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            Washington State Flag

            Capital: Olympia

            State abbreviation/Postal code: Wash./WA

            Governor: Jay Inslee, D (to Jan. 2019)

            Lieut. Governor: Cyrus Habib, D (to Jan. 2019)

            Senators: Patty Murray, D (to Jan. 2019); Maria Cantwell, D (to Jan. 2019)

            U.S. Representatives: 10

            Historical biographies of Congressional members

            Organized as territory: March 2, 1853

            Entered Union (rank): Nov. 11, 1889 (42)

            Present constitution adopted: 1889

            Motto: Al-Ki (Indian word meaning a€?by and bya€?)

            State symbols:

            flowercoast rhododendron (1892)
            treewestern hemlock (1947)
            birdwillow goldfinch (1951)
            fishsteelhead trout (1969)
            gempetrified wood (1975)
            colorsgreen and gold (1925)
            songa€?Washington, My Homea€? (1959)
            folk songa€?Roll On Columbia, Roll Ona€? (1987)
            dancesquare dance (1979)
            grassbluebunch wheatgrass (1989)
            insectblue darner dragonfly (1997)
            fossilColumbian mammoth (1998)
            fruitapple (1989)

            Nicknames: Evergreen State

            Origin of name: In honor of George Washington

            10 largest cities (2010 est.): Seattle, 608,660; Spokane, 208,916; Tacoma, 198,397; Vancouver , 161,791; Bellevue, 122,363; Everett, 103,019; Kent, 92,411; Yakima, 91,067; Renton, 90,927; Spokane Valley, 89,755

            Land area: 71,362?sq?mi?(184,827 km2

            Geographic center: In Chelan Co., 10 mi. WSW of Wenatchee

            Number of counties: 39

            Largest county by population and area: King, 1,931,249 (2010); Okanogan, 5,268 sq mi.

            State forest lands: 2.1 million ac.

            State parks: 120

            Residents: Washingtonian

            2016?resident population est.: 7,288,000

            2010 resident census population (rank): 6,724,540 (13). Male: 3,349,707 (49.8%); Female: 3,374,833 (50.2%). White: 5,196,362 (77.3%); Black: 240,042 (3.6%); American Indian: 103,869 (1.5%); Asian: 481,067 (7.2%); Other race: 349,799 (5.2%); Two or more races: 312,926 (4.7%); Hispanic/Latino: 755,790 (11.2%). 2010 percent population 18 and over: 76.5; 65 and over: 12.3; median age: 37.3.

            See additional census data

            Area codes

            Tourism office

            As part of the vast Oregon Country, Washington territory was visited by Spanish, American, and British explorersa€”Bruno Heceta for Spain in 1775, the American Capt. Robert Gray in 1792, and Capt. George Vancouver for Britain in 1792a€“1794. Lewis and Clark explored the Columbia River region and coastal areas for the U.S. in 1805a€“1806.

            Rival American and British settlers and conflicting territorial claims threatened war in the early 1840s. However, in 1846 the Oregon Treaty set the boundary at the 49th parallel and war was averted.

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

            Manufacturing industries in Washington include aircraft and missiles, shipbuilding and other transportation equipment, lumber, food processing, metals and metal products, chemicals, and machinery.

            Washington has over 1,000 dams, including the Grand Coulee, built for a variety of purposes including irrigation, power, flood control, and water storage.

            Among the major points of interest: Mt. Rainier, Olympic, and North Cascades National Parks. Mount St. Helens, a peak in the Cascade Range, erupted in May 1980. Also of interest are Whitman Mission and Fort Vancouver National Historic Sites; and the Pacific Science Center and the Space Needle, in Seattle.

            As of 2013, Washington is the only state where cannabis, same-sex marriage, and assisted suicide are all legal. In 2008, the Washington Death with Dignity Act was passed, allowing legal assisted suicide. In the November 2012 general election, voters upheld Referendum 74, a bill that legalized same-sex marriage in Washington. Also in November 2012, Washington passed Initiative 50, making the sale and possession of marijuana (in limited amounts) for both medical and non-medical purposes legal.

            See more on Washington:
            Encyclopedia: Washington
            Encyclopedia: Geography
            Encyclopedia: Economy
            Encyclopedia: Government
            Encyclopedia: History
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            All U.S. States: Population & Economy
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            Selected famous natives and residents:

            See also: