US state
Name = Washington
Fullname = State of Washington

Flaglink = Flag of Washington

Nickname = The Evergreen State
Motto = Alki (Chinook Wawa: "Eventually," or "By and by" [ [http://www1.leg.wa.gov/Legislature/StateSymbols/ State Symbols ] ]
Capital = Olympia
LargestCity = Seattle
BorderingStates = Idaho, Oregon
Demonym = Washingtonian
Governor = Christine Gregoire (D)
Lieutenant Governor = Brad Owen (D) | Senators = Patty Murray (D) Maria Cantwell (D)
PostalAbbreviation = WA
AreaRank = 18th
TotalAreaUS = 71,342
TotalArea = 184,827
LandAreaUS = 66,619
LandArea = 172,587
WaterAreaUS = 4,723
WaterArea = 12,237
PCWater = 6.6
PopRank = 13th
2000Pop = 6,468,424 (2007 est.) [http://www.census.gov/popest/states/NST-ann-est.html 2007 Population Estimates]
DensityRank = 25th
2000DensityUS = 88.6
2000Density = 34.20
MedianHouseholdIncome = $53,515
IncomeRank = 13th
AdmittanceOrder = 42nd
AdmittanceDate = November 11, 1889
TimeZone = Pacific: UTC-8/-7
Longitude = 116° 55′ W to 124° 46′ W
Latitude = 45° 33′ N to 49° N
WidthUS = 240
Width =400
LengthUS = 360
Length = 580
HighestPoint = Mount Rainiercite web| date =29 April 2005 | url =http://erg.usgs.gov/isb/pubs/booklets/elvadist/elvadist.html#Highest| title =Elevations and Distances in the United States| publisher =U.S Geological Survey| accessmonthday = November 9 | accessyear = 2006]
HighestElevUS = 14,410
HighestElev = 4,395
MeanElevUS = 1,700
MeanElev = 520
LowestPoint = Pacific Ocean
LowestElevUS = 0
LowestElev = 0
Website = www.access.wa.gov

Washington (Audio-IPA|en-us-Washington.ogg|/ˈwɑʃɪŋtən/) is a state in the Pacific Northwest region of the United States. Washington was carved out of the western part of Washington Territory and admitted to the Union as the 42nd state in 1889. In 2006, the Census Bureau estimated the state's population at 6,395,798.

The state is named after George Washington, the first President of the United States. Residents are called "Washingtonians" (emphasis on the third syllable, pronounced as "tone"). Washington is sometimes called Washington state or the State of Washington to distinguish it from the city of Washington, the U.S. capital.


Washington is the northwestern-most state of the contiguous United States. Its northern border lies mainly along the 49th parallel, and then via marine boundaries through the Strait of Georgia, Haro Strait and Strait of Juan de Fuca, with the Canadian province of British Columbia to the north. Washington borders Oregon to the south, with the Columbia River forming most of the boundary and the 46th parallel forming the eastern part of the southern boundary. To the east Washington borders Idaho, bounded mostly by the meridian running north from the confluence of the Snake River and Clearwater River (about 116°57' west), except for the southernmost section where the border follows the Snake River. To the west of Washington lies the Pacific Ocean. [ [http://www1.leg.wa.gov/LawsAndAgencyRules/Constitution.htm Washington State Constitution] , Article XXIV Boundaries]

Washington is in the region known as the Pacific Northwest, a term which often includes part or all of British Columbia in Canada and part of Alaska. Sometimes it refers only to lands within the Northwestern United States, including Oregon but the term properly includes British Columbia and Southeast Alaska (the Panhandle) and in some reckonings includes Idaho, the western counties of Montana, the northern counties of California, and the Yukon Territory.

The high mountains of the Cascade Range run north-south, bisecting the state. Western Washington, west of the Cascades, has a mostly marine west coast climate with relatively mild temperatures, wet winters, and dry summers. Western Washington also supports dense forests of conifers and areas of temperate rain forest. In contrast, Eastern Washington, east of the Cascades, has a relatively dry climate with large areas of semiarid steppe and a few truly arid deserts lying in the rainshadow of the Cascades; the Hanford reservation receives an average annual precipitation of between six and seven inches (178 mm) . Farther east, the climate becomes less arid. The Palouse region of southeast Washington was grassland that has been mostly converted into farmland. Other parts of eastern Washington are forested and mountainous.

The Cascade Range contains several volcanoes, which reach altitudes significantly higher than the rest of the mountains. From the north to the south these volcanoes are Mount Baker, Glacier Peak, Mount Rainier, Mount St. Helens, and Mount Adams. Mount St. Helens is currently the only Washington volcano that is actively erupting; however, all of them are considered active volcanoes. Nestled amongst the hills are the Galena chain lakes.

Washington's position on the Pacific Ocean and the harbors of Puget Sound give the state a leading role in maritime trade with Alaska, Canada, and the Pacific Rim. Puget Sound's many islands are served by the largest ferry fleet in the United States.

Washington is a land of contrasts. The deep forests of the Olympic Peninsula, such as the Hoh Rain Forest, are among the only temperate rainforests in the continental United States, but the semi-desert east of the Cascade Range has few trees. Mount Rainier, the highest mountain in the state, is covered with more glacial ice than any other peak in the lower 48 states.

Federal land and reservations

National Parks

There are three national parks and two National Monuments in Washington
*Mount Rainier National Park
*North Cascades National Park
*Olympic National Park
*Mount St. Helens National Monument
*Hanford Reach National Monument.

National forests in the state include:
*Colville National Forest
*Gifford Pinchot National Forest
*Mount Baker-Snoqualmie National Forest
*Okanogan National Forest
*Olympic National Forest
*Wenatchee National Forest

Other protected lands of note include:
*Columbia River Gorge National Scenic Area
*Lake Chelan National Recreation Area
*Mount St. Helens National Volcanic Monument
*Ross Lake National Recreation Area
*Lake Roosevelt National Recreation Area
*Fort Vancouver National Historic Site, among others administered by the National Park Service.

There are many wilderness designated areas in Washington, including:
*Alpine Lakes Wilderness
*Glacier Peak Wilderness
*Goat Rocks Wilderness
*Henry M. Jackson Wilderness
*Juniper Dunes Wilderness
*Lake Chelan-Sawtooth Wilderness
*Norse Peak Wilderness
*Mount Baker Wilderness
*Pasayten Wilderness
*Olympic Wilderness
*Wild Sky Wilderness

There are several large military-related reservations, including:
*Fort Lewis
*McChord Air Force Base
*Naval Base Kitsap
*Hanford Site
*the Yakima Training Center
*Puget Sound Naval Shipyard (Bremerton)
*Naval Air Station Whidbey

There are many Indian reservations in Washington. The largest include
* the Colville Indian Reservation*Spokane Indian Reservation
*Yakama Indian Reservation
*Quinault Indian Reservation.


Washington's climate varies greatly from west to east. An oceanic climate (also called "marine west coast climate") predominates in western Washington, and a much drier climate prevails east of the Cascade Range. Major factors determining Washington's climate include the large semi-permanent high pressure and low pressure systems of the north Pacific Ocean, the continental air masses of North America, and the Olympic and Cascade mountains. In the spring and summer, a high pressure anticyclone system dominates the north Pacific Ocean, causing air to spiral out in a clockwise fashion. For Washington this means prevailing winds from the northwest bringing relatively cool air and a predictably dry season. In the autumn and winter, a low pressure cyclone system takes over in the north Pacific Ocean, with air spiraling inward in a counter-clockwise fashion. This causes Washington's prevailing winds to come from the southwest, bringing relatively warm and moist air masses and a predictably wet season. The term Pineapple Express is used to describe the extreme form of this wet season pattern. [cite book | last = Kruckeberg | first = Arthur R. | title = The Natural History of Puget Sound Country | publisher = University of Washington Press | year = 1991 | pages = 42-43 | isbn = 0-295-97477-X]

In 2006, the [http://www.cses.washington.edu/cig/ Climate Impacts Group] at the University of Washington published "The Impacts of Climate change in Washington’s Economy", a preliminary assessment on the risks and opportunities presented given the possibility of a rise in global temperatures and their effects on Washington state. [ [http://www.ecy.wa.gov/climatechange/economic_impacts.htm Climate Change - Economic Impacts ] ]

Rain shadow effects

The coastal mountains and Cascades compound this climatic pattern by causing orographic lift of the air masses blown inland from the Pacific Ocean, resulting in the windward side of the mountains receiving high levels of precipitation and the leeward side receiving low levels. This occurs most dramatically around the Olympic Mountains and the Cascade Range. In both cases the windward slopes facing southwest receive high precipitation and mild, cool temperatures. In contrast, the leeward slopes facing northeast experience a rain shadow effect, with low precipitation and warmer temperatures. As a result, there are temperate rain forests on the southwest side of the Olympic Mountains while the northeast side has a drier climate sometimes called sub-mediterranean climate. [cite book | last = Kruckeberg | first = Arthur R. | title = The Natural History of Puget Sound Country | publisher = University of Washington Press | year = 1991 | pages = 42-46 | isbn = 0-295-97477-X] The San Juan Islands and the city of Sequim are known for their dry climate compared to the rest of the coastal region. The Olympic rain shadow extends into Canada. Terms like "Mediterranean", "sub-Mediterranean", and "modified Mediterranean" are sometimes used to describe the Olympic rainshadow region even though it is quite different from the standard "Mediterranean" climate. The terms are mainly used to indicate a climate with wet winters and dry summers with regular drought conditions.

The Cascade Range forms a larger barrier than the Olympics and has a correspondingly stronger orographic effect. While the Puget Sound lowlands are known for clouds and rain in the winter, the western slopes of the Cascades receive larger amounts of precipitation, often falling as snow at higher elevations. (Mount Baker, near the state's northern border, is one of the snowiest places in the world: in 1999, it set the world record for snowfall in a single season. (1,140 inches/95 feet/2,896 cm) [http://www.usatoday.com/weather/news/1999/wsnorcrd.htm] .) East of the Cascades, a large region experiences strong rain shadow effects. Semi-arid conditions occur in much of eastern Washington with the strongest rain shadow effects at the relatively low elevations of the central Columbia River Plateau — especially the region just east of the Columbia River from about the Snake River to the Okanagan Highland. Thus instead of rain forests much of eastern Washington is covered with grassland and shrub-steppe.


The average annual temperature ranges from 51 °F (10.6 °C) on the Pacific coast to 40 °F (4.4 °C) in the northeast. The recorded temperature in the state has ranged from -48 °F (-44.4 °C) to 118 °F (47.8 °C) with both records set east of the Cascades. Western Washington is known for its mild climate, considerable fog, frequent cloud cover and long-lasting drizzles in the winter, and sunny and dry summers. The western region occasionally experiences extreme climate. Arctic cold fronts in the winter and heat waves in the summer are not uncommon. The western side of the Olympic Peninsula receives as much as 160 inches (4064 mm) of precipitation annually, making it the wettest area of the 48 conterminous states. Weeks or even months may pass without a clear day. The western slopes of the Cascade Range receive some of the heaviest annual snowfall (in some places more than 200 inches/5080 mm) in the country. In the rain shadow area east of the Cascades, the annual precipitation is only 6 inches (152 mm). Precipitation increases eastward toward the Rocky Mountains.


Prior to the arrival of explorers from Europe, this region of the Pacific Coast had many established tribes of Native Americans, each with its own unique culture. Today, they are most notable for their totem poles and their ornately carved canoes and masks. Prominent among their industries were salmon fishing and, among the Makah, whale hunting. The peoples of the Interior had a very different subsistence-based culture based on hunting, food-gathering and some forms of agriculture, as well as a dependency on salmon from the Columbia and its tributaries.

The first European record of a landing on the Washington coast was by Spanish Captain Don Bruno de Heceta in 1775, on board the "Santiago", part of a two-ship flotilla with the "Sonora". They claimed all the coastal lands up to Prince William Sound in the north for Spain as part of their claimed rights under the Bull of Tordesillas, which they maintained made the Pacific a "Spanish lake" and all its shores part of the Spanish Empire.

In 1778, British explorer Captain James Cook sighted Cape Flattery, at the entrance to the Strait of Juan de Fuca, but the straits would not be explored until 1789, by Captain Charles W. Barkley. Further explorations of the straits were performed by Spanish explorers Manuel Quimper in 1790 and Francisco de Eliza in 1791, then by British Captain George Vancouver in 1792.

The British-Spanish Nootka Convention of 1790 ended Spanish claims of exclusivity and opened the Northwest Coast to explorers and traders from other nations, most notably Britain and Russia as well as the fledgling United States. American captain Robert Gray (for whom Grays Harbor County is named) then discovered the mouth of the Columbia River. He named the river after his ship, the "Columbia". Beginning in 1792, Gray established trade in sea otter pelts. The Lewis and Clark Expedition entered the state on October 10, 1805.

In 1819, Spain ceded their rights north of the 42nd Parallel to the United States, though these rights did not include possession. This began a period of disputed joint-occupancy by Britain and the U.S. that lasted until June 15, 1846, when Britain ceded their claims to this land with the Treaty of Oregon.

In 1836, a group of missionaries including Marcus Whitman established several missions and Whitman’s own settlement Waiilatpu, in what is now southeastern Washington state, near present day Walla Walla, in territory of both the Cayuse and the Nez Percé Indian tribes. Whitman’s settlement would in 1843 help the Oregon Trail, the overland emigration route to the west, get established for thousands of emigrants in following decades. Marcus provided medical care for the Native Americans, but when Indian patients – lacking immunity to new, ‘European’ diseases - died in striking numbers, while at the same time many white patients recovered, they held ‘medicine man’ Marcus Whitman personally responsible, and murdered Whitman and twelve other white settlers in the Whitman massacre in 1847. This event triggered the Cayuse War between settlers and Indians.

The first settlement in the Puget Sound area in the west of what is now Washington, was that of Fort Nisqually, a farm and trading post of the Hudson's Bay Company, in 1833. Washington's erstwhile founder, the black pioneer George Washington Bush and his caucasian wife, Isabella James Bush, from Missouri and Tennessee, respectively. They led four white families into the territory and settled New Market, now known as Tumwater, Washington, in 1846. They settled in Washington to avoid Oregon's racist settlement laws. [cite web | title = Articles on George Washington Bush | publisher = City of Tumwater, WA | url = http://www.ci.tumwater.wa.us/research%20bushTOC.htm | format = | accessdate = 2007-06-15 ] After them, many more settlers, migrating overland along the Oregon trail, wandered north to settle in the Puget Sound area.

Washington became the 42nd state in the United States on November 11, 1889.

Early prominent industries in the state included agriculture and lumber. In eastern Washington, the Yakima Valley became known for its apple orchards, while the growth of wheat using dry-farming techniques became particularly productive. The heavy rainfall to the west of the Cascade Range produced dense forests, and the ports along Puget Sound prospered from the manufacturing and shipping of lumber products, particularly the Douglas fir. Other industries that developed in the state include fishing, salmon canning and mining.

For a long period, Tacoma was noted for its large smelters where gold, silver, copper and lead ores were treated. Seattle was the primary port for trade with Alaska and the rest of the country, and for a time it possessed a large shipbuilding industry. The region around eastern Puget Sound developed heavy industry during the period including World War I and World War II, and the Boeing company became an established icon in the area.

During the Great Depression, a series of hydroelectric dams were constructed along the Columbia river as part of a project to increase the production of electricity. This culminated in 1941 with the completion of the Grand Coulee Dam, the largest concrete structure in the United States.

During World War II, the state became a focus for war industries, with the Boeing Company producing many of the nation's heavy bombers and ports in Seattle, Bremerton, Vancouver, and Tacoma were available for the manufacture of warships. Seattle was the point of departure for many soldiers in the Pacific, a number of which were quartered at Golden Gardens Park. In eastern Washington, the Hanford Works atomic energy plant was opened in 1943 and played a major role in the construction of the nation's atomic bombs.

On May 18, 1980, following a period of heavy tremors and eruptions, the northeast face of Mount St. Helens exploded outward, destroying a large part of the top of the volcano. This eruption flattened the forests, killed 57 people, flooded the Columbia River and its tributaries with ash and mud, and blanketed large parts of Washington and other surrounding states in ash, making day look like night.


1850 = 1201
1860 = 11594
1870 = 23955
1880 = 75116
1890 = 357232
1900 = 518103
1910 = 1141990
1920 = 1356621
1930 = 1563396
1940 = 1736191
1950 = 2378963
1960 = 2853214
1970 = 3409169
1980 = 4132156
1990 = 4866692
2000 = 5894121

The center of population of Washington in the year 2000 was located in an unpopulated part of rural eastern King County, southeast of North Bend and northeast of Enumclaw. [cite web | title = Population and Population Centers by State: 2001 | publisher = U.S. Census Bureau | url = http://www.census.gov/geo/www/cenpop/statecenters.txt | format = | accessdate = 2007-06-15]

According to the U.S. Census, as of 2006, Washington has an estimated population of 6,395,798, which is an increase of 501,658, or 8.5%, since the year 2000. [cite web | title = Table 4: Cumulative Estimates of the Components of Population Change for the United States, Regions and States: April 1, 2000 to July 1, 2006 | publisher = U.S. Census Bureau | url = http://www.census.gov/popest/states/tables/NST-EST2006-04.xls | format = | accessdate = 2006-12-22 ] This includes a natural increase of 221,958 people (that is, 503,819 births minus 281,861 deaths) and an increase from net migration of 287,759 people into the state. Immigration from outside the United States resulted in a net increase of 157,950 people, and migration within the country produced a net increase of 129,809 people.

As of the Census 2000, the Seattle-Tacoma-Bellevue Metropolitan Area's population was 3,043,878, about half the state's total population. [cite web | title = Population in Metropolitan Statistical Areas Ranked by 2000 Census | publisher = U.S. Census Bureau | url = http://www.census.gov/population/cen2000/phc-t29/tab01a.pdf | format = PDF | accessdate = 2006-12-17 ]

As of 2004, Washington's population included 631,500 foreign-born (10.3% of the state population), and an estimated 100,000 illegal aliens (1.6% of state population). [ cite web|url=http://www.fairus.org/site/PageServer?pagename=research_research7a1f?&printer_friendly=1 |title=Immigration Impact: Washington |accessdate=2007-10-07 |year=2007 |publisher=Federation for American Immigration Reform ]

Largest Cities

The largest cities in Washington according to 2008 state census estimates. [ [http://www.ofm.wa.gov/pop/april1/default.asp Official April 1, 2008 Washington State Population Estimates | OFM ] ]

Community colleges

Educational Cooperatives

* Washington School Information Processing Cooperative (WSIPC)

Educational service district

* ESD 101
* ESD 105
* ESD 112
* ESD 113
* ESD 114
* ESD 121
* ESD 123
* ESD 171
* ESD 189

Professional sports

Miscellaneous topics

Three ships of the United States Navy, including two battleships, have been named USS "Washington" in honor of the state. Previous ships had held that name in honor of George Washington.

tate symbols

The State song is "Washington My Home", the State bird is the American Goldfinch, the State fruit is the Apple, and the State vegetable is the Walla Walla Sweet Onion [ [http://www.komotv.com/news/local/6890067.html Senate passes measure designating Walla Walla onion state veggie] . Komo 4 Television. April 5, 2007. Retrieved on April 5, 2007.] The State dance, adopted in 1979, is the Square Dance. The State Tree is the Western Hemlock. The State flower is the Coast Rhododendron. The State Fish is the Steelhead Trout. The State folk song is "Roll On, Columbia, Roll On" by Woody Guthrie. The State Grass is Bluebunch wheatgrass. The State Insect is the Green Darner Dragonfly. The State Gem is Petrified wood. The State Fossil is the Columbian Mammoth. The State Marine Mammal is the Orca Whale. [ [http://www.leg.wa.gov/Legislature/StateSymbols/ State Symbols] . Washington State Legislature. Retrieved on April 5, 2007] The State Seal (featured in the state flag as well) was inspired by the unfinished portrait by Gilbert Stuart. [ [http://www.secstate.wa.gov/seal/history.aspx History of the State Seal] . Washington Secretary of State. Retrieved on April 5, 2007]

ee also

*List of Washington-related topics


External links

* [http://access.wa.gov/ State of Washington website]
* [http://wikis.ala.org/godort/index.php/Washington Washington State Databases] - Annotated list of searchable databases produced by Washington state agencies and compiled by the Government Documents Roundtable of the American Library Association.
* [http://www.secstate.wa.gov/history/ Secretary of State's Washington History website]
* [http://www.courts.wa.gov/education/constitution/index.cfm Constitution of the State of Washington]
* [http://www.leg.wa.gov/wac/ Washington Administrative Code (State Administrative Rules)]
* [http://search.leg.wa.gov/pub/textsearch/default.asp State Code Search Tool]
* [http://tonto.eia.doe.gov/state/state_energy_profiles.cfm?sid=WA Energy Profile for Washington] - Economic, environmental, and energy data
* [http://www.usgs.gov/state/state.asp?State=WA USGS real-time, geographic, and other scientific resources of Washington]
* [http://quickfacts.census.gov/qfd/states/53000.html U.S. Census Bureau]
* [http://www.historylink.org/this_week/index.cfm Online Encyclopedia of Washington State History]
* [http://www.theus50.com/washington/ Washington State Information - TheUS50.com]

preceded = Montana
office = List of U.S. states by date of statehood
years = Admitted on November 11, 1889 (42nd)
succeeded = Idaho

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