25 Interesting Facts About Washington State

Author: Jason Coles

Updated On:

Updated On:

Situated on the Pacific Northwest of the United States lies the constituent state, Washington, not to be confused with Washington DC.

The Evergreen State is Geographically the most Northern state in the country, as it overlooks the other 48 contiguous states and is bounded by the Canadian province of British Columbia to the north, Idaho to the east, and Oregon to the south, facing the Pacific Ocean to the west.

Interesting facts about Washington

Washington is aesthetically beautiful, with large, stunning mountain ranges, luscious green forests, and national parks, accompanied by charismatic cities and other famous landmarks. Residents of this historical state are extremely proud and friendly, with many amazing people past and present hailing from Washington state.

Check Out Our 25 Interesting Facts About Washington

There is a lot to take in and see when either visiting or moving to Washington, which in turn has created many interesting, fun, and just simply odd facts about the state, lets’s check them out!

1. The population of Washington state is over 7.9 million, with the capital city being Olympia. It may come as a surprise to know that Olympia only boasts a population of around 56,000!

2. It may not come as a surprise to you that Washington state was named after the American founding father, George Washington. However, it is more of a shock that out of all 50 states, Washington state is the only one named after a president. George’s face also appears on the famous Washington state seal, again, paying homage to the historic president.

3. Although the capital of the state is Olympia, the most populated, and well-known city is Seattle. The population of Seattle’s metropolitan area is close to 60% of the entire state’s population (over 4 million).

4. Speaking of Seattle, the famous Washington city was home to the first revolving restaurant in 1961. The Space Needle originally opened in 1962 and features the incredible and at the time, a revolutionary, rotating restaurant at 500-feet.

5. The Washington state nickname, the Evergreen State was originally adopted back in 1893. The famous nickname references the large fir and pine trees within the state, with Washington having a reputation for being incredibly green and bright in color, with vast forests running through the state.

6. Washington is home to a total of 3 National Parks, 1,462 National Register of Historic Places, 17 National Natural Landmarks, 24 National Historic Landmarks, and a whopping 186 State Parks, justifying the adoption of the nickname pretty well!

Facts about Washington state

7. One thing about Washington that people might overlook is the state’s influence on produce, and the production of various fruits and vegetables. Washington is the largest producer of apples, raspberries, and sweet cherries in the United States!

8. It is totally illegal to walk around in public when you have a cold in Washington. I mean, trying to prove people have colds or illnesses whilst walking around is fairly tough. However, this is a smart way of keeping and encouraging good health within the state and suppressing the potential spread of illnesses.

9. The Evergreen State hosted the first general strike in the nation, in Seattle in 1919, lasting a total of 5 days and witnessing 60,000 + shipyard workers walking away from their jobs.

10. Washington is home to the beautiful Mount Rainier, which has more glacial ice than any other peak in the lower 48 states.

Facts about Washington

11. There have been many things adopted over the years as representatives of the state, here are some of them:

  • State Tree – Western Hemlock.
  • State Bird – Willow Goldfinch.
  • State Song – “Washington, My Home”.
  • State Fish – Steelhead Trout.
  • State Gem – Petrified Wood.
  • State Dance – Square Dance.
  • State Fruit – Apple.

Fun Facts About Washington State

12. Father’s Day famously originates from Washington, all the way back in 1910. Beginning as a statewide holiday, derived from Sorona Smart, a Washington resident, who wanted to honor her own father, he was a civil war veteran, and also a single parent who had raised 6 children by himself.

13. The maximum speed limit that you can drive in Washington is 70 MPH. Learn all about driving in Washington and the various speed limits you need to abide by.

14. During the time of World War II, the state Fairgrounds in Washington weren’t used for quite the same use as they were built for. Renamed “Camp Harmony”, the grounds became the prison for Japanese Americans.

15. The biggest online retailer in the United States, Amazon, started off in Jeff Bezos garage, located in Bellevue, outside of Seattle, in 1994.

16. Back in the day, Aberdeen, Washington – named after the Scottish city was considered by many to be the toughest town in the state. Often being referred to as “the roughest town west of Mississippi”, and was extremely well known for its gambling and violence.

17. Washington is the birthplace of the world-famous American musician, Jimi Hendrix.

18. Washington, like all other states has adopted an abbreviation for a multitude of different reasons, all to benefit those within the state, and outside of it. Washington’s state abbreviation consists of the first two letters of the state’s name, WA.

19. When in Vancouver, Washington, it is a legal requirement that all motor vehicles carry anchors as an emergency brake in case of a serious motor emergency.

20. We all know that Washington is mostly covered by rich, green forests. Over 52% of the state to be precise; however, Washington State’s Olympic National Forest is the only rainforest in the lower 48 states (not including Hawaii and Alaska).

Washington state facts

21. Washington state was originally discovered and occupied by the Native American tribe, Shakopee Mdewakanton. This tribe has been considered to be the richest Native American tribe in U.S. history. It was on November 11, 1889, that Washington state was eventually admitted to the union, becoming the 42nd state.

22. Washington’s state flower is the Rhododendron macrophyllum, we know, quite the tongue-twister, right?

23. The famous Lake Washington, a rather large freshwater lake, situated adjacent to the city of Seattle. The Lake is the largest in King County and is a cherished tourist spot, boasting a maximum depth of 214 ft (65 m).

24. Located along the northwest coast of Washington you will find one of the United States’ natural beauties, the Puget Sound. This is a sound of the Northwest Pacific Ocean, an inlet of the Ocean, and part of the Salish Sea.

25. The largest river in the northwestern region of the United States, the Columbia River begins in British Columbia and flows right through Washington state, turning west to form the majority of the border between Washington and Oregon, and then emptying out into the Pacific Ocean.

Washington state facts

Economic Facts About Washington State

There are plenty of considerations when it comes to the economic strength and business environment of Washington.

The state is known by many to have an extremely healthy business climate and in return, a strong economy, giving the state the perfect environment for growth and development for not only business owners and entrepreneurs, but employees, and investors alike.

If you would like to learn how to register a business in Washington so you can start your entrepreneurial journey, we have created a checklist walking you through the process.

  • Washington’s GDP is approximately $761 billion.
  • There is no income tax in the state of Washington!
  • The sales tax rate in Washington is 6.5%.
  • Washington’s economic strength is ranked 3rd out of all 50 states (US News & World Report).
  • According to the US News & World Report, over 41% of Washington’s population are College educated.
  • Washington ranks 4th for education ( US News & World Report).
  • Washington also ranks 4th for Health Care and 2nd for Infrastructure (US News & World Report).
  • The minimum wage in Washington is $16.28 per hour in 2024.
  • WalletHub has ranked Washington 1st for economic activity out of all 50 states.
  • WalletHub has also given Washington the #2 rank for its innovation potential.
  • The average home price in Washington is $566,052, however, this number is seasonally adjusted, in order to keep updated each time the house prices in Washington change, take a look at Zillow’s website.

Washington’s Small Business Highlights

  • There are over 644,868 small businesses in Washington state.
  • Over 99.5% of all Washington’s businesses are considered small businesses.
  • Small businesses in Washington account for over 1.4 million of all state employees.
  • Small business employees account for over 49% of the state’s employees.
  • There are over 146,028 minority-owned businesses in Washington.
  • There are over 11,652 small business exporters in Washington.
  • Small businesses in Washington account for over 187,798 net new jobs.

All of these economic facts about Washington, accompanied by small business highlights, provides clear evidence as to why people move to the state for business and work opportunities, and it’s hard to argue against it!

Thanks for taking a look at our 25 interesting, weird, and wonderful facts about Washington state! If you have some facts and interesting information regarding Washington’s past and present that we have not covered, make sure to add a comment below.

Interesting US State Facts


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Jason Coles

Jason Coles is the Founder of Foreign USA and its Chief Content Writer and Editor. Recognized as a prolific business plan writer by many prominent immigration attorneys in the U.S. who refer his services to their clients regularly, Jason has written over 1,360 business plans across the past 17+ years for start-up companies and franchises looking to expand their footprint in the United States. Jason is considered a seasoned expert in his field. He creates detailed business plans for his clients that include five-year financial projections, market and industry analysis reports, demographic studies, organizational charts, job descriptions, employee hiring plans, and more.