Washington (state)

Washington
State of Washington
Nickname(s): 
"The Evergreen State" (unofficial)[1]
Motto(s): 
Al-ki or Alki, "by and by" 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)
CapitalOlympia
Largest citySeattle
Largest metroGreater Seattle
Government
 • GovernorJay Inslee (D)
 • Lieutenant GovernorDenny Heck (D)
LegislatureState Legislature
 • Upper houseState Senate
 • Lower houseHouse of Representatives
JudiciaryWashington Supreme Court
U.S. senatorsPatty Murray (D)
Maria Cantwell (D)
U.S. House delegation7 Democrats
3 Republicans (list)
Area
 • Total71,362 sq mi (184,827 km2)
 • Land66,544 sq mi (172,587 km2)
 • Water4,757 sq mi (12,237 km2)  6.6%
Area rank18th
Dimensions
 • Length240 mi (400 km)
 • Width360 mi (580 km)
Elevation
1,700 ft (520 m)
Highest elevation14,411 ft (4,392 m)
Lowest elevation
(Pacific Ocean)
0 ft (0 m)
Population
 (2020)
 • Total7,705,281[2]
 • Rank13th
 • Density103/sq mi (39.6/km2)
 • Density rank25th
 • Median household income
$70,979 (2,017)[3]
 • Income rank
11th[3]
Demonym(s)Washingtonian
Language
 • Official languageNone (de jure)
English (de facto)
Time zoneUTC−08:00 (Pacific)
 • Summer (DST)UTC−07:00 (PDT)
USPS abbreviation
WA
ISO 3166 codeUS-WA
Traditional abbreviationWash.
Latitude45°33′ N to 49° N
Longitude116°55′ W to 124°46′ W
Websiteaccess.wa.gov
Washington state symbols
Flag of Washington.svg
Seal of Washington.svg
Living insignia
AmphibianPacific chorus frog
BirdAmerican goldfinch
FishSteelhead trout
FlowerRhododendron
GrassBluebunch wheatgrass
InsectGreen Darner
MammalOlympic marmot/Orca
TreeWestern Hemlock
Inanimate insignia
DanceSquare dance
FoodApple
GemstonePetrified wood
ShipLady Washington
SoilTokul
TartanWashington state tartan
OtherVegetable: Sweet onion
State route marker
Washington state route marker
State quarter
Washington quarter dollar coin
Released in 2007
Lists of United States state symbols

Washington (/ˈwɒʃɪŋtən/ (About this soundlisten)), officially the State of Washington, is a state in the Pacific Northwest region of the Western United States. Named for George Washington, the first U.S. president, the state was made out of the western part of the Washington Territory, which was ceded by the British Empire in 1846, in accordance with the Oregon Treaty in the settlement of the Oregon boundary dispute. The state, which is bordered on the west by the Pacific Ocean, Oregon to the south, Idaho to the east, and the Canadian province of British Columbia to the north, was admitted to the Union as the 42nd state in 1889. Olympia is the state capital; the state's largest city is Seattle. Washington is often referred to as Washington state to distinguish it from the nation's capital, Washington, D.C.

Washington is the 18th largest state, with an area of 71,362 square miles (184,827 km2), and the 13th most populous state, with more than 7.7 million people. Approximately 60 percent of Washington's residents live in the Seattle metropolitan area, the center of transportation, business, and industry along Puget Sound, an inlet of the Pacific Ocean consisting of numerous islands, deep fjords, and bays carved out by glaciers. The remainder of the state consists of deep temperate rainforests in the west; mountain ranges in the west, central, northeast, and far southeast; and a semi-arid basin region in the east, central, and south, given over to intensive agriculture. Washington is the second most populous state on the West Coast and in the Western United States, after California. Mount Rainier, an active stratovolcano, is the state's highest elevation, at almost 14,411 feet (4,392 meters), and is the most topographically prominent mountain in the contiguous U.S.

Washington is a leading lumber producer; its rugged surface is rich in stands of Douglas fir, hemlock, ponderosa pine, white pine, spruce, larch, and cedar. Washington is the nation's largest producer of apples, hops, pears, red raspberries, spearmint oil, and sweet cherries, and ranks high in the production of apricots, asparagus, dry edible peas, grapes, lentils, peppermint oil, and potatoes. Livestock and livestock products make important contributions to total farm revenue, and the commercial fishing of salmon, halibut, and bottomfish makes a significant contribution to the state's economy. Washington ranks second only to California in wine production.

Manufacturing industries in Washington include aircraft and missiles, shipbuilding, and other transportation equipment, food processing, metals and metal products, chemicals, and machinery. Washington has more than a thousand dams, including the Grand Coulee Dam, built for a variety of purposes including irrigation, power, flood control, and water storage.

Washington is one of the wealthiest and most socially liberal states in the country.[4] The state consistently ranks among the best for life expectancy and low unemployment.[5] Along with Colorado, Washington was one of the first to legalize medicinal and recreational cannabis, was among the first thirty-six states to legalize same-sex marriage, doing so in 2012, and was one of only four U.S. states to have been providing legal abortions on request before the 1973 Supreme Court decision in Roe v. Wade loosened abortion laws nationwide. Similarly, Washington voters approved a 2008 referendum on legalization of physician-assisted suicide, and is currently one of nine states, along with the District of Columbia to have legalized the practice.

  1. ^ Cite error: The named reference [email protected] was invoked but never defined (see the help page).
  2. ^ "Table 2. Resident Population for the 50 States, the District of Columbia, and Puerto Rico: 2020 Census" (PDF). United States Census Bureau. April 26, 2021. Retrieved April 26, 2021.
  3. ^ a b Cite error: The named reference 2015CensusH8 was invoked but never defined (see the help page).
  4. ^ "Liberals outnumber conservatives for first time in Washington state, Gallup poll shows". The Seattle Times. February 27, 2018. Retrieved May 28, 2020.
  5. ^ "America's best states to live in, ranked". USA Today. Archived from the original on November 7, 2018. Retrieved November 9, 2018.