Some time in the coming year, the Tri-Cities won't have to cross its fingers when it claims a population of 300,000.
The Mid-Columbia headcount topped 290,000 in 2017, according to a fresh population estimate released this week by the U.S. Census Bureau.
At the present rate of growth, the region will reach the 300,000 mark some time in the coming year.
The Tri-Cities added 6,500 people between 2016 and 2017. That's a healthy 2.3 percent growth rate, which was enough to help the Mid-Columbia hold its ranking as the 165th largest metro area in the U.S. in an earlier round of numbers released in March.
San Antonio was the fastest-growing city by population with 24,208 newcomers in 2017. Seattle proper was No. 6, with 17,490, for a total population of 724,745.
Three Texas cities boasted the nation's highest growth rates — Frisco (8.2 percent), New Braunfels (8 percent) and Pflugerville (6.5 percent).
Bend, Ore., weighed in with a 4.3 percent growth rate, pushing the central Oregon city's population to 94,520.
Locally, Kennewick grew 4.6 percent to 81,607; Pasco by 6.5 percent to 73,013; and Richland by 5.6 percent to 56,243.
Already, Pasco is planning for an estimated 50,000 newcomers in the coming years with a plan development for the hundreds of acres to the west of Broadmoor Boulevard, aka Road 100.
The nation's top cities by population were New York (8.6 million), Los Angeles (4 million), Chicago (2.7 million), Houston (2.3 million) and Phoenix (1.6 million).
Geek out at factfinder.census.gov.