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State of Washington
Flag of Washington State seal of Washington
Flag Seal
Nickname(s): The Evergreen State
Motto(s): Alki (Chinook Wawa: "Eventually" or "By and by")[1]
before statehood, known as
the Washington Territory
Map of the United States with Washington highlighted
Demonym Washingtonian
Capital Olympia
Largest city Seattle
Area  Ranked 18th in the US
 - Total 71,342 sq mi
(184,827 km2)
 - Width 240 miles (400 km)
 - Length 360 miles (580 km)
 - % water 6.6
 - Latitude 45° 33′ N to 49° N
 - Longitude 116° 55′ W to 124° 46′ W
Population  Ranked 13th in the US
 - Total 6,664,195 (2009 est.)[2]
 - Density 88.6/sq mi  (34.20/km2)
Ranked 25th in the US
 - Median income  $53,515 (13th)
Elevation  
 - Highest point Mount Rainier[3]
14,411 ft  (4,395 m)
 - Mean 1,700 ft  (520 m)
 - Lowest point Pacific Ocean[3]
0 ft  (0 m)
Admission to Union  November 11, 1889 (42nd)
Governor Christine Gregoire (D)
Lieutenant Governor Brad Owen (D)
U.S. Senators Patty Murray (D)
Maria Cantwell (D)
U.S. House delegation 6 Democrats, 3 Republicans (list)
Time zone Pacific: UTC-8/-7
Abbreviations WA US-WA
Website http://access.wa.gov
Washington Listeni /ˈwɒʃɪŋ.tən/ is a state in the Pacific Northwest region of the United States. Washington was carved out of the western part of Washington Territory which had been ceded by Britain in 1846 by the Oregon Treaty as settlement of the Oregon Boundary Dispute. It was admitted to the Union as the forty-second state in 1889. The United States Census Bureau estimated the state's population was 6,664,195 as of 2009.[2]
Nearly 60 percent of Washington's residents live in the Seattle metropolitan area, the center of transportation, business, and industry, and home to an internationally known arts community. The remainder of the state consists of deep rain forests in the west, mountain ranges in the center, northeast and far southeast, and eastern semi-deserts given over to intensive agriculture.
Washington was named after George Washington, the first President of the United States, and is the only U.S. state named after a president. Washington is commonly called Washington State or occasionally the state of Washington to distinguish it from the District of Columbia. However, Washingtonians (residents of Washington) and many residents of neighboring states normally refer to the state simply as "Washington" while usually referring to the nation's capital as "Washington, D.C." or simply "D.C."

Contents

Geography

A land of contrasts: a farm and barren hills near Riverside.
Washington is the northwestern-most state of the contiguous United States. Its northern border lies mostly 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.[4] Washington was a Union territory during the American Civil War, although it never actually participated in the war.
Washington is part of a region known as the Pacific Northwest, a term which always includes at least Washington and Oregon and may or may not include Idaho, western Montana, northern California, and part or all of British Columbia, Alaska, and the Yukon Territory, depending on the speaker or writer's intent.
Digitally colored elevation map of Washington.
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.[5] 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.
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,[3] is covered with more glacial ice than any other peak in the lower 48 states.[6]

Federal land and reservations

National parks and monuments

There are three National Parks and two National Monuments in Washington:

National forests

Nine national forests are located (at least partly) in Washington:

Federally protected wildernesses

31 wildernesses are located (at least partly) in Washington, including:

National wildlife refuges

23 National Wildlife Refuges are located (at least partly) in Washington including:

Other federally protected lands

Other protected lands of note include:

Military and related reservations

There are several large military-related reservations, including:

Climate

Dryland farming caused a large dust storm in arid parts of eastern Washington on October 4, 2009. Courtsey: NASA/GSFC, MODIS Rapid Response[7]
Washington's climate varies greatly from west to east. An oceanic climate (also called "west coast marine climate") predominates in western Washington, and a much drier semi-arid 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.[8]
Despite western Washington having a marine climate similar to those of many coastal cities of Europe, there are exceptions such as the "Big Snow" events of 1880, 1881, 1893 and 1916 and the "deep freeze" winters of 1883–84, 1915–16, 1949–50 and 1955–56, among others. During these events western Washington experienced up to 6 feet (1.8 m) of snow, sub-zero (−18°C) temperatures, three months with snow on the ground, and lakes and rivers frozen over for weeks.[9] Seattle's lowest officially recorded temperature is 0 °F (−18 °C) set on January 31, 1950, but areas a short distance away from Seattle have recorded lows as cold as −20 °F (−28.9 °C).[citation needed]
In 2006, the 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.[10]

Rain shadow effects

Washington experiences extensive variation in rainfall
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. 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, or 95 foot (29 m).[11] 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 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.

Temperatures

The average annual temperature ranges from 51 °F (11 °C) on the Pacific coast to 40 °F (4 °C) in the northeast. The lowest recorded temperature in the state was −48 °F (−44.4 °C) in Winthrop and Mazama. The highest recorded temperature in the state was 118 °F (48 °C) at Ice Harbor Dam. Both records were 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. In the Western region, temperatures have reached as high as 112 °F (44 °C) in Marietta[12] and as low as −20 °F (−28.9 °C) in Longview.[13] The western side of the Olympic Peninsula receives as much as 160 inches (4,100 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 (510 cm)) in the country. In the rain shadow area east of the Cascades, the annual precipitation is only 6 inches (150 mm). Precipitation then increases again eastward toward the Rocky Mountains.

History

A reconstructed face of the Kennewick Man.
Mt. Rainier reflected in Reflection lake.
Mount Rainier with Tacoma in foreground
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 smallpox epidemic of the 1770s devastated the Amerindian population.[14]
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 Treaty 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 Cook thought the strait did not exist. It was not discovered until Charles William Barkley, captain of the Imperial Eagle, sighted it in 1787. 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.
Explorer David Thompson, on his voyage down the Columbia River camped at the junction with the Snake River on July 9, 1811 and erected a pole and a notice claiming the country for Great Britain and stating the intention of the North West Company to build a trading post at the site.
The UK and the USA agreed to what has since been described as "joint occupancy" of lands west of the Continental Divide to the Pacific Ocean as part of the Anglo-American Convention of 1818, which established the 49th Parallel as the international boundary west from Lake of the Woods to the Rocky mountains. Resolution of the territorial and treaty issues, west to the Pacific, were deferred until a later time. Spain, in 1819, ceded their rights north of the 42nd Parallel to the United States, although these rights did not include possession.
Negotiations with Great Britain over the next few decades failed to settle upon a compromise boundary and the Oregon boundary dispute became important in geopolitical diplomacy between the British Empire and the new American Republic. Disputed joint-occupancy by Britain and the U.S.A., lasted for several decades. With American settlers pouring into the Oregon Country; the Hudson's Bay Company, which had previously discouraged settlement because it conflicted with the fur trade, reversed its position in an attempt to maintain control of the Columbia District for Great Britain. Fur trapper James Sinclair, on orders from Sir George Simpson, Governor of the Hudson's Bay Company, guided some 200 settlers from the Red River Colony west in 1841 to settle on Hudson Bay Company farms near Fort Vancouver. The party crossed the Rockies into the Columbia Valley, near present-day Radium Hot Springs, British Columbia, then traveled south-west down the Kootenai River and Columbia River. Despite such efforts, Britain eventually ceded all claim to land south of the 49th parallel to the United States in the Oregon Treaty on June 15, 1846.
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 County, in territory of both the Cayuse and the Nez Perce 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.[15] After them, many more settlers, migrating overland along the Oregon trail, wandered north to settle in the Puget Sound area.
In 1852, people from all over what was to become Washington state gathered in Monticello (now Longview) to draft a memorandum to Congress. The memorandum expressed their desire to be granted statehood under the name of Columbia. This meeting came to be known as the Monticello Convention. The desires of the Convention were met favorably in Congress, but it was decided that a state named Columbia might be confused with the preexisting District of Columbia. In a manner which strangely enough did not solve the problem of being confused with the nation's capital, the state was instead named Washington in honor of the first U.S. president.[16][17] 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 River 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.[18][19]

Demographics

Historical populations
Census Pop.  %±
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%
Est. 2009[2] 6,664,195 13.1%
Washington Population Density Map
Seattle
Spokane
Tacoma
According to the U.S. Census, as of 2009, Washington has an estimated population of 6,664,195, which is an increase of 770,074, or 13.1%, since the year 2000.[20] 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. Washington ranks first in the Pacific Northwest region in terms of population, followed by Oregon, and Idaho.
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.[21]
As of the Census 2000, the Seattle-Tacoma-Bellevue Metropolitan Area's population was 3,043,878, approximately half the state's total population.[22]
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).[23]
6.7% of Washington's population was reported as under 5, 25.7% under 18, and 11.2% were 65 or older. Females made up approximately 50.2% of the population.

Largest cities

The largest cities in Washington according to 2009 state census estimates.[24]
Rank City Population
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 Kent 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

Race

Demographics of Washington (csv)
By race White Black AIAN* Asian NHPI*
2000 (total population) 88.64% 4.12% 2.73% 6.75% 0.74%
2000 (Hispanic only) 7.00% 0.23% 0.28% 0.15% 0.06%
2005 (total population) 87.65% 4.45% 2.65% 7.69% 0.78%
2005 (Hispanic only) 8.16% 0.33% 0.30% 0.20% 0.07%
Growth 2000–05 (total population) 5.49% 15.37% 3.54% 21.57% 12.25%
Growth 2000–05 (non-Hispanic only) 3.88% 13.41% 2.18% 21.11% 11.20%
Growth 2000–05 (Hispanic only) 24.32% 47.88% 15.40% 41.33% 24.11%
* AIAN is American Indian or Alaskan Native; NHPI is Native Hawaiian or Pacific Islander
The seven largest reported ancestries 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 Asian American subgroup in the state. Gary Locke was elected as the first Asian American governor (and so far, the only Chinese American governor of any US state) at the end of the 20th century.
There are many migrant Mexican American farm workers living in the southeast-central part of the state, and this population is also steadily increasing in Western Washington.
African Americans are less numerous than Asian Americans or Hispanic Americans in many communities in Washington, but have been elected as mayors of Seattle, Spokane, and Lakewood, and also as King County Executive. In Seattle, many African Americans are moving into the southern part of the city, as well as to many suburban areas such as South King County. Seattle's black population is largely concentrated on Rainier Valley and the Central District, which remains one of the only majority-black neighborhoods in the Pacific Northwest, the other being in Portland, Oregon's King neighborhood; it is about 40% African-American. Tacoma also has a rising African-American population.
Washington is the location of many Native American reservations, with some placing prominent casinos next to major interstate highways. Residents have adopted many of the artwork themes of the northwest coast Indians who were noted for totem poles, longhouses, dugout canoes and pictures of animals. Many cities have traditional names created by Native Americans such as Yakima, Seattle, Spokane, Puyallup, and Walla Walla.

Religion

Major religious affiliations of the people of Washington are:[25]

The largest denominations by number of adherents in 2000 were the Roman Catholic Church with 716,133; The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints with 178,000 (253,166 year-end 2007) ; and the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America with 127,854.[26]
As with many other Western states, the percentage of Washington's population identifying themselves as "non-religious" is higher than the national average. The percentage of non-religious people in Washington is the highest of any state other than Colorado with 31%.[27]

Economy

Microsoft Corporation, Redmond
The 2007 total gross state product for Washington was $311.5 billion, placing it 14th in the nation.[28] The per capita personal income in 2007 was $41,203, 10th in the nation. Significant business within the state include the design and manufacture of jet aircraft (Boeing), computer software development (Microsoft, Amazon.com, Nintendo of America, Valve Corporation), electronics, biotechnology, aluminum production, lumber and wood products (Weyerhaeuser), mining, and tourism. The state has significant amounts of hydroelectric power generation.
Significant amounts of trade with Asia pass through the ports of the Puget Sound. See list of United States companies by state. Fortune magazine survey of the top 20 Most Admired Companies in the US has 4 Washington based companies in it, Starbucks, Microsoft, Costco and Nordstrom.[29]
The state of Washington has the least progressive tax structure in the U.S. It is one of only seven states that does not levy a personal income tax. The state also does not collect a corporate income tax or franchise tax. However, Washington businesses are responsible for various other state levies. One tax Washington charges on most businesses is the business and occupation tax (B & O), a gross receipts tax which charges varying rates for different types of businesses.
Starbucks Headquarters, Seattle.
Washington's state sales tax is 8.6 percent, and it applies to services as well as products.[30] Most foods are exempt from sales tax; however, prepared foods, dietary supplements and soft drinks remain taxable. The combined state and local retail sales tax rates increase the taxes paid by consumers, depending on the variable local sales tax rates, generally between 8 and 9 percent.[31] An excise tax applies to certain select products such as gasoline, cigarettes, and alcoholic beverages. Property tax was the first tax levied in the state of Washington and its collection accounts for about 30 percent of Washington's total state and local revenue. It continues to be the most important revenue source for public schools, fire protection, libraries, parks and recreation, and other special purpose districts.
All real property and personal property is subject to tax unless specifically exempted by law. Personal property also is taxed, although most personal property owned by individuals is exempt. Personal property tax applies to personal property used when conducting business or to other personal property not exempt by law. All property taxes are paid to the county treasurer's office where the property is located. Washington does not impose a tax on intangible assets such as bank accounts, stocks or bonds. Neither does the state assess any tax on retirement income earned and received from another state. Washington does not collect inheritance taxes; however, the estate tax is decoupled from the federal estate tax laws, and therefore the state imposes its own estate tax.
Washington is one of eighteen states which has a government monopoly on sales of alcoholic beverages, although beer and wine with less than 20 percent alcohol by volume can be purchased in convenience stores and supermarkets. Liqueurs (even if under 20 percent alcohol by volume) and spirits can only be purchased in state-run or privately-owned-state-contracted liquor stores.[32]
Among its resident billionaires, Washington boasts Bill Gates, chairman of Microsoft, who, with a net worth of $40 billion, was ranked the wealthiest man in the world as of February 2009, according to Forbes magazine.[33] Other Washington state billionaires include Paul Allen (Microsoft), Steve Ballmer (Microsoft), Jeff Bezos (Amazon), Craig McCaw (McCaw Cellular Communications), James Jannard (Oakley), Howard Schultz (Starbucks), and Charles Simonyi (Microsoft).[34]

Agriculture

Azwell, Washington, a small community of pickers' cabins and apple orchards.
Washington is a leading agricultural state. (The following figures are from the Washington State Office of Financial Management and the USDA, National Agricultural Statistics Service, Washington Field Office.) For 2003, the total value of Washington's agricultural products was $5.79 billion, the 11th highest in the country. The total value of its crops was $3.8 billion, the 7th highest. The total value of its livestock and specialty products was $1.5 billion, the 26th highest.
In 2004, Washington ranked first in the nation in production of red raspberries (90.0% of total U.S. production), wrinkled seed peas (80.6%), hops (75.0%), spearmint oil (73.6%), apples (58.1%), sweet cherries (47.3%), pears (42.6%), peppermint oil (40.3%), Concord grapes (39.3%), carrots for processing (36.8%), and Niagara grapes (31.6%). Washington also ranked second in the nation in production of lentils, fall potatoes, dry edible peas, apricots, grapes (all varieties taken together), asparagus (over a third of the nation's production), sweet corn for processing, and green peas for processing; third in tart cherries, prunes and plums, and dry summer onions; fourth in barley and trout; and fifth in wheat, cranberries, and strawberries.
The apple industry is of particular importance to Washington. Because of the favorable climate of dry, warm summers and cold winters of central Washington, the state has led the U.S. in apple production since the 1920s.[35] Two areas account for the vast majority of the state's apple crop: the Wenatchee–Okanogan region (comprising Chelan, Okanogan, Douglas, and Grant counties), and the Yakima region (Yakima, Benton and Kittitas counties).[36]

Transportation

Washington has the largest ferry system in the United States.
Washington has a system of state highways, called State Routes, as well as an extensive ferry system which is the largest in the nation[37] and the third largest in the world. There are 140 public airfields in Washington, including 16 state airports owned by the Washington State Department of Transportation. Boeing Field in Seattle is one of the busiest primary non-hub airports in the US.[38] The unique geography of Washington presents exceptional transportation needs.
There are extensive waterways in the midst of Washington's largest cites, including Seattle, Bellevue, Tacoma and Olympia. The state highways incorporate an extensive network of bridges and the largest ferry system in the United States to serve transportation needs in the Puget Sound area. Washington's marine highway constitutes a fleet of twenty-eight ferries that navigate Puget Sound and its inland waterways to 20 different ports of call. Washington is home to four of the five longest floating bridges in the world: the Evergreen Point Floating Bridge, Lacey V. Murrow Memorial Bridge and Homer M. Hadley Memorial Bridge over Lake Washington, and the Hood Canal Bridge which connects the Olympic Peninsula and Kitsap Peninsula.
Floating bridges on Lake Washington
The Cascade Mountain Range also provides unique transportation challenges. Washington operates and maintains roads over seven major mountain passes and eight minor passes. During winter months some of these passes are plowed, sanded, and kept safe with avalanche control. Not all are able to stay open through the winter. The North Cascades Highway, State Route 20, closes every year. This is because the extraordinary amount of snowfall and frequency of avalanches in the area of Washington Pass make it unsafe in the winter months.

Toxic chemicals

In 2007, Washington became the first state in the nation to target all forms of highly toxic brominated flame retardants known as PBDEs for elimination from the many common household products in which they are used. A 2004 study of 40 mothers from Oregon, Washington, British Columbia, and Montana found PBDEs in the breast milk of every woman tested.
Three recent studies by the Washington Department of Ecology showed that toxic chemicals banned decades ago continue to linger in the environment and concentrate in the food chain. In one of the studies, state government scientists found unacceptable levels of toxic substances in 93 samples of freshwater fish collected from 45 sites. The toxic substances included PCBs; dioxins, two chlorinated pesticides, DDE and dieldrin, and PBDEs. As a result of the study, the department will investigate the sources of PCBs in the Wenatchee River, where unhealthy levels of PCBs were found in mountain whitefish. Based on the 2007 information and a previous 2004 Ecology study, the Washington Department of Health is advising the public not to eat mountain whitefish from the Wenatchee River from Leavenworth downstream to where the river joins the Columbia, due to unhealthy levels of PCBs. Study results also indicated high levels of contaminants in fish tissue that scientists collected from Lake Washington and the Spokane River, where fish consumption advisories are already in effect[3].
On March 27, 2006 Governor Christine Gregoire signed into law the recently approved House Bill 2322. This bill would limit phosphorus content in dishwashing detergents statewide to 0.5% over the next six years. Though the ban would be effective statewide in 2010, it would take place in Whatcom County, Spokane County, and Clark County in 2008.[39] A recent discovery had linked high contents of phosphorus in water to a boom in algae population. An invasive amount of algae in bodies of water would eventually lead to a variety of excess ecological and technological issues.[40]

Law and government

The Washington State Capitol in Olympia.
The bicameral Washington State Legislature is the state's legislative branch. The state legislature is composed of a lower House of Representatives and an upper State Senate. The state is divided into 49 legislative districts of equal population, each of which elects two representatives and one senator. Representatives serve two-year terms, whilst senators serve for four years. There are no term limits. Currently, the Democratic Party holds majorities in both chambers.
Washington's executive branch is headed by a governor elected for a four-year term. The current governor is Christine Gregoire, a Democrat who has been in office since 2005.
The Washington Supreme Court is the highest court in the state. Nine justices serve on the bench and are elected statewide.

U.S. Congress

The two U.S. Senators from Washington are Patty Murray (D) and Maria Cantwell (D).
Washington representatives in the United States House of Representatives (see map of districts) are Jay Inslee (D-1), Richard Ray (Rick) Larsen (D-2), Brian Baird (D-3), Doc Hastings (R-4), Cathy McMorris Rodgers (R-5), Norm Dicks (D-6), Jim McDermott (D-7), Dave Reichert (R-8), and Adam Smith (D-9).

State elected officials

Executive

Politics

Presidential elections results
Year Republican Democratic
2008 40.48% 1,229,216 57.65% 1,750,848
2004 45.59% 1,304,893 52.82% 1,510,201
2000 44.59% 1,108,864 50.21% 1,247,652
1996 37.32% 840,712 49.81% 1,123,323
1992 31.99% 731,234 43.41% 993,037
1988 47.97% 903,835 50.03% 933,516
The state has been thought of as politically divided by the Cascade Mountains, with Western Washington being liberal (particularly the I-5 Corridor) and Eastern Washington being conservative. Lately however, Washington has voted for the Democratic presidential nominee in every election since 1988. Spokane, the state's second largest city located in Eastern Washington, has been leaning more liberal, with one example being Democrat Maria Cantwell winning by a wide margin in the 2006 senate race against Republican Mike McGavick. Since the population is larger in the west, the Democrats usually fare better statewide. More specifically, the Seattle metro area (especially King County) generally delivers strong Democratic margins, while the outlying areas of Western Washington were nearly tied in both 2000 and 2004. It was considered a key swing state in 1968, and it was the only Western state to give its electoral votes to Democratic nominee Hubert Humphrey over his Republican opponent Richard Nixon. However, Washington was considered a part of the 1994 Republican Revolution, and had the biggest pickup in the house for Republicans, making 7 of the 9 house members Republicans for the state of Washington.[41] However, this dominance did not last for long as Democrats picked up one seat in the 1996 election[42] and two more in 1998, giving the Democrats a 5–4 majority.[43]
The two current United States Senators from Washington are Patty Murray and Maria Cantwell, both of whom are members of the Democratic Party. The office of Governor is held by Christine Gregoire, who was re-elected to her second term in the 2008 gubernatorial election. Washington is the first and only state in the country to have elected women to both of its United States Senate seats and the office of Governor. Both houses of the Washington State Legislature (the Washington Senate and the Washington House of Representatives) are currently controlled by the Democratic Party.

Education

Elementary and secondary

As of the 2008-2009 school year, 1,040,750 students were enrolled in elementary and secondary schools in Washington, with 59,562 teachers employed to educate them.[44] As of August 2009, there were 295 school districts in the state, serviced by nine educational service districts.[45] Washington School Information Processing Cooperative (a non-profit, opt-in, State agency) provides information management systems for fiscal & human resources and student data. Elementary and secondary schools are under the jurisdiction of the Office of Superintendent of Public Instruction (OSPI), led by State School Superintendent Randy Dorn.[46]
High school juniors and seniors in Washington have the option of utilizing the state's Running Start program. Initiated by the state legislature in 1990, the program allows students attend institutions of higher education at public expense, simultaneously earning high school and college credit.[47]
The State also has several public arts focused high schools including Tacoma School of the Arts, Vancouver school of Arts and Academics, and The Center School. And a Science and Math based high school in Tacoma, Washington known as SAMI.

Colleges and universities

Professional sports

Club Sport League City & Stadium
Seattle Seahawks Football National Football League; NFC Seattle, Qwest Field
Seattle Mariners Baseball Major League Baseball; AL Seattle, Safeco Field
Spokane Shock Arena Football Arena Football 1 Spokane, Spokane Arena
Seattle Storm Basketball Women's National Basketball Association Seattle, KeyArena
Spokane Spiders Soccer Premier Development League (Northwest Division) Spokane, Joe Albi Stadium
Seattle Sounders FC Soccer Major League Soccer Seattle, Qwest Field
Seattle Sounders Soccer USL First Division (men's) (Defunct)
W-League (women's)
Seattle, Qwest Field
Bellingham Slam Basketball American Basketball Association Bellingham, Whatcom Community College
Bellevue Blackhawks Basketball American Basketball Association Bellevue, Meydenbauer Center
Everett Silvertips Ice Hockey Western Hockey League Everett, Everett Event Center
Spokane Chiefs Ice Hockey Western Hockey League Spokane, Spokane Arena
Seattle Thunderbirds Ice hockey Western Hockey League Kent, ShoWare Center
Tri-City Americans Ice Hockey Western Hockey League Kennewick, Toyota Center
Tri-City Fever Indoor Football IFL Kennewick, Toyota Center
Kent Predators Indoor Football IFL Kent, ShoWare Center
Tri-City Dust Devils Baseball Northwest League; A Pasco, Dust Devils Stadium
Tacoma Rainiers Baseball Pacific Coast League; AAA Tacoma, Cheney Stadium
Spokane Indians Baseball Northwest League; A Spokane, Avista Stadium
Everett AquaSox Baseball Northwest League; A Everett, Everett Memorial Stadium
Yakima Bears Baseball Northwest League; A Yakima, Yakima County Stadium
Yakima Sun Kings Basketball Continental Basketball Association Yakima, Yakima Valley SunDome
Old Puget Sound Beach RFC Rugby RSL Seattle, various venues
Washington Stealth Lacrosse NLL Everett, Everett Event Center

Miscellaneous topics

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

State symbols

Reverse side of the Washington quarter
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.[48] 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.[49] The state land mammal is the Olympic Marmot. The state seal (featured in the state flag as well) was inspired by the unfinished portrait by Gilbert Stuart.[50]

See also

References

  1. ^ State Symbols
  2. ^ a b c "Annual Estimates of the Resident Population for the United States, Regions, States, and Puerto Rico: April 1, 2000 to July 1, 2009". United States Census Bureau. http://www.census.gov/popest/states/tables/NST-EST2009-01.csv. Retrieved 2009-12-30. 
  3. ^ a b c "Elevations and Distances in the United States". U.S Geological Survey. 29 April 2005. http://erg.usgs.gov/isb/pubs/booklets/elvadist/elvadist.html#Highest. Retrieved November 9 2006. 
  4. ^ Washington State Constitution, Article XXIV Boundaries
  5. ^ Mapes, Lynda V. (February 3, 2010). "Hoh Rain Forest revels in wet, 'wild ballet'". The Seattle Times. http://seattletimes.nwsource.com/html/localnews/2010963527_rain03m.html. Retrieved February 4, 2010. 
  6. ^ Washington State's Glaciers are Melting, and That Has Scientists Concerned — Blumenthal, Les. (August 29, 2006). McClatchy Newspapers. Retrieved on September 13, 2009 from Commondreams.org
  7. ^ "Dust Storm in Eastern Washington : Image of the Day". earthobservatory.nasa.gov. http://earthobservatory.nasa.gov/IOTD/view.php?id=40590. Retrieved 2009-10-10. 
  8. ^ Kruckeberg, Arthur R. (1991). The Natural History of Puget Sound Country. University of Washington Press. pp. 42–43. ISBN 0-295-97477-X. 
  9. ^ "HistoryLink.org- the Free Online Encyclopedia of Washington State History". www.historylink.org. http://www.historylink.org/index.cfm?DisplayPage=output.cfm&file_id=3681. Retrieved 2009-01-26. 
  10. ^ Climate Change - Economic Impacts
  11. ^ [1]
  12. ^ http://www.wrcc.dri.edu/cgi-bin/cliMAIN.pl?wa5028 Western Regional Climate Data Center, Marietta
  13. ^ http://www.wrcc.dri.edu/cgi-bin/cliMAIN.pl?wa4769 Western Regional Climate Data Center, Longview
  14. ^ "Smallpox epidemic ravages Native Americans on the northwest coast of North America in the 1770s."
  15. ^ "Articles on George Washington Bush". City of Tumwater, WA. http://www.ci.tumwater.wa.us/research%20bushTOC.htm. Retrieved 2007-06-15. 
  16. ^ "City of Longview History". City of Longview, WA. http://www.mylongview.com/community/longview_history.html. Retrieved 2009-06-30. 
  17. ^ "Settlers met at Cowlitz Landing and discussed the establishment of a new territory north of the Columbia River". Washington History - Territorial Timeline. Washington Secretary of State. http://www.sos.wa.gov/history/Timeline/detail.aspx?id=205. Retrieved 2010-02-26. 
  18. ^ "Mount St. Helens: Senator Murray Speaks on the 25th Anniversary of the May 18, 1980 Eruption". Senate.gov. http://murray.senate.gov/news.cfm?id=237728. Retrieved 2010-01-08. 
  19. ^ "Mount St. Helens National Volcanic Monument: General Visitor Information". USDA Forest Service. http://www.fs.fed.us/gpnf/04mshnvm/general/index.shtml. Retrieved 2010-01-08. 
  20. ^ http://quickfacts.census.gov/qfd/states/53000.html
  21. ^ "Population and Population Centers by State: 2001". U.S. Census Bureau. http://www.census.gov/geo/www/cenpop/statecenters.txt. Retrieved 2007-06-15. 
  22. ^ "Population in Metropolitan Statistical Areas Ranked by 2000 Census" (PDF). U.S. Census Bureau. http://www.census.gov/population/cen2000/phc-t29/tab01a.pdf. Retrieved 2006-12-17. 
  23. ^ "Immigration Impact: Washington". Federation for American Immigration Reform. 2007. http://www.fairus.org/site/PageServer?pagename=research_research7a1f?&printer_friendly=1. Retrieved 2007-10-07. 
  24. ^ Official April 1, 2009 Washington State Population Estimates | OFM
  25. ^ Pew Forum on Religion & Public Life
  26. ^ http://www.thearda.com/mapsReports/reports/state/53_2000.asp
  27. ^ Religion and Public Life in the Pacific Northwest: The None Zone
  28. ^ http://www.bea.gov/regional/gsp/
  29. ^ "Top 20 Most Admired Companies". Fortune Magazine. http://money.cnn.com/galleries/2007/fortune/0703/gallery.mostadmired_top20.fortune/index.html. Retrieved 2007-06-15. 
  30. ^ "Collection of Retail Sales Tax". Washington State Department of Revenue. http://dor.wa.gov/content/doingbusiness/businesstypes/industry/vets/vets_collection.aspx. Retrieved 2007-10-06. 
  31. ^ http://dor.wa.gov/content/home/TaxTopics/FederalDeductionLSTaxTable.aspx
  32. ^ "Washington State Liquor Control Board". Washington State Liquor Control Board. http://www.liq.wa.gov/default.asp. Retrieved 2007-06-15. 
  33. ^ #1 William Gates III - The World's Billionaires 2009 — Forbes (February 11, 2009). Retrieved 9-13-2009.
  34. ^ [2] Seattle Times September 22, 2006 "No news here ... Gates still richest"
  35. ^ Schotzko, Thomas R.; Granatstein, David (2005), A Brief Look at the Washington Apple Industry: Past and Present, Pullman, WA: Washington State University, p. 1, http://www.agribusiness-mgmt.wsu.edu/agbusresearch/docs/SES04-05_BRIEF_LOOK_WAFTA.pdf, retrieved 2008-05-09 
  36. ^ Lemons, Hoyt; Rayburn, D. Tousley (July 1945). "The Washington Apple Industry. I. Its Geographic Basis". Economic Geograpy (Clark University) 21 (3): 161–162, 166. doi:10.2307/141294. 
  37. ^ WSFLargest_foliov3_May06.indd
  38. ^ King County International Airport/Boeing Field
  39. ^ http://www.landscouncil.org/documents/Newsletters/3%20Spring%2006.pdf
  40. ^ http://www.colorado.edu/conflict/full_text_search/AllCRCDocs/94-54.htm/
  41. ^ November 1994 General
  42. ^ November 1996 General
  43. ^ November 1998 General
  44. ^ Washington State Report Card — Office of Superintendent of Public Instruction. Retrieved 10-6-2009.
  45. ^ Districts and Schools — Office of the Superintendent of Public Instruction. Retrieved 10-6-2009.
  46. ^ About Us — Office of the Superintendent of Public Instruction. Retrieved 10-6-2009.
  47. ^ Running Start — Office of the Superintendent of Public Instruction. Retrieved 10-6-2009.
  48. ^ Senate passes measure designating Walla Walla onion state veggie. Komo 4 Television. April 5, 2007. Retrieved on April 5, 2007.
  49. ^ State Symbols. Washington State Legislature. Retrieved on April 5, 2007
  50. ^ History of the State Seal. Washington Secretary of State. Retrieved on April 5, 2007

External links


Preceded by
Montana
List of U.S. states by date of statehood
Admitted on November 11, 1889 (42nd)
Succeeded by
Idaho

Travel guide

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From Wikitravel

There's more than one place called Washington.

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1911 encyclopedia

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Wiktionary

Up to date as of January 15, 2010

Definition from Wiktionary, a free dictionary

Map of US highlighting the state of Washington

Contents

English

Etymology

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Wikipedia has an article on:
Habitational surname from the Old English place name "settlement of (a person named) Wassa".

Pronunciation

Proper noun

Singular
Washington
Plural
-
Washington
  1. Washington, D.C., the federal capital of the United States since 1800.
  2. (by synecdoche) The government or administrative authority of the United States.
  3. A state of the United States of America. Capital: Olympia.
  4. A town in the county of Tyne and Wear in the Northeast of England.
  5. A surname.
  6. A male given name popular during the first century of American independence, also in the form George Washington.

Quotations

Derived terms

Translations

See also


Italian

Proper noun

Washington
  1. Washington
  2. The letter W in the Italian phonetic alphabet

Tatar

Proper noun

Washington
  1. Washington

References


Genealogy

Up to date as of February 01, 2010

From Familypedia

State of Washington
Flag of Washington State seal of Washington
Flag of Washington SealImage:Wp_globe_tiny.gif
Nickname(s)Image:Wp_globe_tiny.gif: The Evergreen State
Motto(s)Image:Wp_globe_tiny.gif: Alki (Chinook Wawa: "Eventually", or "By and by"[1])
Map of the United States with Washington highlighted
CapitalImage:Wp_globe_tiny.gif Olympia
Largest cityImage:Wp_globe_tiny.gif [[|Seattle, Washington|Seattle]]
AreaImage:Wp_globe_tiny.gif  Ranked 18thImage:Wp_globe_tiny.gif
 - Total 71,342 sq miImage:Wp_globe_tiny.gif
(184,827 km²Image:Wp_globe_tiny.gif)
 - Width 240 miles (400 kmImage:Wp_globe_tiny.gif)
 - Length 360 miles (580 km)
 - % water 6.6
 - Latitude 45° 33′ N to 49° N
 - Longitude 116° 55′ W to 124° 46′ W
PopulationImage:Wp_globe_tiny.gif  Ranked 14thImage:Wp_globe_tiny.gif
 - Total (2000Image:Wp_globe_tiny.gif) 5,894,121
 - DensityImage:Wp_globe_tiny.gif 88.6/sq mi 
34.20/km² (25th)
 - Median incomeImage:Wp_globe_tiny.gif  $53,515 (13th)
ElevationImage:Wp_globe_tiny.gif  
 - Highest point Mount Rainier[2]
14,410 ft  (4,395 m)
 - Mean 1,700 ft  (520 m)
 - Lowest point Pacific Ocean[2]
0 ft  (0 m)
Admission to UnionImage:Wp_globe_tiny.gif  November 11, 1889 (42nd)
GovernorImage:Wp_globe_tiny.gif Christine Gregoire (D)
U.S. SenatorsImage:Wp_globe_tiny.gif Patty Murray (D)
Maria Cantwell (D)
Congressional DelegationImage:Wp_globe_tiny.gif ListImage:Wp_globe_tiny.gif
Time zoneImage:Wp_globe_tiny.gif Pacific: UTC-8/-7
Abbreviations WAImage:Wp_globe_tiny.gif Image:Wp_globe_tiny.gif US-WAImage:Wp_globe_tiny.gif
Web site www.access.wa.gov

Washington (IPA: /ˈwɒʃɪŋtən/) is a state in the Pacific Northwest region of the United States. The state is named after George Washington, the first President of the United States. It is the only U.S. state named after a president.
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. 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 Washington, the U.S. capital.

Contents

Geography

Washington is the northwestern-most state of the contiguous United States. Its northern border lies mainly along the 49th parallel, with the [[Canada|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.[3]
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.
Digitally colored elevation map of Washington.
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. 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.
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,[2] is covered with more glacial ice than any other peak in the lower 48 states.

Federal land and reservations

There are several large military-related reservations, including Fort Lewis, McChord Air Force Base, Naval Base Kitsap, the Hanford Site, and the Yakima Training Center.

Climate

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.
November 2006 Pineapple Express flood, Granite Falls on the Stillaguamish River
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.[4]
Washington enjoys extensive variation in rainfall
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.[5] 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. 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.

History

Mt. Rainier reflected in Reflection lake.
File:Mount Rainier over Tacoma.jpg
Mount Rainier with Tacoma in foreground
For more details on this topic, see History of Washington.
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 whale hunting. In the east, nomadic tribes traveled the land and missionaries such as the Whitmans settled there.
The first European record of a landing on the Washington coast was by [[Spain|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 the Russian possessions in the north for Spain.
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 Spanish Nootka Convention of 1790 opened the northwest territory to explorers and trappers from other nations, most notably Britain and then the United States. 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 its original claims to this territory to the United States. This began a period of disputed joint-occupancy by Britain and the U.S. that lasted until June 15, 1846, when Britain ceded its claims to this land with the Treaty of Oregon.
What was to become Washington state's first family was that of Washington's 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 what is now Tumwater, Washington. They settled in Washington to avoid Oregon's racist settlement laws.[6]
Because of the overland migration along the Oregon Trail, many settlers wandered north to what is now Washington and settled the Puget Sound area. The first settlement was New Market (now known as Tumwater) in 1846. In 1853, Washington Territory was formed from part of Oregon Territory.
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 between 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 in ash, making day look like night.

Demographics

Washington Population Density Map
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.[7]
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.[8] 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.[9]
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).[10]
{{US DemogTable|Washington|03-53.csv|= | 88.64| 4.12| 2.73| 6.75| 0.74|= | 7.00| 0.23| 0.28| 0.15| 0.06|= | 87.65| 4.45| 2.65| 7.69| 0.78|= | 8.16| 0.33| 0.30| 0.20| 0.07|= | 5.49| 15.37| 3.54| 21.57| 12.25|= | 3.88| 13.41| 2.18| 21.11| 11.20|= | 24.32| 47.88| 15.40| 41.33| 24.11}} The six largest reported ancestries in Washington are: German (18.7%), English (12%), Irish (11.4%), Norwegian (6.2%), Mexican (5.6%) and Filipino (3.7%).
There are many migrant Mexican farm workers living in the southeast-central part of the state, though the population is also increasing as laborers in Western Washington.
Washington has the fifth largest Asian population of any state. The Filipino community is the largest Asian American subgroup in the state. Gary Locke was elected as the first Asian American governor at the end of the 20th century.
African Americans are less numerous than Asians or Hispanics in many communities, but have been elected as mayor of Seattle, Spokane and Lakewood and as King County Executive. In Seattle, minorities are moving into the southern part of the city as well as many suburban areas such as South King County. Tacoma also has a rising African-American population.
Washington is the location of many Indian reservations, with some placing prominent casinos next to major interstate highways. Residents have adopted many of the artwork themes of the northwest coast Indians who were noted for totem poles, longhouses, dugout canoes and pictures of animals. Many cities have traditional names created by Native Americans such as Yakima, Seattle, Spokane, Puyallup, and Walla Walla.
6.7% of Washington's population was reported as under 5, 25.7% under 18, and 11.2% were 65 or older. Females made up approximately 50.2% of the population.

Religion

The religious affiliations of Washington's population are:[11]
As with many other Western states, the percentage of Washington's population identifying themselves as "non-religious" is higher than the national average. The percentage of non-religious people in Washington is the highest of any state, and its Christian population is the lowest of any state.[12]

Economy

Reverse side of the Washington quarter
The 2005 total gross state product for Washington was $268.5 billion, placing it 14th in the nation.[13] The per capita income was $42,702, 17th in the nation. Significant business within the state include the design and manufacture of jet aircraft (Boeing), computer software development (Microsoft, Amazon.com, Nintendo of America), electronics, biotechnology, aluminum production, lumber and wood products (Weyerhaeuser), mining, and tourism. The state has significant amounts of hydroelectric power generation. Significant amounts of trade with Asia pass through the ports of the Puget Sound. See list of United States companies by state. Fortune magazine survey of the top 20 Most Admired Companies in the US has 4 Washington based companies in it, Starbucks, Microsoft, Costco and Nordstrom.[14]
The state of Washington has the most regressive tax structure in the U.S. It is one of only seven states that does not levy a personal income tax. The wealthiest one percent of Washington taxpayers pay 3.2% of their income in taxes. The poorest fifth of Washington taxpayers pay 17.6% of their income in taxes.[15] The state also does not collect a corporate income tax. However, Washington businesses are responsible for various other state levies. Washington's state sales tax is 6.5 percent, and it applies to services as well as products.[16] Most foods are exempt from sales tax; however, prepared foods, dietary supplements and soft drinks remain taxable. The combined state and local retail sales tax rates increase the taxes paid by consumers, depending on the variable local sales tax rates, generally between 8 and 9 percent.[17] An excise tax applies to certain select products such as gasoline, cigarettes, and alcoholic beverages. Property tax was the first tax levied in the state of Washington and its collection accounts for about 30 percent of Washington's total state and local revenue. It continues to be the most important revenue source for public schools, fire protection, libraries, parks and recreation, and other special purpose districts.
All real property and personal property is subject to tax unless specifically exempted by law. Personal property also is taxed, although most personal property owned by individuals is exempt. Personal property tax applies to personal property used when conducting business or to other personal property not exempt by law. All property taxes are paid to the county treasurer's office where the property is located. Washington does not impose a tax on intangible assets such as bank accounts, stocks or bonds. Neither does the state assess any tax on retirement income earned and received from another state. Washington does not collect inheritance taxes; however, the estate tax is decoupled from the federal estate tax laws, and therefore the state imposes its own estate tax.
Washington is one of eighteen states which has a government monopoly on sales of alcoholic beverages, although beer and wine with less than 20 percent alcohol by volume can be purchased in convenience stores and supermarkets. Liqueurs (even if under 20 percent alcohol by volume) and spirits can only be purchased in state-run or privately-owned-state-contracted liquor stores.[18]
Bill Gates (worth $59.2 billion), the second wealthiest man in the world, is the best known billionaire from the state.[19] Other Washington state billionaires include Paul Allen (Microsoft), Steve Ballmer (Microsoft), Jeffrey Bezos (Amazon), Craig McCaw (McCaw Cellular), James Jannard (Oakley), Howard Schultz (Starbucks), and Charles Simonyi (Microsoft).[20]

Agriculture

Washington is a leading agricultural state. (The following figures are from the Washington State Office of Financial Management and the Washington Agricultural Statistics Service.)
For 2003, the total value of Washington's agricultural products was $5.79 billion, the 11th highest in the country. The total value of its crops was $3.8 billion, the 7th highest. The total value of its livestock and specialty products was $1.5 billion, the 26th highest.
In 2004, Washington ranked first in the nation in production of red raspberries (90.0% of total U.S. production), wrinkled seed peas (80.6%), hops (75.0%), spearmint oil (73.6%), apples (58.1%), sweet cherries (47.3%), pears (42.6%), peppermint oil (40.3%), Concord grapes (39.3%), carrots for processing (36.8%), and Niagara grapes (31.6%). Washington also ranked second in the nation in production of lentils, fall potatoes, dry edible peas, apricots, grapes (all varieties taken together), asparagus (over a third of the nation's production), sweet corn for processing, and green peas for processing; third in tart cherries, prunes and plums, and dry summer onions; fourth in barley and trout; and fifth in wheat, cranberries, and strawberries.

Transportation

Washington has a system of state highways, called State Routes, as well as an extensive ferry system which is the largest in the nation[21] as well as the third largest in the world. There are 140 public airfields in Washington, including 16 state airports owned by the Washington State Department of Transportation. Boeing Field in Seattle is one of the busiest primary non-hub airports in the US.[22] The unique geography of Washington presents exceptional transportation needs.
There are extensive waterways in the midst of Washington's largest cites, including Seattle, Bellevue, Tacoma and Olympia. The state highways incorporate an extensive network of bridges and the largest ferry system in the United States to serve transportation needs in the Puget Sound area. Washington's marine highway constitutes a fleet of twenty-eight ferries that navigate Puget Sound and its inland waterways to 20 different ports of call. Washington is home of four of the five longest floating bridges in the world: the Evergreen Point Floating Bridge, Lacey V. Murrow Memorial Bridge and Homer M. Hadley Bridge over Lake Washington, and the Hood Canal Bridge which connects the Olympic Peninsula and Kitsap Peninsula.
The Cascade Mountain Range also provides unique transportation challenges. Washington operates and maintains roads over 7 major mountain passes and 8 minor passes. During winter months some of these passes are plowed, sanded, and kept safe with avalanche control. Not all are able to stay open through the winter. The North Cascades Highway on State Route 20 closes every year. This is because of the extraordinary amount of snowfall and frequency of avalanches, leading to it not being safe in the winter months.

Environment

In 2007, Washington became the first state in the nation to target all forms of highly toxic brominated flame retardants known as PBDEs for elimination from the many common household products in which they are used. A 2004 study of 40 mothers from Oregon, Washington, British Columbia, and Montana found PBDEs in the breast milk of every woman tested.
Three recent studies by the Washington Department of Ecology showed that toxic chemicals banned decades ago continue to linger in the environment and concentrate in the food chain. In one of the studies, state government scientists found unacceptable levels of toxic substances in 93 samples of freshwater fish collected from 45 sites. The toxic substances included PCBs; dioxins, two chlorinated pesticides, DDE and dieldrin, and PBDEs. As a result of the study, the department will investigate the sources of PCBs in the Wenatchee River, where unhealthy levels of PCBs were found in mountain whitefish. Based on the 2007 information and a previous 2004 Ecology study, the Washington Department of Health is advising the public not to eat mountain whitefish from the Wenatchee River from Leavenworth downstream to where the river joins the Columbia, due to unhealthy levels of PCBs. Study results also indicated high levels of contaminants in fish tissue that scientists collected from Lake Washington and the Spokane River, where fish consumption advisories are already in effect[2].

Law and government

The bicameral Washington State Legislature is the state's legislative branch. The state legislature is composed of a lower House of Representatives and an upper State Senate. The state is divided into 49 legislative districts of equal population, each of which elects two representatives and one senator. Representatives serve two-year terms, whilst senators serve for four years. There are no term limits. Currently, the Democratic Party holds majorities in both chambers.
Washington's executive branch is headed by a governor elected for a four-year term. The current governor is Christine Gregoire, a Democrat who has been in office since 2005.
The Washington Supreme Court is the highest court in the state. Nine justices serve on the bench and are elected statewide.

U.S. Congress

See also: United States Congressional Delegations from Washington
The two U.S. Senators from Washington are Patty Murray (D) and Maria Cantwell (D).
Washington representatives in the United States House of Representatives are Jay Inslee (D-1), Richard Ray (Rick) Larsen (D-2), Brian Baird (D-3), Doc Hastings (R-4), Cathy McMorris (R-5), Norm Dicks (D-6), Jim McDermott (D-7), David Reichert (R-8), and Adam Smith (D-9).
The Washington State Capitol in Olympia.

State elected officials

Executive

Politics

The state has been thought of as politically divided by the Cascade Mountains, with Western Washington being liberal (particularly the I-5 Corridor) and Eastern Washington being conservative. Lately however, Spokane, the state's second largest city located in Eastern Washington, has been leaning more liberal, with one example being Democrat Maria Cantwell winning by a wide margin in the 2006 senate race against Republican Mike McGavick. Since the population is larger in the west, the Democrats usually fare better statewide. More specifically, the Seattle metro area (especially King County) generally delivers strong Democratic margins, while the outlying areas of Western Washington were nearly tied in both 2000 and 2004. Washington has voted for the Democratic candidate in presidential elections recently in 1988, 1992, 1996, 2000 and 2004. It was considered a key swing state in 1968. In 1968, it was the only Western state to give its electoral votes to Hubert Humphrey. However, this state did participate in the 1994 Republican Revolution, and had the biggest pickup in the house for Republicans at six, making seven of the nine house members Republicans for the state of Washington.[23] However, this dominance held for only four years as the Democrats picked up one seat in the 1996 election[24] and two more in 1998, giving the Democrats a 5-4 majority.[25]
While the Democratic Party has long dominated Washington, the 2004 Washington gubernatorial election was among the closest races in United States election history. The initial count gave Republican candidate Dino Rossi a lead of 261 votes out of a total vote count of 2,805,913, or 0.0093%.[26] Washington law calls for a mandatory machine recount if the difference between the candidates is less than 0.5% and 2,000 votes.[27] The mandatory recount again had Rossi in the lead, but it was now by 42 votes, or 0.0015% of the total 2,808,341 votes included in the first recount.[28] A second recount was done by hand, at the request of the Democratic party as allowed by law. This final recount overturned the initial results and resulted in a lead for Christine Gregoire, the Democratic candidate, of 129 votes, or 0.0045% of the 2,810,058 votes cast.[29] As this second recount was the last allowed for by Washington election law, Gregoire was inaugurated on January 12 2005. The subsequent court battles raged for months after the election. A judge identified 1,678 illegal votes: 745 felons from a Republican list, 647 felons from a Democratic list, 175 mishandled provisional ballots in King County and 77 in Pierce County, six double votes and 19 ballots cast in the name of dead people. These votes were subtracted from the total number of votes, but only five were deducted from individual totals: four from Rossi and one from Libertarian Ruth Bennett. The final official count left Gregoire holding her office by 133 votes.[30]
Washington holds the distinction of being the first and only state in the country to have elected women to all three major statewide offices (Governor Chris Gregoire and U.S. Senators Patty Murray and Maria Cantwell) at the same time.

Education

Colleges and universities

</small>

Community colleges

</small>

Educational Cooperatives

  • Washington School Information Processing Cooperative (WSIPC)

Educational Service Districts

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

Professional sports

Club Sport League City & Stadium
Seattle Seahawks Football National Football League; NFC Seattle, Qwest Field
Seattle Mariners Baseball Major League Baseball; AL Seattle, Safeco Field
Seattle SuperSonics Basketball National Basketball Association Seattle, KeyArena
Seattle Thunderbirds Ice Hockey Western Hockey League Seattle, KeyArena
Seattle Storm Basketball Women's National Basketball Association Seattle, KeyArena
Seattle Sounders Soccer USL First Division (men's)
W-League (women's)
Seattle, Qwest Field
Bellingham Slam Basketball American Basketball Association Bellingham, Whatcom Community College
Bellevue Blackhawks Basketball American Basketball Association Bellevue, Meydenbauer Center
Everett Silvertips Ice Hockey Western Hockey League Everett, Everett Events Center
Spokane Chiefs Ice Hockey Western Hockey League Spokane, Spokane Arena
Tri-City Americans Ice Hockey Western Hockey League Kennewick, Toyota Center
Tri-City Fever Arena Football af2 Kennewick, Toyota Center
Tri-City Dust Devils Baseball Northwest League; A Pasco, Tri-City Stadium
Tacoma Rainiers Baseball Pacific Coast League; AAA Tacoma, Cheney Stadium
Spokane Indians Baseball Northwest League; A Spokane, Avista Stadium
Everett AquaSox Baseball Northwest League; A Everett, Everett Memorial Stadium
Yakima Bears Baseball Northwest League; A Yakima, Yakima County Stadium
Everett Hawks Arena Football af2 Everett, Everett Events Center
Spokane Shock Arena Football af2 Spokane, Spokane Arena
Yakama Sun Kings Basketball Continental Basketball Association Yakima, Yakima Valley SunDome
Old Puget Sound Beach RFC Rugby RSL Seattle, various venues

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.

State symbols

For more details on this topic, see List of Washington state 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[31] 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.[32] The State Seal (featured in the state flag as well) was inspired by the unfinished portrait by Gilbert Stuart.[33]

References

  1. ^ http://www1.leg.wa.gov/Legislature/StateSymbols/
  2. ^ a b c Elevations and Distances in the United States. U.S Geological Survey (29 April 2005). Retrieved on November 9, 2006.
  3. ^ Washington State Constitution, Arcticle XXIV Boundaries
  4. ^ Kruckeberg, Arthur R. (1991). The Natural History of Puget Sound Country. University of Washington Press, 42-43. ISBN 0-295-97477-X. 
  5. ^ Kruckeberg, Arthur R. (1991). The Natural History of Puget Sound Country. University of Washington Press, 42-46. ISBN 0-295-97477-X. 
  6. ^ Articles on George Washington Bush. City of Tumwater, WA. Retrieved on 2007-06-15.
  7. ^ Population and Population Centers by State: 2001. U.S. Census Bureau. Retrieved on 2007-06-15.
  8. ^ Table 4: Cumulative Estimates of the Components of Population Change for the United States, Regions and States: April 1, 2000 to July 1, 2006. U.S. Census Bureau. Retrieved on 2006-12-22.
  9. ^ Population in Metropolitan Statistical Areas Ranked by 2000 Census (PDF). U.S. Census Bureau. Retrieved on 2006-12-17.
  10. ^ Immigration Impact: Washington. Federation for American Immigration Reform (2007). Retrieved on 2007-10-07.
  11. ^ American Religious Identification Survey 2001. The Graduate Center of the City University of New York. Retrieved on 2007-06-15.
  12. ^ Religion and Public Life in the Pacific Northwest: The None Zone
  13. ^ Gross Domestic Product by State, 2005. Bureau of Economic Analysis. Retrieved on 2007-06-15.
  14. ^ Top 20 Most Admired Companies. Fortune Magazine. Retrieved on 2007-06-15.
  15. ^ Washington’s Tax System is the Most Regressive in the Nation. Institute on Taxation and Economic Policy. Retrieved on 2007-07-22.
  16. ^ Collection of Retail Sales Tax. Washington State Department of Revenue. Retrieved on 2007-10-06.
  17. ^ http://dor.wa.gov/content/home/TaxTopics/FederalDeductionLSTaxTable.aspx
  18. ^ Washington State Liquor Control Board. Washington State Liquor Control Board. Retrieved on 2007-06-15.
  19. ^ {{cite news | url=http://www.informationweek.com/news/showArticle.jhtml?articleID=200900492 | title=Bill Gates Passed By Mexican Telecom Tycoon As World's Richest Man | publisher=Information Week | author=Paul McDougall | date=2007-07-05
  20. ^ [1] Seattle Times September 22, 2006 "No news here ... Gates still richest"
  21. ^ http://www.wsdot.wa.gov/ferries/pdf/WSFLargest.pdf
  22. ^ King County International Airport/Boeing Field
  23. ^ November 1994 General
  24. ^ November 1996 General
  25. ^ November 1998 General
  26. ^ 2004 Washington State Initial Gubernatorial Election results
  27. ^ November 5, 2004 Rules for Mandatory Recount
  28. ^ 2004 Washington State Gubernatorial Election 1st Recount Results
  29. ^ 2004 Washington State Gubernatorial Election 2nd Recount Results
  30. ^ Roberts, Gregory, Judge upholds Gregoire's election; Rossi won't appeal Seattle Post Intelligencer, June 6 2005.
  31. ^ Senate passes measure designating Walla Walla onion state veggie. Komo 4 Television. April 5 2007. Retrieved on April 5 2007.
  32. ^ State Symbols. Washington State Legislature. Retrieved on April 5 2007
  33. ^ History of the State Seal. Washington Secretary of State. Retrieved on April 5 2007

External links

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Facts about WashingtonRDF feed
Subdivision of country United States  +

This article uses material from the "Washington" article on the Genealogy wiki at Wikia and is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike License.

Simple English

Washington can also mean Washington, D.C., the capital of the United States of America. Both the city and the state are named after George Washington, the first President of the United States. See Washington (disambiguation) for other uses.
State of Washington
File:Flag of [[File:|100px|State seal of Washington]]
Flag of Washington Seal of Washington
Also called: The Evergreen State
Saying(s): Alki (Chinook Wawa: "Eventually")
[[File:‎|center|Map of the United States with Washington highlighted]]
Official language(s) None
Capital Olympia
Largest city Seattle
Area  Ranked 18
 - Total 71,342 sq mi
(184,824 km²)
 - Width 240 miles (385 km)
 - Length 360 miles (580 km)
 - % water 6.6
 - Latitude 45°32' N to 49°00' N
 - Longitude 116°57' W to 124°48' W
Number of people  Ranked 14th
 - Total (2010) {{{2010Pop}}}
 - Density {{{2010DensityUS}}}/sq mi 
{{{2010Density}}}/km² (25th)
 - Average income  $48,688 (14th)
Height above sea level  
 - Highest point Mount Rainier[1]
14,410 ft  (4,395 m)
 - Average 1,700 ft  (520 m)
 - Lowest point Pacific Ocean[1]
0 ft  (0 m)
Became part of the U.S.  November 11, 1889 (42nd)
Governor Christine Gregoire (D)
U.S. Senators Patty Murray (D)
Maria Cantwell (D)
Time zone Pacific: UTC-8/-7
Abbreviations WA US-WA
Web site www.access.wa.gov

Washington is one of the 50 states in the United States of America. It is north of Oregon, west of Idaho, east of the Pacific Ocean, and south of British Columbia. (British Columbia is part of Canada). There are more than 6,000,000 people in Washington. Most live in the western part of Washington, which gets more rain. About a quarter of the people live in the east part, where it gets less rain, and some parts have a desert climate. The largest city on the east part is Spokane, and it is also the second biggest city in the state. The Cascade Mountains go down the middle of the state and break it into two sides. The state's nickname is the "Evergreen State" because it has a lot of pine trees. Washington was the 42nd state to join the United States, on November 11, 1889.

The capital of Washington is Olympia. Olympia is a small city on the west side of Washington, at the south end of Puget Sound. Washington's biggest city is Seattle, Seattle is also on Puget Sound.

Washington has many beautiful forests, rivers, gorges (gorges are small canyons), and mountains. Because it's next to the ocean, it has a long beach. However, because Washington is north of Oregon and California (the other two states on the West Coast of the United States), the ocean is cold, and usually not good to swim in.

The biggest universities in Washington are the University of Washington and Washington State University. The University of Washington is in Seattle.[2] Washington State University is in a small town called Pullman. Pullman is on the east side of the state.

Lists of Federal land and reservations

National parks and monuments

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 Volcanic Monument
  • Hanford Reach National Monument

National forests

Nine national forests are located (at least partly) in Washington:

  • Colville National Forest
  • Gifford Pinchot National Forest
  • Idaho Panhandle National Forest
  • Kaniksu National Forest
  • Mount Baker-Snoqualmie National Forest
  • Okanogan National Forest
  • Olympic National Forest
  • Umatilla National Forest
  • Wenatchee National Forest

Federally protected wildernesses

31 wildernesses are located (at least partly) in Washington, like:

  • Alpine Lakes Wilderness
  • Glacier Peak Wilderness
  • Goat Rocks Wilderness
  • Henry M. Jackson Wilderness
  • Juniper Dunes Wilderness
  • Lake Chelan-Sawtooth Wilderness
  • Mount Baker Wilderness
  • Norse Peak Wilderness
  • Olympic Wilderness
  • Pasayten Wilderness
  • Wild Sky Wilderness

National wildlife refuges

23 National Wildlife Refuges are located (at least partly) in Washington like:

  • Dungeness National Wildlife Refuge
  • Little Pend Oreille National Wildlife Refuge
  • Nisqually National Wildlife Refuge
  • Ridgefield National Wildlife Refuge
  • Saddle Mountain National Wildlife Refuge
  • San Juan Islands National Wildlife Refuge
  • Turnbull National Wildlife Refuge
  • Willapa National Wildlife Refuge

Other federally protected lands

Other protected lands of note like:

  • Columbia River Gorge National Scenic Area
  • Ebey's Landing National Historical Reserve
  • Fort Vancouver National Historic Site
  • Klondike Gold Rush National Historical Park
  • Lake Chelan National Recreation Area
  • Lake Roosevelt National Recreation Area
  • Ross Lake National Recreation Area
  • San Juan Island National Historical Park
  • Whitman Mission National Historic Site
  • 17 National Natural Landmarks

Military and related reservations

There are many large military-related reservations, like:

  • Fort Lewis
  • McChord Air Force Base
  • Fairchild Air Force Base
  • Naval Base Kitsap
  • Hanford Site
  • Yakima Training Center
  • Puget Sound Naval Shipyard and Intermediate Maintenance Facility (Bremerton)
  • Naval Air Station Whidbey Island
  • Naval Station Everett

References

frr:Washington


Citable sentences

Up to date as of December 13, 2010

Here are sentences from other pages on Seattle, which are similar to those in the above article.








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