This week, we use our regional example cities (Tacoma, Spokane, and Butte) to observe changing cityscapes from 1940 - 1950.
We begin with U.S. Census Bureau state population numbers in the northwest, comparing 1940 with 1950. With this regional shift in population, we then take a look at the move from rural to city residence, in selected Washington and Montana cities. Following the photos of our featured cities, you will find the Census Bureau links for further research.
Total State Populations 1940 WA 1,736,000 OR 1,090,000 ID 500,000 MT 559,456 1950 WA 2,378,500 OR 1,521,000 ID 588,637 MT 591,024
Washington Cities 1940 Spokane 122,001 Tacoma 109,408 Seattle 368,302 1950 Spokane 161,721 Tacoma 143,673 Seattle 467,591
Montana Cities 1940 Butte 37,081 Billings 23,261 Great Falls 29,923 1950 Butte 33,251 Billings 31,834 Great Falls 39,214
Note: Butte is the most populous city in Montana in 1940, and the only city in Montana to have lost population by 1950.
|1940 Tacoma||1953 Tacoma||1950 Tacoma|
|Postcard: western approach to Spokane, Sunset Highway #10||Postcard: Spokane (late 1940s)|
|Butte, view down Broadway, summer of 1939.
Library of Cogress.
|Berkely Pit, Butte, 1955|
U.S. Census Bureau Resource Links
CENSUS OF POPULATION AND HOUSING - 1940 Census