Capital city Olympia
Population 7,705,281 (2020)
Surface 184,824 km²
Governor Jay Inslee (D)
Member of the US since 1889

A map of Washington

Washington is one of the fifty states of the United States. The state is located in the northwest of the country. About 7.7 million inhabitants live in the state, which puts the state in 13th place in terms of population. Washington is named after the first president of the United States, George Washington. Washington state should not be confused with the US capital Washington DC, which is located on the other side of the country. To avoid confusion, Washington State is often referred to as Washington State. The capital of Washington is Olympia, but the largest city is Seattle. Washington became a state in 1889. The state is known for its natural areas, including the Olympic National Park. Washington is one of the richest and most liberal states in the country. For example, things like cannabis and euthanasia have been legalized in Washington. In elections, most of the state supports the Democratic Party. The state is bordered by Canada to the north, Idaho to the west, and Oregon to the south. The state’s nickname is The Evergreen State, because of the many natural areas and forests in the state.

 

Geography

Landscape

Olympic National Park is on the World Heritage List

Washington is located in the far northwest of the United States in the Cascadia region. To the north and west, Washington has almost a straight border with Canada and Idaho. The Snake forms a small portion of the Idaho border and a large portion of the Oregon border. The Cascade Mountains split the Washington into two parts; a western and an eastern part. Within this mountain range are several mountains and volcanoes, such as Mount Baker, Mount St. Helens and Glacier Peak. The highest mountain in the state is also located here, Mount Rainier with a height of 4,392 meters. There is eternal snow on the tops of the mountains. Puget Sound forms a deep estuary in the state. Several rivers come together here and most cities are located in the area. Between the Puget Sound and the Pacific Ocean is the Olympic Peninsula, home to the Olympic Mountains. On this peninsula you will also find the world famous Olympic National Park. The coasts of the state are mostly forest areas, which also cover the rest of western Washington. The eastern portion of the state is completely different from the rest of the state. The landscape mainly consists of steppes and is quite desert-like. Although it is very dry here, there is still a lot of agriculture. This is mainly due to irrigation and dams in the Columbia. The more you go to the east, the greener the landscape becomes. On the border with Idaho are the Okanogan Highlands, an area with many forests.

Washington’s Largest Cities

Name Inhabitants County
1. Seattle 744,955 King County
2. Spokane 219.190 Spokane County
3. Tacoma 216.279 Pierce County
4. Vancouver 183.012 Clark County
5. Bellevue 147.599 King County
6. Knows 136,588 King County
7. Everett 110.629 Snohomish County
8. Renton 106,785 King County
9. Spokane Valley 102,976 Spokane County
10. Federal Way 147.599 King County

Climate

The agricultural areas in the southeast of the state

Washington has different climates. In general, Washington has a kind of Mediterranean climate, but with cold summers. The areas in the east of the state, on the other hand, have a Mediterranean climate with warm summers. In the west there are also areas with a temperate maritime climate, mainly on the Olympic Peninsula. Here there are cool summers with mild winters. The mountain areas have a high mountain climate, where the temperature hardly ever rises above 0°C. The northeast of the state again has a continental climate with cold winters and warm summers. The west of the state has to deal with a lot of precipitation throughout the year, while the east is much drier. This is because wet air from the Pacific Ocean is held back by the Cascade Mountains. Unlike other states, Washington does not have extreme weather. The west, on the other hand, can have to deal with heavy rain and thunderstorms. The east, on the other hand, has to deal with drought. This could become more extreme due to climate change.

Population

General

Chinese New Year in Seattle

Washington has about 7.7 million inhabitants and this number is still growing. Between 2010 and 2020, no less than 1 million inhabitants were added. Washington is positive about immigration and also welcomes immigrants from Mexico. About 67% of the population is made up of white Americans. Most of these have a German or Irish migration background. 12% were Latino, 8% are Asian, 4% are African American, and 2% are indigenous peoples. In Washington, there are several indigenous peoples such as the Chinook, the Lummi, and the Salish. There are also several reservations in the state.

Language

Under the Constitution, Washington has no official language. Still, you can see English as the official language, as it is spoken by almost all residents and is also used in education, law and politics. Only 17% of the population has a mother tongue other than English. Major immigrant languages ​​are Spanish, Chinese, Vietnamese and Tagalog.

Religion

Some 61% of the state’s residents are adherents of Christianity. Of these, 40% are Protestant, 17% Catholic and 4% Mormon. The main Protestant movement is Evangelicism. 32% of the population has no religion or is unbeliever. Lesser religions include Judaism, Hinduism, and Islam. Washington has the largest Wiccan faith community.

Politics

State politics

Washington Parliament

The day-to-day administration of Washington is in the hands of a governor. The current governor of Washington is Jay Inslee of the Democratic Party. A governor is elected by direct election every four years. There are no term limits. He/she is assisted by a governor-general. This is the deputy to the governor and is also elected every four years. If a governor dies, is deposed or resigns, he takes over the position of governor until the next election. In addition, there are several ministers, some of which are elected by election and some are appointed by the governor. The Washington Legislature is called the Washington State Legislature and consists of two chambers:

  • The House of Representatives, consisting of 98 members who are elected every two years.
  • The Senate, consisting of 49 members who are elected every four years.

In both chambers, the Democratic Party has a majority and the Republican Party fills the other seats. There are no limits on the number of installments.

Administrative division

How many counties in Washington? Washington has 39 counties. These are:

  • Adams County
  • Asotin County
  • Benton County
  • Chelan County
  • Clallam County
  • Clark County
  • Columbia County
  • Cowlitz County
  • Douglas County
  • Ferry County
  • Franklin County
  • Garfield County
  • Grant County
  • Grays Harbor County
  • Island County
  • Jefferson County
  • King County
  • Kitsap County
  • Kittitas County
  • Klickitat County
  • Lewis County
  • Lincoln County
  • Mason County
  • Okanogan County
  • Pacific County
  • Pend Oreille County
  • Pierce County
  • San Juan County
  • Skagit County
  • Skamania County
  • Snohomish County
  • Spokane County
  • Stevens County
  • Thurston County
  • Wahkaikum County
  • Walla Walla County
  • Whatcom County
  • Whitman County
  • Yakima County

Washington’s two senators; Patty Murray and Maria Cantwell

According to some, another 40th county is Freedom County. In 1995, the residents separated from Snohomish County, but this is not recognized by Washington State. The reason for this is that only the state itself can create new counties.

Federal Politics

Washington is a “blue state,” meaning the Democratic Party has a large following. Since 1984, Washington has only voted for Democratic presidential candidates in elections. The last Republican presidential candidate Washington voted for was Ronald Reagan in 1984. Washington is considered a safe blue state; usually Democrats win by 50 to 60%. The residents of the state are known for being progressive; though the east of the state is more conservative. In the United States Congress, Washington is represented by two senators and 10 delegates. Of the 10 delegates, 7 are Democratic and 3 Republican. The two Senators (Patty Murray and Maria Cantwell) are both members of the Democratic Party.

Economy

Starbucks headquarters

Washington is the fifth largest state in the United States in terms of economy. The state is known for its low taxes, which is why many businesses locate in the state. Examples of Washington companies include Starbucks, Boeing, Amazon, Microsoft, Expedia and Costco. Also millionaires like Bill Gates and Jeff Bezossettle in Washington. Washington does not have certain taxes, such as the income tax and the corporate tax. There is also no tax on many food products, but on unhealthy products (such as soft drinks). Washington is one of the wealthiest US states and has one of the highest minimum wages. Agriculture is very important to Washington’s economy. Raspberries, hops, beans, cherries, grapes, carrots, asparagus, nectarines and apricots are grown in the state. After California, Washington is where the most wine is made.

Washington - The Evergreen State

 

Washington – The Evergreen State
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