Initial Data from the 2020 US Census: Bainbridge Grows, Kitsap Grows More

After a full decade of preparations and a system that offered online, offline, phone line and in-person data collection, the preliminary data from the 2020 Census is in. The numbers already shine some interesting light on Bainbridge Island, especially in the context of Kitsap County as a whole.

While the growth on Bainbridge has certainly been appreciable, it is actually one of the slowest-growing places in the county. What is perhaps more interesting is that the growth on the Island has been varied from neighborhood to neighborhood, and still contains other elements that can surely raise an eyebrow or two.


The official current Bainbridge population is now 24,825, living in 10,115 households across the island. That number is up by 1,800 residents (or 7.8%) over the past 10 years – which averages out to an Island annual population increase of less than 200 people.

Within the county, Bainbridge has the lowest rate of increase since 2010, far below that of the Kitsap growth leader Port Orchard (which has 5x the rate of Island growth).

Since 2010:

  • Bainbridge Island added 1,800 residents (a 7.8% increase)
  • Bremerton added 5,776 residents (15.3% increase)
  • Poulsbo added 2,775 residents (30.2% increase)
  • Port Orchard added 4,443 residents (39.9% increase)
  • Silverdale added 1,529 residents (8.0% increase)
  • Kingston added 1,172 residents (10.3% change)

County-wide, there are now a total of 275,611 people living in Kitsap, up 9.7% over the past decade.

State-wide, Washington’s population grew by 14.6% to 7,705,281.


Kitsap County 2020 Census Tract Map

Bainbridge Island is divided into 5 census “tracts” and there are marked differences from one to another:

  • The North East tract (red-orange) shows a population that is steady or ever-so-slightly declining (-3% to 0%)
  • In the Northwest there was a little growth (+3% to 6%)
  • The Southwest and Southeast had a little more growth (+6% to 9%)
  • The Central area rose substantially (+12% to 15%)
  • In and around Winslow saw the largest percentage of growth on Bainbridge, where 15% to 18% more people now live compared with 2010.

Overview: Over the past ten years, growth was focused on Winslow, in line with the City’s Growth Management Plans.

However, there are only 6.3% more housing units on Bainbridge for those 7.8% more people, leading to occupancy rates in excess of 90% (up 7.3% from 2010) and resulting in the upward pressure on house prices evident in recent years.


  • The 18+ population of Bainbridge has risen 12.8%, but the under-18 group increased by a far smaller number
  • 25% of the island population is now 65 years old or more
  • 98% of Bainbridge adults have a high school diploma, 40% have a bachelor degree, and 32% a post-graduate degree
  • 95% of Islanders list English as their main language, with the next largest group speaking German (1.5%), or Spanish (1.2%)
  • While racial diversity has increased, especially amongst the Latino and mixed-race communities, the Island is still overwhelmingly (85%) white
  • The Island is currently home to 1,780 U.S. current or retired military personnel, including 80 veterans of World War II


  • Overall, Kitsap County has added almost 20,000 new residents since 2010
  • This decade has been the slowest rate of county-wide growth in the past six decades
  • The fastest-growing areas in Kitsap were the smallest places (Port Orchard, Poulsbo, Kingston)
  • The fastest growing ethnic group in Kitsap is the Hispanic population (up 54% since 2010, but slightly lower than the 63% Hispanic growth rate observed between 2000 and 2010)
  • The second-fastest growing ethnic group in Kitsap is Pacific Islanders (up by 28%)
  • Those identifying as being members of two or more races jumped by 119%

More information on the County’s 2020 Census data is available now from The Kitsap Sun’s DataCentral.

Full details from the 2020 US Census are to be published next month via the official United States Census Bureau website.