is the seat of Franklin County, while the other two cities are located in Benton County. In 2010, Kiplinger rated the Tri-Cities among the Top 10 best places to raise a family, and CNN/Money ranked the Tri-Cities one of the top 10 best bets for gains in housing value, due to its relatively stable economic conditions since the early 2000s.
History, the 2000s to Present Day
The 2000s saw continued rapid growth as the Hanford site hired hundreds of workers to help with the cleanup effort. Additionally, the Tri-Cities saw a large influx of retirees from various areas of the Northwest. During this time, and the corresponding nationwide housing boom, all three cities flourished and grew significantly. Pasco became the fastest growing city in Washington (in terms of both percent increase and a number of new residents). In 2005, the Census Bureau reported that Pasco's population had surpassed Richland's for the first time since the pre-Hanford days. Fueled by the boom, Chiawana High School was founded, and by 2019 had become the largest high school in the entire state.
Despite the economic recession of the late 2000s, the Tri-Cities area continued to maintain steady growth and a stable economic climate due in part to the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 which directed funding and jobs to the Hanford site and its various cleanup efforts.
Climate and Geography
The Tri-Cities are in a semi-arid climate, receiving an average of 5 to 7 inches (130 to 180 mm) of precipitation every year. Winds periodically exceed 30 mph (48 km/h) when Chinook wind conditions exist. While there are an average of 225 clear days every year, these are mainly between April 1 and November 1. Temperatures range from as low as −10 °F (−23 °C) in the winter to as high as 110 °F (43 °C) in the summer, and even reached 115 °F (46 °C) in July 2006. The region receives a yearly average of seven inches of snow but has received as much as 50 inches. Due to the semi-arid climate and subsequent large amounts of sand, a perpetual annoyance to residents is the amount of dust blown about by the frequent winds. Thanks to the aforementioned rivers, a large amount of cheap irrigation is available.
Washington is the most northwest of the lower 48 states— consequently, the area is in the Pacific Standard Time Zone. The Tri-Cities makes up the largest metropolitan area in the southeastern quadrant of Washington. The large Cascade Mountain Range to the west contributes to the semi-arid climate, which is far drier than the famously wet western side of the state. See rain shadow for more information on this phenomenon. The region's climate results in a shrub-steppe ecosystem that has 18 endemic plant species. Just west of Richland, the Fitzner/Eberhardt Arid Lands Ecology Reserve was established to study the unique plants and animals found in the local shrub-steppe ecosystem. It is the largest tract of shrub-steppe ecosystem remaining in the U.S. state of Washington. [Source: Wikipedia]
Tri-Cities Real Estate Statistics:
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Property Types (active listings)