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South Prairie, Washington

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The location of South Prairie

Census Data for South Prairie ...

Population ...

The most recent Census Estimate<1> was for 2017 and it gave South Prairie a population of 443 people.

The last Decennial Census<2> was in 2010, which gave South Prairie a population of 434 people.

The town of South Prairie is located in Pierce County. The 2010 Census gave Pierce County a population of 795,225 people. This means that South Prairie had 0.05% of the county's total population, making it Pierce's 20th most populous community.

At the same time, Washington had a population of 6,724,540 people.

Area ...

When the Census Bureau conducts a census for a town like South Prairie, they draw a boundary around the area in which they are going to conduct their count - this defines the sampling area (usually shaped as a polygon). The shape of the sampling area can be quite complex and it's important to keep in mind that the boundaries of the sampling area may or may not match the recognized boundaries of the town.

Things like the population, area and housing for South Prairie reflect the sampling area. Since the shape of the sampling area and the actual boundaries of South Prairie might be different, it's best to check with the U.S. Census Bureau to resolve any difference between the two.

The 2010 Census shows that the sampling area for South Prairie has a total area of 0.4 square miles [1 km²]. Of this total, 0.39 square miles [1 km²] is land, with the balance (2.02%) being water (0 square miles [0 km²]).

Pierce County has a land area of 1,669 square miles [4,324 km²]. At 0.39 square miles [1 km²], South Prairie has 0.02% of the county's total land area.

Not only does the sampling area define boundaries, it also has a GPS location (latitude & longitude) that indicates a point within the sampling area (usually the center of the polygon, known as the centroid). At the time of the 2010 Census, the sampling area was located at:

Lat:   47° 8' 10"   (or 47.14°)             [Map]

Lon:   -122° 5' 35"   (or -122.09°)

More information on this topic and the changes between the 2000 Census and the 2010 Census can be found in the section for our Census-to-Census Observations ... (see below).

Population Density ...

Using the population (434 people) and land area (0.39 square miles [1 km²]) values from the 2010 Census, South Prairie had a population density of 1,095 people per square mile [423.2 people/km²].

In comparison, the 2000 Census shows South Prairie had a population of 382 people and a land area of 0.41 square miles [1.1 km²]. This gives a population density of 938 people per square mile [362.3 people/km²]

NOTE: Be aware that when comparing population density between the 2000 and the 2010 Census, there were changes in the sampling area for South Prairie. You need to be careful when making such a comparison, the differences are likely to lead to an incorrect comparison. More information about these differences can be found in the section Census-to-Census Observations ... (see below).

Housing Units ...

At the time of the 2010 Census, South Prairie had 174 Housing Units<3> and with its population of 434 people, this averages 2.49 people per Housing Unit.

The 2010 Census shows South Prairie had a land area of 0.39 square miles [1 km²]. This translates to 439.4 Housing Units per square mile [169.7 housing units/km²].

From the Census of 2000: South Prairie had 138 Housing Units, a population of 382 people and a land area of 0.41 square miles [1.1 km²]. This gives a density of 2.77 people per Housing Unit and 339 Housing Units per square mile [130.9 housing units/km²].

NOTE: Repeating the caution above (under Population Density), be aware that when comparing Housing Units between the 2000 and the 2010 Census, there were changes in the sampling area for South Prairie and you need to be careful when comparing numbers between the censuses. More information about these differences can be found in the section called Census-to-Census Observations ... (see below).

Pierce County ...

South Prairie is located in Pierce County.

The county had a population of 795,225 people at the 2010 Census. With it's population of 434 people, South Prairie represented 0.05% of the county's total.

In addition, where the town of South Prairie has a population density of 1,095 people per square mile [423.2 people/km²], Pierce County averages 476.3 people per square mile [183.9 people/km²].

For more information, please visit our Census Page for Pierce County.

Population Rings for South Prairie ...

To help identify the number of people who live in South Prairie and the surrounding area, we have drawn concentric rings centered on South Prairie. We counted the number of communities within each ring and summed their populations.<4>

  Radius   No of
  Since 2010    
5 mi   [8 km]635,128+17.11%
10 mi   [16 km]998,006+12.47%
15 mi   [24 km]18269,858+13.92%
20 mi   [32 km]24778,505+13.75%
25 mi   [40 km]351,069,599+14.09%
30 mi   [48 km]421,182,981+14.69%

Census-to-Census Observations ...

Introduction ...

When the Census Bureau takes a census count (or enumeration) for South Prairie, they start by specifying the boundaries of the area to be counted. This area (or sampling area) is a polygon and its shape can be quite complex - it may or may not match the geographical boundaries of South Prairie. It's important to note that from one Census to the next, the shape and location of the polygon can change. If you need precision or details about the methodology of the Census, you should visit the U.S. Census Bureau for a definitive answer.

Area ...

The sampling area (or polygon) given for the 2010 Census is 2.73% smaller than the 2000 Census.

The 2010 Census shows that the total area for South Prairie was 0.4 square miles [1 km²]. Of this total, 0.39 square miles [1 km²] is land, with the balance (2.02%) being water (0 square miles [0 km²]).

The 2000 Census shows a total area of 0.41 square miles [1.1 km²]. Of this total, only a minor amount of the area is covered by water.

Location ...

While generally coinciding with the GPS location (latitude/longitude) of South Prairie, the latitude and longitude given by the Census Bureau actually indicates the GPS location of the polygon for South Prairie.

For the 2010 Census, the location was given as:

Lat:   47.136230°   (or 47°8'10" N)             [Map]

Lon:   -122.093302°   (or -122°5'35" W)

For the 2000 Census, the location given was:

Lat:   47.138402°   (or 47°8'18" N)             [Map]

Lon:   -122.096848°   (or -122°5'48" W)

The difference indicates that the U.S. Census Bureau moved the location of the polygon for the 2010 Census 1,183 feet to the southeast<5> of the location that was used in the 2000 Census.

The U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) and the U.S. Board on Geographic Names (BGN) have assigned a unique GNIS identifier (#2413310) to South Prairie. This identifier also marks a GSP point on the map, and that point lies within the boundaries of South Prairie. The GNIS point has been mapped to the latitude/longitude:

Lat:   47.137345°   (or 47°8'14" N)             [Map]

Lon:   -122.094020°   (or -122°5'38" W)

The GSP location given for the 2010 Census lies 443.8 feet to the southeast<6> of the point given by the GNIS for South Prairie. For more information about this and the relationship of the various Federal Codes, please visit our Misc Page for South Prairie.

Miscellaneous Information for South Prairie ...

The Federal government has assigned various identifying codes to each community, county and state. At one time or another, the US Census Bureau has used one (or more) of the following identifiers when referring to either Pierce County or the town of South Prairie:

The GNIS Codes ...

The current system of identification is called the Geographic Names Information System (GNIS). The following GNIS codes relate to South Prairie:

GNIS ID for South Prairie: 2413310

GNIS ID for Pierce County: 1529159

GNIS ID for Washington: 1779804

The FIPS Codes ...

An earlier (and largely obsolete) identification method was called the Federal Information Processing Standard (FIPS):

State Code: 53 (Washington)

County Code: 053 (Pierce County)

Place Code: 66045 (South Prairie)

State & County Code: 53/053 (Washington / Pierce County)

State & Place Code: 53/66045 (Washington / South Prairie)

Misc. Census Codes ...

South Prairie is located in Census Region #4 (the West Region) and Division #9 (the Pacific Division).

The US Postal Service ZIP Code ...

While some people have used a ZIP code to identify a community, the purpose of the ZIP code was to make mail delivery more efficient by grouping addresses together. Although the ZIP Code doesn't specifically identify a town like South Prairie, it does identify addresses that are in (or near) South Prairie. It's important to remember that the boundaries of a ZIP Code can be changed, re-assigned or overlapped with other ZIP Codes.

The ZIP code for South Prairie: 98385<7>

Census ZCTA Codes ...

The US Census Bureau created statistical entities that they call ZIP Code Tabulation Areas (ZCTAs) and these ZCTAs are frequently confused with the ZIP codes that come from the US Postal Service (USPS).

ZCTAs were first created for the 2000 Census and at that time, they were based upon the USPS ZIP codes. While largely covering the same areas, the boundaries of a ZCTA do not necessarily match the boundaries of a postal ZIP code with the same number. For example, while a postal ZIP code can cross a county or state line, a Census ZCTA can not. They should be treated as separate entities with no correlation between them.

For more information about the various Federal identification codes, please visit our Misc Page for South Prairie.

Other Roadside Stops ...

The Communities of Washington

About Pierce County

About Washington

Off-the-Road Links ...

The official website of the U.S. Census Bureau

Unfortunately, we don't know of a website for South Prairie. If you can help, please contact us through our Feedback Page.

The official website for Pierce County:

The official website for State of Washington:

The official website of the U.S. Board on Geographic Names (BGN)

The official website of the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS)

Footnotes ...

<1>Every year, the US Census Bureau creates a population estimate for the preceeding year. Keep in mind that this value is an estimate and not an actual count. The most recent Census estimate is for the year 2017.

- Return to Citation

<2>Every 10 years (eg- 1990, 2000, 2010), the US Census Bureau conducts a Constitutionally-mandated count (or enumeration) of people living within the United States. This count is called a Decennial Census. The last Decennial Census was the 2010 Census, with the next one planned for 2020.

- Return to Citation

<3>A Housing Unit is a broad term for those places where people live (whether occupied or temporarily vacant), such as a house, an apartment, a mobile home, or an area that is considered as a separate living quarter. Separate living quarters (consisting of one or more rooms) are considered to be those places where people live, sleep and eat separately from others and that have access to the outside (either directly or by a shared hallway).

- Return to Citation

<4>The communities in our count are those provided by the 2010 Census, so keep in mind that our population rings will only include the people living in those communities. Smaller communities usually don't participate directly in the Census and therefore they won't be included. While our count is a close approximation, it shouldn't be considered as a complete or accurate count.

- Return to Citation

<5>The calculated bearing (or angle) to the 2010 Census location is 228 degrees and a distance of 1,183 feet.

- Return to Citation

<6>The calculated bearing (or angle) to the GNIS point is 203 degrees and a distance of 443.8 feet.

- Return to Citation

<7>When looking for a ZIP Code, whether South Prairie or elsewhere, it's always best to check the website of the United States Postal Service (USPS).

- Return to Citation






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This page was last modified: 04 Jan 2019