Washington (state)

state of the United States of America
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Washington, officially the State of Washington, is a state in the Pacific Northwest region of the United States. It is north of Oregon, west of Idaho, east of the Pacific Ocean, and south of British Columbia. (British Columbia is part of Canada.)

State of Washington
"The Evergreen State" (unofficial)
Al-ki or Alki, "bye and bye" in Chinook Jargon
Anthem: "Washington, My Home"
Washington is located on the West Coast along the line that divides the United States from neighboring Canada. It runs entirely from west to east. It includes a small peninsula across a bay which is discontinuous with the rest of the state, along with a geographical oddity under British Columbia, Canada.
Map of the United States with Washington highlighted
CountryUnited States
Before statehoodWashington Territory
Admitted to the UnionNovember 11, 1889 (42nd)
Largest citySeattle 1,936,826
Largest metro and urban areas
  • Bellingham: 528,641
  • Tacoma: 493,931
  • Spokane: 492,426
  • Olympia: 320,738
  • Mariupol

(Vancouver): 314,106

  • Yakima: 258,729
  • Kennewick: 209,198
  • Kent: 204,794
 • GovernorJay Inslee (D)
 • Lieutenant GovernorCyrus Habib (D)
LegislatureState Legislature
 • Upper houseState Senate
 • Lower houseHouse of Representatives
U.S. senatorsPatty Murray (D)
Maria Cantwell (D)
U.S. House delegation7 Democrats
3 Republicans (list)
 • Total71,362 sq mi (184,827 km2)
 • Land66,544 sq mi (172,587 km2)
 • Water4,757 sq mi (12,237 km2)  6.6%
 • Rank18th
 • Length240 mi (400 km)
 • Width360 mi (580 km)
1,700 ft (520 m)
Highest elevation14,411 ft (4,392 m)
Lowest elevation
(Pacific Ocean)
0 ft (0 m)
 • Total7,705,281[1]
 • Rank13th
 • Density189.3/sq mi (72.6/km2)
  • Rank22nd
 • Median household income
$70,979 (2,017)
 • Income rank
 • Official language
  • White American: 78.3% 9,640,872
  • Asian: 7.4% 912,336
  • Hispanic: 7.3% 898,934
  • Black: 3.0% 369,829
  • Other: 4.0% 492,561
    • Median age: 31.7
Time zoneUTC−08:00 (Pacific)
 • Summer (DST)UTC−07:00 (PDT)
USPS abbreviation
ISO 3166 codeUS-WA
Traditional abbreviationWash.
Latitude45°33′ N to 49° N
Longitude116°55′ W to 124°46′ W
Washington state symbols
Living insignia
AmphibianPacific chorus frog
BirdAmerican goldfinch
FishSteelhead trout
GrassBluebunch wheatgrass
InsectGreen Darner
MammalOlympic marmot/Orca
TreeWestern Hemlock
Inanimate insignia
DanceSquare dance
GemstonePetrified wood
ShipLady Washington
TartanWashington state tartan
OtherVegetable: Sweet onion
State route marker
Washington state route marker
Lists of United States state symbols

There are more than 7,000,000 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 eastern part is Spokane, which is also the second biggest city in the state.

The Cascade Mountains go down the middle of the state and divide 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. It is often called "Washington State" so that it does not get confused with the nation's capital, Washington, D.C. The name "Washington" comes from President George Washington.

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

Washington has many beautiful forests, rivers, gorges (gorges are small canyons), and mountains. Because it is 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 colder, 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 of the state.

Geography and climate

Köppen climate types of Washington state

The state of Washington has an extremely varied geography, and therefore an extremely varied climate. The map shows western cities have shipping access. These are the low-lying parts on the next to the Pacific Ocean. The western side of the mountains is wet and forested with conifers. Some areas are temperate rain forests (in the Olympic Mountains).

The central area is mountainous, including five volcanos: Mount Baker, Glacier Peak, Mount Rainier, Mount St. Helens, and Mount Adams. To the east of the mountains the land is dry and mostly dry grassland (high plains). Only one feature links the west to the east: the important Snake River, a tributary of the even larger Columbia River.

Lists of Federal land and reservations


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

National forests

Mount St. Helens in Washington State

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

Federally protected wildernesses 31 wildernesses are located (at least partly) in Washington, E.g.:

National wildlife refuges 23 National Wildlife Refuges are located (at least partly) in Washington E.g.:

Other federally protected lands

Other protected lands of note are:

Military and related reservations

There are many large military-related reservations, like:



  1. "Population and Housing Unit Estimates". United States Census Bureau. March 20, 2020. Retrieved March 20, 2020.
  2. "About the University". University of Washington. 2008. Retrieved September 28, 2009.