Washington Gazetteer

Washington - Basic Information

Became a State: November 11, 1889 - 42nd State
Population: 6,724,540 (2010 Census) - Ranks 13rd
Land Area: 66,455.5 square miles - Ranks 20th
Population Density: 101.2 persons per square mile - Ranks 25th
Housing Units: 2,885,677 (2010 Census)
Housing Unit Density: 43.4 housing units per square mile
July 1, 2014 Estimates: Washington Data and Demographics
State Capital: Olympia
State Website: Official State of Washington Website
Washington State Flag
Washington state flag

Washington History

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The United States acquired the area of Washington through a treaty with Great Britain in 1846. Washington Territory was organized from part of Oregon Territory on March 2, 1853; it included all of present-day Washington, northern Idaho, and northwestern Montana. In 1859, when Oregon was admitted as a state, the remainder of Oregon Territory the rest of Idaho, additional area of Montana, and part of Wyoming was added to Washington Territory. Washington Territory assumed generally the same boundary as the present state when Idaho Territory was organized in 1863. Washington was admitted to the Union on November 11, 1889, as the 42nd state.

Although the territory had not yet been legally established, census data for Washington are available beginning with the 1850 census. The 1850 and 1860 populations are for the entire territory as legally established in 1859, when it included all of Idaho and part of Montana and Wyoming. The population of the entire legally established Oregon Territory (of which the area of Washington was a part) in 1850 was 13,294.

Data for the legally established state of Washington are available beginning with the 1890 census.

Washington Geographical Areas

See: Geographic Terms & Concepts

Counties & County Equivalents

There are 39 counties in Washington.  All counties are functioning governmental units, each governed by a board of county commissioners except for Clallam, King, Pierce, Snohomish, and Whatcom Counties which are each governed by a county council.  Six counties, Clallam, King, Pierce, San Juan, Snohomish, and Whatcom, have Home Rule Charters, which among other things, give the counties broad planning powers.

County Subdivisions

There are 242 county subdivisions in Washington. They are all census county divisions (CCDs), which are delineated for statistical purposes, have no legal function, and are not governmental units.  CCDs were first established in Washington for the 1950 census.  Prior to 1950, the minor civil divisions included election precincts, townships and/or land survey townships, and American Indian reservations.

Places (Incorporated Cities, Towns & Census Designated Places (CDPs))

Washington has 628 places, 281 incorporated places and 347 census designated places (CDPs).  The incorporated places consist of 208 cities and 73 towns.  A minimum population of 3,000 is required for incorporation if the new entity is within 5 air miles of the boundary of a city with a population of 15,000 or more. 

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Alphabetical List of Cities, Towns, CDPs and Other Populated Places
A | B | C | D | E | F | G | H | I | J | K | L | M | N | O | P | Q, R | S | T | U, V | W, X, Y, Z

Washington Civil Features

Washington Civil Features: Political Subdivisions, Native Areas, Land Grants, etc. - sorted by Census Class Codes.

Metropolitan and Micropolitan Stastical Areas

There are 11 Metropolitan and 9 Micropolitan Statistical Areas in Washington. WA Metopolitan & Micropolitan Areas

Washington ZIP Code Tabulation Areas

There are 598 ZIP Code tabulation areas (ZCTAs) in Washington. View Washington ZIP Codes and ZIP Code Maps.

School Districts

Washington has 295 unified school districts. View Washington Public and Private Schools.

Congressional Districts

For the 111th Congress (January 2009-January 2011), Washington had nine congressional districts.  For the 113th Congress (January 2013-January 2015), Washington has ten congressional districts as a result of reapportionment based on the 2010 Census. View Map of Washington Congressional Districts.

State Legislative Districts

There are 49 state senate districts and 49 state house districts in Washington.

American Indian Areas

Washington has 27 federally recognized American Indian reservations, 15 with off-reservation trust land.  There is also one tribal designated statistical area (TDSA).

Washington Physical, Cultural and Historic Features

  1. Washington Physical Features such as lakes, islands, streams, valleys, summits, etc.
  2. Washington Cultural Features such as schools, churches, hospitals, parks, dams, reservoirs, etc.
  3. Washington Historical Features and Washington Historic Landmarks

Washington Maps

  • To find a ZIP Code: input the address in the top-left search box of any ZIP Code Map.
  • To find the County: input the address in the top-left search box of the interactive WA map.
  • To find the School Attendance Zone: input the address in the top-left search box of any WA school map

Washington Census Data Comparison Tool

Compare Selected Washington Census Data Data: Population,   Population Density,   Diversity Index,   Median Household Incomes,   Per Capita Income
Locations: Cites & Towns,   Counties,   ZIP Codes
Highest or Lowest: Show Highest Values,   Show Lowest Values
Results: Show 20 Results,   Show 200 Results
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