Washington Facts

Washington Facts

Washington is a northwestern state that’s home to snow-capped mountains, giant evergreens, forested islands, and even five active volcanoes.

The state’s largest city, Seattle, is a buzzing music and technology scene that’s famous for its coffeehouses and museums.


Quick Facts

  • Capital: Olympia
  • Population: 7 million
  • Nickname: The Evergreen State
  • Key Cities: Seattle, Spokane, Olympia, Vancouver, Tacoma
  • Postal Abbreviation: WA
  • Major Industries: Aerospace, agriculture and food manufacturing, technology, forest products


  • How did Washington get its name: The state of Washington was named in honor of George Washington, the first U.S. president. In fact, it’s the only U.S. state named after a president.
  • Date admitted to the Union: Monday, November 11, 1889


  • Size: 71,362 sq. miles
  • Lowest point: Pacific Ocean at sea level
  • Highest point: Rainier at 14,410 ft.
  • Counties: 39
  • Famous locations: Space Needle, Mount Rainier, Olympic National Park, Hoh Rain Forest, Mount St. Helens

Famous Washingtonians

  • Bill Gates- entrepreneur/billionaire
  • Bob Barker- television host
  • Anna Faris- actress
  • Rainn Wilson- actor
  • Jimi Hendrix- guitarist/singer
  • Bing Crosby- singer

Fun Facts

  • Olympia is Washington’s capital, but the city with the largest population is Seattle. Close to 60 percent of Washington residents actually live in Seattle.
  • Washington is the nation’s #1 producer of apples, raspberries, and sweet cherries. More than 90 percent of U.S. red raspberries and 60 percent of U.S. apples come from Washington. The state’s official fruit is the apple.
  • apple
  • Every true coffee lover should know that the first Starbucks was opened in Seattle, Washington’s Pike Place Market in 1971. Less than fifty years later, it seems like Starbucks is everywhere!
  • Have you (or your parents) ever ordered anything from Amazon? That started near Seattle too, in a town called Bellevue, Washington. Eventually, founder Jeff Bezos moved the business to Seattle, where it still has its headquarters today.
  • Longview, Washington has several bridges made just for squirrels. The first, Nutty Narrows, was made in 1963 by a local builder named Amos Peters who wanted to help squirrels safely cross a busy street. The bridge became so popular (with both squirrels and tourists) that four more have been built since then.
  • One of Washington’s most famous attractions is the Space Needle, built in Seattle in 1961 for the World’s Fair. It’s an observation tower that stands over 600 feet tall. It’s also home to just the second revolving restaurant in the world, where diners can eat while enjoying 360 degree rotating views of Seattle.

More US state facts.