WashingtonFor the capital city of the United States, see Washington, D.C.. For other uses, see Washington (disambiguation). State of Washington Flag of WashingtonSealNickname(s): The Evergreen State Motto(s): Alki (Chinook Wawa: "Eventually", or "By and by")
(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 6,468,424 - Density 88.6/sq mi
34.20/km² (25th in the US) - Median income $53,515 (13th) Elevation - Highest point Mount Rainier
14,410 ft (4,395 m) - Mean 1,700 ft (520 m) - Lowest point Pacific Ocean
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) Congressional Delegation List Time zone Pacific: UTC-8/-7 Abbreviations WA US-WA Website www.access.wa.gov
Washington (IPA: /ˈwɒʃɪŋtən/) is a state in the Pacific Northwest region of the United States. Washington was carved out of the western part of Washington Territory and admitted to the Union as the 42nd state in 1889. In 2006, the Census Bureau estimated the state's population at 6,395,798.
Named after George Washington, it is the only U.S. state named after a president. 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, D.C., the U.S. capital.
- 1 Geography
- 2 History
- 3 Demographics
- 4 Economy
- 5 Transportation
- 6 Toxic chemicals
- 7 Law and government
- 8 Education
- 9 Professional sports
- 10 Miscellaneous topics
- 11 See also
- 12 References
- 13 External links
Washington is the northwestern-most state of the contiguous United States. Its northern border lies mainly along the 49th parallel, 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.
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 (178 mm) . Farther east, the climate becomes less arid. The Palouse region of southeast Washington was grassland that has been mostly converted into farmland. Other parts of eastern Washington are forested and mountainous.
The Cascade Range contains several volcanoes, which reach altitudes significantly higher than the rest of the mountains. From the north to the south these volcanoes are Mount Baker, Glacier Peak, Mount Rainier, Mount St. Helens, and Mount Adams. Mount St. Helens is currently the only Washington volcano that is actively erupting; however, all of them are considered active volcanoes. Nestled amongst the hills are the Galena chain lakes.
Washington's position on the Pacific Ocean and the harbors of Puget Sound give the state a leading role in maritime trade with Alaska, Canada, and the Pacific Rim. Puget Sound's many islands are served by the largest ferry fleet in the United States.
Washington is a land of contrasts. The deep forests of the Olympic Peninsula, such as the Hoh Rain Forest, are among the only temperate rainforests in the continental United States, but the semi-desert east of the Cascade Range has few trees. Mount Rainier, the highest mountain in the state, is covered with more glacial ice than any other peak in the lower 48 states.
Federal land and reservations
There are three national parks in Washington, Mount Rainier National Park, North Cascades National Park, and Olympic National Park and two National Monuments, Mount St. Helens National Monument and Hanford Reach National Monument.
National forests in the state include Colville National Forest, Gifford Pinchot National Forest, Mount Baker-Snoqualmie National Forest, Okanogan National Forest, Olympic National Forest, and Wenatchee National Forest, among others.
Other protected lands of note include Columbia River Gorge National Scenic Area, Lake Chelan National Recreation Area, Mount St. Helens National Volcanic Monument, Ross Lake National Recreation Area, Lake Roosevelt National Recreation Area, Fort Vancouver National Historic Site, among others administered by the National Park Service.
There are many wilderness designated areas in Washington, including Alpine Lakes Wilderness, Glacier Peak Wilderness, Goat Rocks Wilderness, Henry M. Jackson Wilderness, Norse Peak Wilderness, Mount Baker Wilderness, Pasayten Wilderness, Olympic Wilderness, and many others.
Washington's climate varies greatly from west to east. An oceanic climate (also called "marine west coast climate") predominates in western Washington, and a much drier climate prevails east of the Cascade Range. Major factors determining Washington's climate include the large semi-permanent high pressure and low pressure systems of the north Pacific Ocean, the continental air masses of North America, and the Olympic and Cascade mountains. In the spring and summer, a high pressure anticyclone system dominates the north Pacific Ocean, causing air to spiral out in a clockwise fashion. For Washington this means prevailing winds from the northwest bringing relatively cool air and a predictably dry season. In the autumn and winter, a low pressure cyclone system takes over in the north Pacific Ocean, with air spiraling inward in a counter-clockwise fashion. This causes Washington's prevailing winds to come from the southwest, bringing relatively warm and moist air masses and a predictably wet season. The term Pineapple Express is used to describe the extreme form of this wet season pattern.
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.
Rain shadow effectsWashington 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. The San Juan Islands and the city of Sequim are known for their dry climate compared to the rest of the coastal region. The Olympic rain shadow extends into Canada. Terms like "Mediterranean", "sub-Mediterranean", and "modified Mediterranean" are sometimes used to describe the Olympic rainshadow region even though it is quite different from the standard "Mediterranean" climate. The terms are mainly used to indicate a climate with wet winters and dry summers with regular drought conditions.
The Cascade Range forms a larger barrier than the Olympics and has a correspondingly stronger orographic effect. While the Puget Sound lowlands are known for clouds and rain in the winter, the western slopes of the Cascades receive larger amounts of precipitation, often falling as snow at higher elevations. (Mount Baker, near the state's northern border, is one of the snowiest places in the world: in 1999, it set the world record for snowfall in a single season. (1,140 inches/95 feet/2,896 cm) .) 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.
- Main article: 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 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. American captain Robert Gray (for whom Grays Harbor County is named) then discovered the mouth of the Columbia River. He named the river after his ship, the Columbia. Beginning in 1792, Gray established trade in sea otter pelts. The Lewis and Clark Expedition entered the state on October 10, 1805.
In 1819, Spain ceded their 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 their claims to this land with the Treaty of Oregon.
In 1836, a group of missionaries including Marcus Whitman established several missions and Whitman’s own settlement Waiilatpu, in what is now southeastern Washington state, near present day Walla Walla, in territory of both the Cayuse and the Nez Percé Indian tribes. Whitman’s settlement would in 1843 help the Oregon Trail, the overland emigration route to the west, get established for thousands of emigrants in following decades. Marcus provided medical care for the Native Americans, but when Indian patients – lacking immunity to new, ‘European’ diseases - died in striking numbers, while at the same time many white patients recovered, they held ‘medicine man’ Marcus Whitman personally responsible, and murdered Whitman and twelve other white settlers in the Whitman massacre in 1847. This event triggered the Cayuse War between settlers and Indians.
The first settlement in the Puget Sound area in the west of what is now Washington, was that of 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 New Market, now known as Tumwater, Washington, in 1846. They settled in Washington to avoid Oregon's racist settlement laws. After them, many more settlers, migrating overland along the Oregon trail, wandered north to settle in the Puget Sound area.
Early prominent industries in the state included agriculture and lumber. In eastern Washington, the Yakima Valley became known for its apple orchards, while the growth of wheat using dry-farming techniques became particularly productive. The heavy rainfall to the west of the Cascade Range produced dense forests, and the ports along Puget Sound prospered from the manufacturing and shipping of lumber products, particularly the Douglas fir. Other industries that developed in the state include fishing, salmon canning and mining.
For a long period, Tacoma was noted for its large smelters where gold, silver, copper and lead ores were treated. Seattle was the primary port for trade with Alaska and the rest of the country, and for a time it possessed a large shipbuilding industry. The region around eastern Puget Sound developed heavy industry during the period including World War I and World War II, and the Boeing company became an established icon in the area.
During the Great Depression, a series of hydroelectric dams were constructed along the Columbia river as part of a project to increase the production of electricity. This culminated in 1941 with the completion of the Grand Coulee Dam, the largest concrete structure in the United States.
During World War II, the state became a focus for war industries, with the Boeing Company producing many of the nation's heavy bombers and ports in Seattle, Bremerton, Vancouver, and Tacoma were available for the manufacture of warships. Seattle was the point of departure for many soldiers in the Pacific, a number of which were quartered at Golden Gardens Park. In eastern Washington, the Hanford Works atomic energy plant was opened in 1943 and played a major role in the construction of the nation's atomic bombs.
On May 18, 1980, following a period of heavy tremors and eruptions, the northeast face of Mount St. Helens exploded outward, destroying a large part of the top of the volcano. This eruption flattened the forests, killed 57 people, flooded the Columbia River and its tributaries with ash and mud, and blanketed large parts of Washington and other surrounding states in ash, making day look like night.
DemographicsHistorical populations Census Pop. %± 18501,201 — 186011,594 865.4% 187023,955 106.6% 188075,116 213.6% 1890357,232 375.6% 1900518,103 45.0% 19101,141,990 120.4% 19201,356,621 18.8% 19301,563,396 15.2% 19401,736,191 11.1% 19502,378,963 37.0% 19602,853,214 19.9% 19703,409,169 19.5% 19804,132,156 21.2% 19904,866,692 17.8% 20005,894,121 21.1%
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. 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.
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).
- See also: List of cities in Washington
The largest cities in Washington according to 2007 state census
RaceDemographics of Washington (csv)By raceWhite 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
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 (and so far, the only Chinese American governor of any US state) 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 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.
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.
The religious affiliations of Washington's population are:
- Christian – 63%
- Latter-day Saint – 3%
- Other Religions – 5%
- Refused – 6%
- No religion – 25%
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.
EconomyMicrosoft Corporation, Redmond Starbucks Headquarters, Seattle.
The 2005 total gross state product for Washington was $268.5 billion, placing it 14th in the nation. 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.
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. 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.
Washington's state sales tax is 6.5 percent, and it applies to services as well as products. 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. 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.
Bill Gates (worth $59.2 billion), the second wealthiest man in the world, is the best known billionaire from the state. 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).
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. Two areas account for the vast majority of the state's apple crop: the Wenatchee–Okanogan region (comprised of Chelan, Okanogan, Douglas, and Grant counties), and the Yakima region (Yakima, Benton and Kittitas counties).
Washington has a system of state highways, called State Routes, as well as an extensive ferry system which is the largest in the nation 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. 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 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 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.
Toxic chemicalsReverse side of the Washington quarter
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.
Law and government
- See also: :Category:Government of Washington
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.
The Washington Supreme Court is the highest court in the state. Nine justices serve on the bench and are elected statewide.
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 (R-5), Norm Dicks (D-6), Jim McDermott (D-7), David Reichert (R-8), and Adam Smith (D-9).
State elected officials
- Christine Gregoire, Governor (D)
- Brad Owen, Lieutenant Governor (D)
- Sam Reed, Secretary of State (R)
- Rob McKenna, Attorney General (R)
- Mike Murphy, Treasurer (D)
- Brian Sonntag, Auditor (D)
- Terry Bergeson, Superintendent of Public Instruction (non partisan office)
- Doug Sutherland, Commissioner of Public Lands (R)
- Mike Kreidler, Insurance Commissioner (D)
PoliticsPresidential elections results Year RepublicanDemocratic200445.59% 1,304,893 52.82% 1,510,201 200044.59% 1,108,864 50.21% 1,247,652 199637.32% 840,712 49.81% 1,123,323 199231.99% 731,234 43.41% 993,037 198847.97% 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 candidate 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 Hubert Humphrey (D). However, this state did participate in 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. But this dominance didn't last for long as Democrats picked up one seat in the 1996 election and two more in 1998, giving the Democrats a 5-4 majority.
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%. 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. Another recount was done by hand, at the request of the Democratic party as allowed by law. 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. However, The final recount resulted in a win for Christine Gregoire, the Democrat candidate, by 0.0045% of the 2,810,058 votes cast. Govenor Gregoire was inaugurated on January 12, 2005. The subsequent court battles raged on for months after the election, but the official count left Gregoire holding office.
Washington is 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.
Colleges and universities
- Central Washington University
- Eastern Washington University
- The Evergreen State College
- University of Washington
- Washington State University
- Western Washington University
- Antioch University Seattle
- Argosy University/Seattle
- Art Institute of Seattle
- Bastyr University
- City University of Seattle
- Cornish College of the Arts
- DeVry University
- DigiPen Institute of Technology
- Gonzaga University
- Henry Cogswell College
- Heritage College
- Northwest University
- Pacific Lutheran University
- St. Martin's University
- School of Visual Concepts
- Seattle Bible College
- Seattle Institute of Oriental Medicine
- Seattle Pacific University
- Seattle University
- Trinity Lutheran College
- University of Puget Sound
- Walla Walla University
- Whitman College
- Whitworth College
- Bates Technical College
- Bellevue Community College
- Bellingham Technical College
- Big Bend Community College
- Cascadia Community College
- Centralia College
- Clark College
- Clover Park Technical College
- Columbia Basin College
- Edmonds Community College
- Everett Community College
- Grays Harbor College
- Green River Community College
- Highline Community College
- Lake Washington Technical College
- Lower Columbia College
- Olympic College
- Peninsula College
- Pierce College
- Renton Technical College
- Seattle Community College District
- Shoreline Community College
- Skagit Valley College
- South Puget Sound Community College
- Spokane Community College
- Spokane Falls Community College
- Tacoma Community College
- Walla Walla Community College
- Wenatchee Valley College
- Whatcom Community College
- Yakima Valley Community College
- Washington School Information Processing Cooperative (WSIPC)
- ESD 101
- ESD 105
- ESD 112
- ESD 113
- ESD 114
- ESD 121
- ESD 123
- ESD 171
- ESD 189
Professional sportsClub Sport League City & Stadium Seattle SeahawksFootballNational Football League; NFCSeattle, Qwest FieldSeattle MarinersBaseballMajor League Baseball; ALSeattle, Safeco FieldSeattle SuperSonicsBasketballNational Basketball AssociationSeattle, KeyArenaSeattle ThunderbirdsIce HockeyWestern Hockey LeagueSeattle, KeyArena Seattle StormBasketball Women's National Basketball AssociationSeattle, KeyArena Seattle Sounders FCSoccerMajor League SoccerSeattle, Qwest Field Seattle SoundersSoccer USL First Division(men's)
W-League(women's) Seattle, Qwest Field Bellingham SlamBasketball American Basketball AssociationBellingham, Whatcom Community College Bellevue BlackhawksBasketball American Basketball AssociationBellevue, Meydenbauer CenterEverett SilvertipsIce Hockey Western Hockey League Everett, Everett Events CenterSpokane ChiefsIce Hockey Western Hockey League Spokane, Spokane ArenaTri-City AmericansIce Hockey Western Hockey League Kennewick, Toyota CenterTri-City FeverArena Footballaf2Kennewick, Toyota Center Tri-City Dust DevilsBaseball Northwest League; APasco, Dust Devils StadiumTacoma RainiersBaseball Pacific Coast League; AAATacoma, Cheney StadiumSpokane IndiansBaseball Northwest League; A Spokane, Avista StadiumEverett AquaSoxBaseball Northwest League; A Everett, Everett Memorial StadiumYakima BearsBaseball Northwest League; A Yakima, Yakima County StadiumSpokane ShockArena Footballaf2Spokane, Spokane ArenaYakama Sun KingsBasketball Continental Basketball AssociationYakima, Yakima Valley SunDomeOld Puget Sound Beach RFCRugby RSLSeattle, various venues
- Main article: 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 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. The State Seal (featured in the state flag as well) was inspired by the unfinished portrait by Gilbert Stuart.
See alsoWashington Portal
- ^ State Symbols
- ^ a b c Elevations and Distances in the United States. U.S Geological Survey (29 April 2005). Retrieved on November 9, 2006.
- ^ Washington State Constitution, Article XXIV Boundaries
- ^ Kruckeberg, Arthur R. (1991). The Natural History of Puget Sound Country. University of Washington Press, 42-43. ISBN 0-295-97477-X.
- ^ Climate Change - Economic Impacts
- ^ Kruckeberg, Arthur R. (1991). The Natural History of Puget Sound Country. University of Washington Press, 42-46. ISBN 0-295-97477-X.
- ^ Articles on George Washington Bush. City of Tumwater, WA. Retrieved on 2007-06-15.
- ^ Population and Population Centers by State: 2001. U.S. Census Bureau. Retrieved on 2007-06-15.
- ^ 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.
- ^ Population in Metropolitan Statistical Areas Ranked by 2000 Census (PDF). U.S. Census Bureau. Retrieved on 2006-12-17.
- ^ Immigration Impact: Washington. Federation for American Immigration Reform (2007). Retrieved on 2007-10-07.
- ^ Official April 1, 2007 Washington State Population Estimates | OFM
- ^ American Religious Identification Survey 2001. The Graduate Center of the City University of New York. Retrieved on 2007-06-15.
- ^ Religion and Public Life in the Pacific Northwest: The None Zone
- ^ Gross Domestic Product by State, 2005. Bureau of Economic Analysis. Retrieved on 2007-06-15.
- ^ Top 20 Most Admired Companies. Fortune Magazine. Retrieved on 2007-06-15.
- ^ Washington’s Tax System is the Most Regressive in the Nation. Institute on Taxation and Economic Policy. Retrieved on 2007-07-22.
- ^ Collection of Retail Sales Tax. Washington State Department of Revenue. Retrieved on 2007-10-06.
- ^ http://dor.wa.gov/content/home/TaxTopics/FederalDeductionLSTaxTable.aspx
- ^ Washington State Liquor Control Board. Washington State Liquor Control Board. Retrieved on 2007-06-15.
- ^ Paul McDougall. "Bill Gates Passed By Mexican Telecom Tycoon As World's Richest Man", Information Week, 2007-07-05. Retrieved on 2007-07-05.
- ^  Seattle Times September 22, 2006 "No news here ... Gates still richest"
- ^ 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 on 9 May 2008
- ^ Lemons, Hoyt; Rayburn, D. Tousley (July 1945). "The Washington Apple Industry. I. Its Geographic Basis". Economic Geograpy 21 (3): 161-162, 166. Clark University.
- ^ WSFLargest_foliov3_May06.indd
- ^ King County International Airport/Boeing Field
- ^ November 1994 General
- ^ November 1996 General
- ^ November 1998 General
- ^ 2004 Washington State Initial Gubernatorial Election results
- ^ 2004 Washington State Gubernatorial Election 1st Recount Results
- ^ 2004 Washington State Gubernatorial Election 2nd Recount Results
- ^ Roberts, Gregory, Judge upholds Gregoire's election; Rossi won't appeal Seattle Post Intelligencer, June 6, 2005.
- ^ Senate passes measure designating Walla Walla onion state veggie. Komo 4 Television. April 5, 2007. Retrieved on April 5, 2007.
- ^ State Symbols. Washington State Legislature. Retrieved on April 5, 2007
- ^ History of the State Seal. Washington Secretary of State. Retrieved on April 5, 2007
External linksFind more about Washington on Wikipedia's sister projects: Dictionary definitionsTextbooksQuotationsSource textsImages and mediaNews storiesLearning resources
- State of Washington website
- Washington State Databases - Annotated list of searchable databases produced by Washington state agencies and compiled by the Government Documents Roundtable of the American Library Association.
- Secretary of State's Washington History website
- Constitution of the State of Washington
- Washington Administrative Code (State Administrative Rules)
- State Code Search Tool
- USGS real-time, geographic, and other scientific resources of Washington
- U.S. Census Bureau
- Online Encyclopedia of Washington State History
- Washington State Information - TheUS50.com
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