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5 Washington Towns People Are Fleeing as Soon as Possible

Washington is a very lovely state, with a wide variety of scenery, a vibrant culture, and bustling cities. Still, not all of Washington’s towns are as desirable to live in.

Numerous obstacles, such as high rates of crime, poor infrastructure, environmental issues, and economic downturns, force some residents to look for better opportunities elsewhere. Here, we’ve highlighted five municipalities in Washington that have seen a sharp drop in population.

1. Aberdeen

Aberdeen, known for being the birthplace of grunge rock icon Kurt Cobain, is a coastal community in Grays Harbor County that struggles with homelessness, drug abuse, high unemployment, and extreme poverty. U.S.

Aberdeen’s population decreased by 3.4% between 2010 and 2019, according to Census Bureau data, and the median household income was only $41,213, significantly less than the state average of $78,687. Aberdeen held the unenviable title of being Washington’s most dangerous city in 2019, with 14.6 violent crimes committed against per 1,000 residents, according to the FBI.

2. Centralia

Centralia, in Lewis County, was once a bustling railroad and coal mining city situated halfway between Portland and Seattle. Nevertheless, a string of unfavorable incidents, such as the Centralia Mine Fire in 1962, the Centralia Massacre in 1919, and the Mount St. Helens eruption in 1980, altered its course.

The community is still dealing with health and environmental issues as a result of a subterranean fire, and both the population and businesses have been steadily declining. Centralia’s population decreased by 2.6% between 2010 and 2019, according to census data, and the median family income was only $40,905.

3. Hoquiam

Hoquiam, a once-thriving fishing and lumber town in Grays Harbor County, lies adjacent to Aberdeen. However, due to declining fish stocks and the collapse of the timber industry, Hoquiam’s economy has declined. Hoquiam experiences similar problems to Aberdeen in terms of poverty, crime, and drug abuse.

Hoquiam’s population decreased by 4.4% between 2010 and 2019, according to the U.S. Census Bureau, but the median family income was only $37,795.

4. Kelso

Kelso, a town in Cowlitz County along the Columbia River, was first founded as a trading post in the 1840s and subsequently developed into a center for manufacturing, transportation, and logging. Kelso has seen social unrest, unemployment, and economic stagnation recently. Because of its low lying location, the town is also vulnerable to flooding.

According to census data, Kelso’s population decreased by 2.9% between 2010 and 2019, and the median household income was a meager $46,615.

5. Toppenish

Located in the Yakama Indian Reservation in Yakima County, Toppenish is well-known for its casino, rodeo events, and murals that portray the history and culture of the area.

But the town faces challenges including gang violence, extreme poverty, and low levels of education. According to U.S. Census Bureau data, the population of Toppenish decreased by 4.1% between 2010 and 2019, with a median family income of just $33,750.


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