The Walla Walla Trends project seeks to improve local, public decision making by providing relevant data in an easily navigable website. The data provided on this website is offered as neutral information.

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0.2.2 People of Color Population as a Share of Total Population
Over the past 15 years, the share of POC in the population of the metro area (Walla Walla & Columbia Counties) has climbed from 25% to 29%. Hispanic/Latinos are the largest among these populations, followed by “two or more races.”


1.1.4 Average Annual Wage
Between 2021 and 2022, this bellwether measure of the local economy rose by nearly $2,500. At 4.9%, this was considerably better than the Washington average of 0.4%. (See below for a feature on this indicator.)

1.2.5 Net Firms Created
After weathering the pandemic with growth, firm count in the County in 2022 ushered in a dramatic decrease in firms (with employees). The drop of 222 companies was the largest on record. The change, however, was largely restricted to “social assistance” organizations.

1.3.5 Share of Employment in the 5 Largest Sectors
This measure gives a good sense of the structure of the local economy. Little changed between 2022 and 2021, as measured by the largest five sectors, by employment. They are, ranked: government (including local school districts), healthcare & social assistance, agriculture and retail trade. The sector increasing its share of jobs the most over the past decade was manufacturing.


3.2.2 City of Walla Walla Water Production & Share Lost to Leakage
2022 marked another year of overall decline in water production (& consumption) in the City of Walla Walla. Since 2009, the share of water lost due to system leakage has declined precipitously: from 34% to 13% of all water pumped.


4.2.2 Live Births by Females, ages 15-19, & Birth Rate
Total births to teen females in the county in 2021 (most recent year) was 27, the second-lowest outcome on record. The rates are now considerably below the U.S. rate and about the same as the Washington rate.


5.1.2 Housing Affordability Index (HAI) for All Homebuyers
The HAI compares 30% of County’s median household income to the median mortgage cost. (This is based on the widely-held recommendation that shelter costs amount to no more than 30% of household income.) A value of 100 indicates the local market is affordable; a value greater than 100, increasingly affordable; a value less than 100, decreasingly affordable. Walla Walla has been in the last category over the last seven quarters.


6.2.4 Weapons Incidents in School, by Type
In school year 2022-23, total weapons incidents in the county’s public schools continued to decline from school year 2018-19. The count, 16, was still higher than the best year of 2017-18, when only 9 were registered. Daggers and knives are the most common weapon reported.

list updated 09.12.2023

The complete list of Walla Walla Trends can be found here.

Blog Feature: What Drove Up the Annual Average Wage in 2022 in Walla Walla?

One of the core measures of economic progress - personal income - rests on three sources:  investment returns, federal transfer payments and earnings from work. Of the three, the last category is typically the most important, accounting for 50-60% of total income. Most recently (2021), earnings from work made up 52% of total personal income in the county. (Data from 2022 will be available in early December.)

As noted above, annual earnings from work paid by Walla Walla employers climbed 4.9% between 2022 and 2021. This represented the fastest year-over-year growth of the past decade in the county. And for the first time in the past decade, Walla Walla outperformed the state as a whole.

A glance of  1.1.5, Average Annual Wage in the 5 Largest Employing Sectors, helps us understand how this key measure of personal income moved in 2021. (Click on the legend components to simplify the graph.) Of the five largest sectors, the largest – manufacturing – led the way, with an 8.8% increase over 2021. The next largest – government – followed, with a 5.4% increase. This was followed by the increase experienced in retail trade, 5.2%.

Of the mid-sized sectors, professional, scientific & technical services (professional, white-collar industries) chalked up a 13% increase. And workers in wholesale trade, dominated by non-durable goods here, experienced a 12% gain.

As one can see on the graph for 1.1.4, the inflation-adjusted wage for 2022 actually declined here, although not as steeply as it did state-wide. This represents the second year in a row of “real” wages shrinking in the county. For 2023, the inflation rate will be far lower than the 8% experienced in 2022. If the growth in wages for the year equals the 10-year average before 2022, any real wage increase should be around zero. If, however, the county’s economy enjoys a year of wage growth equal to last year, then there should be some “real” additional coins in one’s pocket or purse.

New Intern Features


Miranda Carmona

Hometown: Spokane, WA
Major: Economics
Expected Graduation Date: Spring 2024
Post-graduation plans:
Pursue a Master’s degree in Economics and pursue a career in economic analysis
After a few months of working on the Trends project, my favorite thing so far:
learning and analyzing new trends for different regions in Washington every week. It amazes me how much I have learned about various counties in our state!


Liliya Kostenko

Hometown: Spokane, WA
Major: Accounting
Expected Graduation Date: Spring 2024
Post-graduation plans:
I plan to join an accounting firm to expand my knowledge and skills. My goal is to take and pass the CPA exam to become a certified accountant.
After a few months of working on the Trends project, my favorite thing so far:
I think it is incredible how much information we have at hand, and how little we know about our hometown. Every time I update the data, I learn a lot of new things that I could potentially use to help me in my future career.