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City of Kennewick

  •   State: 
    Benton County
      County FIPS: 
    46°12′13″N 119°9′33″W
      Area total: 
    28.84 sq mi
      Area land: 
    27.45 sq mi (71.09 km²)
      Area water: 
    1.39 sq mi (3.61 km²)
    407 ft (124 m)
  •   Latitude: 
      Dman name cbsa: 
    Kennewick-Richland, WA
    Pacific Standard Time (PST) UTC-8:00; Pacific Daylight Time (PDT) UTC-7:00
      ZIP codes: 

    Kennewick, Benton County, Washington, United States

  •   Population: 
      Population density: 
    3,072.86 residents per square mile of area (1,186.42/km²)
      Household income: 
      Unemployment rate: 
  •   Sales taxes: 

Kennewick is a city in Benton County in the U.S. state of Washington. It is the most populous of the three cities collectively referred to as the Tri-Cities. The discovery of Kennewick Man provides evidence of Native Americans' settlement of the area for at least 9,000 years. American settlers began moving into the region in the late 19th century as transportation infrastructure was built. The construction of the Hanford Site at Richland accelerated the city's growth in the 1940s as workers from around the country came to participate in the Manhattan Project. While Hanford and Pacific Northwest National Laboratory continue to be major sources of employment, the city has diversified over time and today hosts offices for Amazon and Lamb Weston. The area was known as Tehe from 1886 to 1891, and this name appears on early letters sent to the area with the city listed asTehe, Washington. Some reports claim that the name comes from a native word meaning "grassy place". It has also been called "winter paradise," mostly because of the mild winters in the area. The city was officially incorporated on February 5, 1904 and the name of the newspaper was changed to the Columbia Courier in 1905. The Umatilla and Yakama tribes ceded the land they lived on at the Walla Walla Council in 1855. Ainsworth became the first non-Native settlement in the areawhere U.S. now crosses the Snake River between Pasco and Burbank. In the 1890s, the Northern Irrigation Company installed pumps and ditches to bring water for agriculture into the Highlands.


Kennewick has been known as Tehe from 1886 to 1891. Some reports claim that the city's name is derived from how locals pronounced the name Chenoythe, who was a member of the Hudson's Bay Company. The Umatilla and Yakama tribes ceded the land Kennewick sits on at the Walla Walla Council in 1855. Ainsworth became the first non-Native settlement in the areawhere U.S. now crosses the Snake River between Pasco and Burbank. In the 1890s, the Northern Pacific Irrigation Company installed pumps and ditches to bring water for agriculture to the area. The city was officially incorporated on February 5, 1904 and the name of the newspaper changed to the Kennewicks Courier in 1905. In 1915, the opening of the Celilo Canal connected the city to the Pacific Ocean via the Columbia River. Freight and passenger ship traffic in the same year began making the city an inland seaport. Despite the Great Depression, the city continued to grow in population during the 1930s and 1940s. Growth was aided by federal River projects that improved the water quality of the Columbia and Snake rivers. The town of Pasco also experienced decent growth and became informally known as the Columbia Basin Twin Cities because of their juxtaposition across the river from each other. In 2010, a new bridge was built connecting the city with Pasco, making the two cities the first to be connected by vehicle traffic for the first time.


Kennewick is located in Eastern Washington along the south side of the Columbia River. The elevation within the city rises from the river to a line of ridges that are a result of the same anticline that created Badger Mountain and Rattlesnake Mountain. According to the United States Census Bureau, the city has a total area of 28.36 square miles (73.45 km²) The entire Pacific Northwest is threatened with subduction zone earthquakes that can exceed magnitudes of 9 on the moment magnitude scale. Should the next earthquake occur, damage is expected to be minimal in and around Kennewick, but destruction west of the Cascades could have a major impact of the economy of inland areas. The city has an arid climate (Köppen BSk) due to its position east of the Cascade Mountains. The mountains also insulate Kennwick from the moderating effects of the Pacific Ocean, allowing the city to experience more extreme temperatures. While the creek that flows through the city typically runs dry, thunderstorms in the Horse Heaven Hills can generate destructive flash floods at the bottom of the basin. The worst of these floods happened in 1948 and caused one death and $533 million of damage. The flood threat from the Columbia has significantly decreased since dams were built near the Southridge Canyon Dam located near the Sports and Events Complex. The government responded by building the McNary Floods System to protect lower parts of town from the most extreme flooding. The former community of Vista is now a neighborhood fully contained within Kennewicks.


As of the 2010 census, there were 73,917 people, 27,266 households, and 18,528 families residing in the city. The racial makeup of the city was 78.5% White, 1.7% African American, 0.8% Native American, 2.4% Asian and 0.2% Pacific Islander. The city's population was 49.9% male and 50.1% female in the 2000 census. The average household size was 2.6 and the average family size was 3.15. In the city, the median income for a household was $41,213, and the median incomes for a family was $50,011. 84.6% of residents spoke English and 12.5%. of the population was Hispanic or Latino of any race. 18.2%. were of German, 9.6%. English, 8.5. Irish and 8. 5% American ancestry, and 10.9%. of those over the age of 18. were of English, German, Irish and American ancestry. The median age in theCity was 32.6 years. For every 100 females, there are 98.3 males. For each 100 females age 18 and over, there is 94.3. males. About 9.9.% of families were below the poverty line, including 18.7%. of under 18 and 8% of those age 65 or over. The U.S. Census Bureau estimates that the city has a population of 73,000.


Kennewick's economy is closely tied to the rest of the Tri-Cities and is heavily influenced by the Hanford Site and the national laboratory. The agriculture and healthcare industries also employ many residents. The region is experiencing consistent job growth, which is creating a large population boom. Home prices have increased by about 10% annually in Kennewick for the past several years, with slower increases having occurred before 2016. Despite this growth, unemployment remained above both the national and state averages in 2020. It has developed to become the retail hub of the tri-city area and hosts the only mall in the areaColumbia Center Mall. As such, it draws in shoppers from a significant portion of southeast Washington and northeast Oregon. This is further enhanced by a housing shortage in northeast Oregon, which has led to an increase in the number of residents who commute to those areas for work. In higher elevations, like much of the Horse Heaven Hills, there is no access to irrigation water, limiting agricultural activities in that area to ranching and growing wheat. In the past few years, industrial growth in Hermiston and at the Port of Morrow in Boardman has also led to increased numbers of residents working in those areas. It is also the only city in the region that has a large number of grocery stores, with many of them located in the city. The city also has a number of restaurants, many of which are based in the downtown area and the Southridge district, which includes the historic downtown area.


Kennewick hosts a number of events throughout the year, many of which are held outdoors in public parks during the warm season. The city lies near the center of Washington's wine country, which stretches from the Yakima Valley through the Columbia Basin and Horse Heaven Hills east to the Walla Walla Valley. Wine tasting is a major part of the Tri-Cities tourism economy, with over 300 wineries and wine bars rooms in the area. As of 2020, work is ongoing to develop the former Vista Field area in the west side of town into a mixed-use development that will include shopping. The Tri-City Fire are an indoor football team playing in a league with three other teams. They were founded in 2019, bringing indoor football back to the Toyota Center after theTri-City Fever went dormant in 2016. Kennewick does not currently host a professional baseball team, but they have a long history of doing so in the past with minor league teams starting as early as 1950. The only daily newspaper published in the city is the Tri.-Cities Herald, which is based in downtown Kennewicks. Tú Decides is a bilingual weekly news publication that is available in English and Spanish. The City hosts an amateur roller derby team, the Washington City Rollergirls, and an amateur basketball team, Washington State University occasionally plays at theToyota Center. There are several American Viticultural Areas near town, including Clover Island, which has a hotel, lighthouse, and the Ice Harbor Brewing Company.

Parks and recreation

Kennewick's low precipitation values and mild-to-warm weather provide opportunities for outdoor recreation throughout much of the year. The city's Parks and Recreation Department operates 27 parks plus other facilities for the public to use. Many parks have shelters that can be reserved for events, with most of them offering playgrounds. Columbia Park hosts the HAPO Gold Cup, an annual hydroplane race. The Sacagawea Heritage Trail, a bike path connecting all three of the Tri-Cities, passes through the entire length of the park. Kennewick was able to secure a piece of the World Trade Center from the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey, which is located in the southeast corner of the complex as a memorial to the victims of the September 11 attacks in 2001. In the early 2010s, the city built the 52 acres (21 ha) Southridge Sports and Events Complex in the quickly growing south end of town along US 395. This property is primarily used for scheduled sporting events, such as baseball, basketball, and volleyball. That said, it also has recreational facilities that don't need to be reserved such as a playground and open fields. The complex was considered complete when the historic carousel that the city restored was opened on the site. It is located on the east end of the city, near the Richland/Kennewicks city line in the west to the Blue Bridge in the east. There are several boat launches here offering access to the Columbia River. Kayaking and canoeing is another popular water activity.


Kennewick is a code city that operates under the councilmanager form of government. The city council has seven members, four of which are elected at-large while three are elected by the city's three electoral wards. According to the City's 2018 audited financial report, the cities total annual expenses are $96.6 million. The citizens of Kennewick are represented in the Washington Senate by Sharon Brown in District 8, and Maureen Walsh in District 16. The Washington House of Representatives is represented by Brad Klippert and Matt Boehnke in District8, and Bill Jenkin and Skyler Rude in District16. At the national level, the Tri-Cities are part of the 4th congressional district, has been represented by Republican Dan Newhouse since 2015.


Out of the city's residents who are 25 years or older, 88% hold a high school diploma (or equivalent) with 24% holding a bachelor's degree or better. These rates are higher than Pasco, but lower than Richland. Kennewick does not have any post-secondary institutions, but is located near Columbia Basin College in Pasco and Washington State University Tri-Cities. Public schools located in the city are part of the Kennewicks School District (KSD) The district has 17 elementary schools, five middle schools, and three high schools serving over 18,000 students. A vocational school is operated by KSD named the Tri-Tech Skills Center. There are five private schools for educating children in KennewICK. Many of these are run by Christian churches, including St. Joseph's Catholic School and Bethlehem Lutheran School. KSD also operates Neil F. Lampson Stadium, located at Kennewic High School, which is used to host football and soccer games for the three high school in town as well as for special events. The stadium has a capacity of 6,800 people, and is used for football, soccer, and other sports. The school district contributes funding to Delta High School in Pas co, a STEM-focused school drawing students from around theTri-C cities. The district also operates a vocational school named Tri-tech Skills Center, which offers firefighting, radio broadcasting, and auto body technology programs. It is also home to a number of private schools.


Interstate 82 bypasses Kennewick to the south, connecting to Seattle via Interstate 90. US 395 passes through town from south to north connecting to Spokane. State Route 240 and State Route 397 also pass through town, but these mostly serve local traffic. Public transportation is provided by Ben Franklin Transit, which runs several bus routes that provide intra-city service as well as connections to Pasco and Richland. Water and sewer services are provided by the city, with electricity coming from Benton Public Utility District. The largest hospital is Trios, located in the Southridge area. Trios is a Level III trauma center and is the only hospital in the Tri-Cities that is a designated as a pediatric trauma center. Patients needing further care are often transported to Harborview Medical Center in Seattle, the only Level I trauma center in the Pacific Northwest. Children with significant medical needs are often treated at Seattle Children's. The Port of Kennwick formerly operated Vista Field near the Toyota Center as a general aviation airport, but it closed at the end of 2013. The port plans to turn the land into a mixed-use development. Nearly 80% of the city's energy is hydroelectric, with another 10% coming from nuclear. Less than 5% of electricity is sourced from fossil fuels. Many people use irrigation water sourced from nearby rivers to water their lawns. The city contracts with Waste Management for garbage and recycling collection. Most of the east side of town is under the Columbia Irrigation District, with parts of the west side being under the Miramar Health Center.

Air Quality, Water Quality, Superfund Sites & UV Index

The Air Quality index is in Kennewick, Benton County, Washington = 83. These Air Quality index is based on annual reports from the EPA. Higher values are better (100=best). The number of ozone alert days is used as an indicator of air quality, as are the amounts of seven pollutants including particulates, carbon monoxide, sulfur dioxide, lead, and volatile organic chemicals. The Water Quality Index is 33. A measure of the quality of an area’s water supply as rated by the EPA. Higher values are better (100=best). The EPA has a complex method of measuring the watershed quality, using 15 indicators such as pollutants, turbidity, sediments, and toxic discharges. The Superfund Sites Index is 41. Higher is better (100=best). Based upon the number and impact of EPA Superfund pollution sites in the county, including spending on the cleanup efforts. The UV Index in Kennewick = 3.2 and is a measure of an area's exposure to the sun's ultraviolet rays. This is most often a combination of sunny weather, altitude, and latitude. The UV Index has been defined by the WHO ( and is uniform worldwide.


The most recent city population of 83,921 individuals with a median age of 34.5 age the population grows by 11.21% in Kennewick, Benton County, Washington population since 2000 and are distributed over a density of 3,072.86 residents per square mile of area (1,186.42/km²). There are average 2.62 people per household in the 22,978 households with an average household income of $47,085 a year. The unemployment rate in Alabama is 5.50% of the available work force and has growths 2.65% over the most recent 12-month period and the projected change in job supply over the next decade based on migration patterns, economic growth, and other factors will increase by 39.80%. The number of physicians in Kennewick per 100,000 population = 201.7.


The annual rainfall in Kennewick = 7.6 inches and the annual snowfall = 6.6 inches. The annual number of days with measurable precipitation (over .01 inch) = 70. The average number of days per year that are predominantly sunny = 191. 91 degrees Fahrenheit is the average daily high temperature for the month of July and 26.9 degrees Fahrenheit is the average daily low temperature for the month of January. The Comfort Index (higher=better) is 64, where higher values mean a more pleasant climate. The Comfort Index measure recognizes that humidity by itself isn't the problem. (Have you noticed nobody ever complains about the weather being 'cold and humid?) It's in the summertime that we notice the humidity the most, when it's hot and muggy. Our Comfort Index uses a combination of afternoon summer temperature and humidity to closely predict the effect that the humidity will have on people.

Median Home Cost

The percentage of housing units in Kennewick, Benton County, Washington which are owned by the occupant = 57.36%. A housing unit is a house, apartment, mobile home, or room occupied as separate living quarters. The average age of homes = 31 years with median home cost = $147,710 and home appreciation of 1.69%. This is the value of the years most recent home sales data. Its important to note that this is not the average (or arithmetic mean). The median home price is the middle value when you arrange all the sales prices of homes from lowest to highest. This is a better indicator than the average, because the median is not changed as much by a few unusually high or low values. The property tax rate of $12.46 shown here is the rate per $1,000 of home value. If for simplification for example the tax rate is $14.00 and the home value is $250,000, the property tax would be $14.00 x ($250,000/1000), or $3500. This is the 'effective' tax rate.


The local school district spends $4,908 per student. There are 20.6 students for each teacher in the school, 430 students for each Librarian and 458 students for each Counselor. 9.97% of the area’s population over the age of 25 with an Associate Degree or other 2-year college degree, 15.08% with a master’s degree, Ph.D. or other advanced college degree and 7.58% with high school diplomas or high school equivalency degrees (GEDs).

  • Kennewick's population in Benton County, Washington of 2,607 residents in 1900 has increased 32,19-fold to 83,921 residents after 120 years, according to the official 2020 census.

    Approximately 50.21% female residents and 49.79% male residents live in Kennewick, Benton County, Washington.

    As of 2020 in Kennewick, Benton County, Washington are married and the remaining 42.49% are single population.

  • 23.7 minutes is the average time that residents in Kennewick require for a one-way commute to work. A long commute can have different effects on health. A Gallup poll in the US found that in terms of mental health, long haul commuters are up to 12 percent more likely to experience worry, and ten percent less likely to feel well rested. The Gallup poll also found that of people who commute 61­–90 minutes each day, a whopping one third complained of neck and back pain, compared to less than a quarter of people who only spend ten minutes getting to work.

    79.62% of the working population which commute to work alone in their car, 13.01% of the working population which commutes to work in a carpool, 1.27% of the population that commutes using mass transit, including bus, light rail, subway, and ferry. 3.62% of the population that has their home as their principal place of work.

  • Of the total residential buildings in Kennewick, Benton County, Washington, 57.36% are owner-occupied homes, another 35.93% are rented apartments, and the remaining 6.71% are vacant.

  • The 38.04% of the population in Kennewick, Benton County, Washington who identify themselves as belonging to a religion are distributed among the following most diverse religions.

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