Washington (State)

State of Washington
Coordinates 47°30’N, 120°30’WL
Surface 184,824 km²
(6.6% water)
Inhabitants 6,664,195 (2009 estimate)
(34.20 inhabitant/km²)
Capital city Olympia
Governor Jay Inslee (D)
Time zone Pacific Standard Time (UTC−8)
Joined Nov 11, 1889
Nickname Evergreen State
Website wa.gov

Washington is one of the states of the United States, located in the Pacific Northwest. The state is made up of the remaining western portion of the former Washington Territory. The area was admitted to the Union as the 42nd state in 1889. The United States Census Bureau estimated its population in 2009 at 6,664,195. The standard abbreviation for the “Evergreen State,” as it is nicknamed, is WA. The capital is Olympia.

About 60 percent of Washington state residents live in the Seattle metropolitan area, which is the center of the region’s transportation, business and industry. The rest of the state consists of large rainforests in the west, mountain ranges in the central, northeast and far southeast, and semi-deserts in the east that are cultivated for agricultural purposes.

Washington is named after George Washington, the first president of the United States, and is the only state to be named after a president. Usually reference is made to “Washington State” or more formally to “state of Washington” to distinguish it with the federal capital Washington DC. Mainly residents of Washington state and surrounding states only use “Washington”. They in turn refer to the capital as “Washington, DC” or simply “DC”.


Today’s state of Washington was originally part of a much larger area, the Oregon Territory that was created after the Oregon Treaty (1846), the solution to Oregon’s border dispute with the British in northern American territory. In 1853, Washington Territory was formed by secession from Oregon Territory. After an expansion in 1859 and a partition in 1863, the definitive territory was created, which formally became a state of the United States on November 11, 1889, as the 42nd.


According to JIBIN123.COM, Washington state covers 184,824 km², of which 172,587 km² is land. The state is located in the Pacific time zone.

Washington is located on the Pacific Ocean and is bordered by Canada to the north, Idaho to the east and Oregon to the south.

Two mountain ranges run through the state from north to south: the Pacific Coast Range and the Cascade Range. The highest point is the top of the volcano Mount Rainier (4392 m). To the south is Mount Saint Helens, an active volcano. The bay of Puget Sound, on which Seattle is located, joins the Pacific Ocean via, among other things, the Strait of Juan de Fuca.

The Columbia River, which originates in Canada and defines much of the border with Oregon, drains two other major rivers, the Spokane and the Snake River. In northwest Washington, the so-called Olympic Peninsula, Washington owns a rainforest.


Population growth
Count Bev.
1850 1.201
1860 11,594 865.4%
1870 23,955 106.6%
1880 75.116 213.6%
1890 357.232 375.6%
1900 518.103 45.0%
1910 1,141,990 120.4%
1920 1,356,621 18.8%
1930 1,563,396 15.2%
1940 1,736,191 11.1%
1950 2,378,963 37.0%
1960 2,853,214 19.9%
1970 3,409,169 19.5%
1980 4.132.156 21.2%
1990 4,866.692 17.8%
2000 5.894.121 21.1%
2009 estimate 6,664,195 13.1%

Population Density in Washington

  • Seattle
  • Spokane
  • Tacoma

The population should be estimated at 6 549 224 in 2008. This is an increase of 655 081 (+11.1%) since the year 2000. This figure includes the natural increase of 287 958 (503 819 births minus 281 861 deaths) and an increase in net migration of 287 759 people to the state. Foreign immigration resulted in a net increase of 157 950 residents and domestic migration resulted in a net increase of 129 809. Washington ranks first in population in the Pacific Northwest, followed by Oregon and Idaho.

Washington ‘s population center in the year 2000 was in an unpopulated portion of rural eastern King County, southwestern North Bend, and northeastern Enumclaw.

Largest Cities

The largest cities in Washington in 2009 according to the estimates of state authorities.

Rank Place Inhabitants
1 Seattle 602 000
2 Spokane 205 500
3 Tacoma 203 400
4 Vancouver 164 500
5 Bellevue 120 600
6 Everett 103 500
7 Spokane Valley 89 440
8 Federal Way 88 580
9 Knows 88 380
10 Yakima 84 850
11 Renton 83 650
12 Bellingham 76 130
13 auburn 67 485
14 Kennewick 67 180
15 Lakewood 58 840

Ethnic composition

The seven largest (ancestral) populations in Washington are: German (18.7%), English (12%), Irish (11.4%), Norwegian (6.2%), Mexican (5.6%), African (4.2%) and Filipino (3.7%).

Washington has the fourth largest Asian-American population of any state. The Filipino-American community is the largest subgroup in the state. Gary Locke was elected as the first Asian-American governor (and so far the only Chinese-American governor of all states) at the end of the twentieth century.

Many Mexican-American farm workers live in the central southeast of the state, and this population is also increasing in western Washington.

African Americans are less prevalent than Asian Americans or Hispanics (Latin American descent) in many communities in Washington, but African American mayors have already been elected in Seattle, Spokane and Lakewood. In Seattle, many African Americans move to the south of the city, as well as many residential areas such as South King County. Seattle’s black population is largely concentrated in the Rainier Valley and Central District which is also one of the few black neighborhoods in the Pacific Northwest.

Washington has many Indian reservations. Many residents adopt many of the art traditions of Northwestern Native Americans. This mainly concerns totem poles, long houses, dugout canoes and images of animals. Many cities have traditional Native American names such as Yakima, Seattle, Spokane, Puyallup, and Walla Walla.


The largest religions in Washington are:

  • Protestantism: 49%
    • mainline Protestantism: 23%
    • evangelical protestantism: 49%
    • other Protestant: 1%
  • None: 25%
  • Roman Catholicism: 16%
  • Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (Mormon): 4%
  • Islam: 1%
  • Judaism: 1%
  • other: 3%


The gross product of the state in 2001 was $223 billion. Especially in the east of the state, large areas are Indian reservations or in use by the American defense.

Major companies based in Washington state include:

  • Boeing
  • Microsoft
  • Starbucks
  • Costco (started in Kirkland, Washington)
  • UPS (started in Washington)
  • Amazon (started in Bellevue, Washington)

Administrative division

According to COUNTRYAAH, Washington is divided into 39 counties.

County Inhabitants
1 July, 2007
County Seat Inhabitants
1 July, 2007
Adams 16.982 Ritzville 1722
Asotin 21.111 Asotin 1115
Benton 159.414 Prosser 5077
Chelan 70.993 Wenatchee 29.810
Clallam 70.474 Port Angeles 18.789
Clark 418.070 Vancouver 161.436
Columbia 3986 Dayton 2613
Cowlitz 100.467 Kelso 12.041
Douglas 36.177 Waterville 1141
Ferry 7373 Republic 952
Franklin 69.578 Pasco 52.647
Garfield 2050 Pomeroy 1277
Grant 83.047 Ephrata 7248
Grays Harbor 71.335 Montesano 3578
Island 81.326 Coupeville 1845
Jefferson 29.199 Port Townsend 9069
King 1.859.284 Seattle 594.210
Kitsap 236.732 Port Orchard 7940
Kittitas 38.542 Ellensburg 17.304
Klickitat 20.097 Goldendale 3731
Lewis 73.645 Chehalis 7221
Lincoln 10.255 Davenport 1689
Mason 56.384 Shelton 9222
Okanogan 39.653 Okanogan 2352
Pacific 21.490 South Bend 1806
Pend Oreille 12.760 Newport 2121
Pierce 773.165 Tacoma 196.520
San Juan 15.214 Friday Harbor 2082
Skagit 116.397 Mount Vernon 30.700
Skamania 10.723 Stevenson 1359
Snohomish 676.898 Everett 98.295
Spokane 456.175 Spokane 200.975
Stevens 41.835 Colville 4949
Thurston 238.555 Olympia 44.925
Wahkiakum 4039 Cathlamet 576
Walla Walla 57.709 Walla Walla 30.794
Whatcom 192.999 Bellingham 77.503
Whitman 41.229 Colfax 2751
Yakima 233.062 Yakima 82.974


The executive branch of the state is headed by a governor, who is directly elected by the voters in the state. The current governor of Washington is Jay Inslee of the Democratic Party. He was elected in 2012 and inaugurated in January 2013. He was re-elected in 2016.

The legislature is made up of the Washington House of Representatives (Washington House of Representatives) with 98 members and the Washington State Senate (Washington State Senate) with 49 members.

Flag of Washington