Too close for comfort — at least in fireworks season?

In today’s paper, I have a story about updated population estimates from the state’s Office of Financial Management. The OFM provided some interesting maps with its news release.

Here’s a map of the state’s 39 counties, showing the breakdown of the state’s population.


In terms of population, Clark ranks fifth, behind King, Pierce, Snohomish and Spokane. Look how tiny we are! Which leads to this next map, showing population density. We have the second-highest density, with an average of 704 people per square mile. 704!


I casually asked Google if there’s an ideal density, but the gist I got was that quality matters more than quantity. (Not that Clark County has ever been a model of ideal planning, at least according to the state’s Growth Management Act.)┬áSo I don’t have any larger point to make here, except it’s the week of the Fourth of July. We’re getting calls in the newsroom, as we do every year at this time, from people complaining about fireworks, and asking why we don’t write more stories about fireworks laws, and why do their neighbors get away with shooting off fireworks after curfew and how they can’t sleep and what are police doing about people who are breaking the laws and … maybe a density of 4 people per square mile doesn’t sound so bad this week.

Stephanie Rice

Stephanie Rice

I cover Vancouver city government. Reach me at or 360-735-4508.

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