SEATTLE -

The Census Bureau estimates Seattle grew faster than any other major American city in the past year -- a 2.8 percent rate -- adding nearly 18,000 residents to bring the population to about 652,000.

The Seattle Times reports the new population estimate ranks Seattle as the nation's 21st biggest city.

The new Census data also show the Seattle-Tacoma-Bellevue metropolitan area added 57,000 people and remains the nation's 15th-largest metro area, with 3.61 million residents.

Washington's population grew by 76,000 and is estimated at 6.97 million.