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City of Olympia

  •   State: 
    Thurston County
      County FIPS: 
    47°2′16″N 122°54′3″W
      Area total: 
    20.09 sq mi
      Area land: 
    18.23 sq mi (47.20 km²)
      Area water: 
    1.87 sq mi (4.82 km²)
    95 ft (29 m)
    1859; Incorporated January 28, 1859
  •   Latitude: 
      Dman name cbsa: 
    Olympia-Lacey-Tumwater, WA
    Pacific Standard Time (PST) UTC-8:00; Pacific Daylight Time (PDT) UTC-7:00
      ZIP codes: 

    Olympia, Thurston County, Washington, United States

  •   Population: 
      Population density: 
    2,902.26 residents per square mile of area (1,120.58/km²)
      Household income: 
      Unemployment rate: 
  •   Sales taxes: 

Olympia is the capital of Washington and the county seat and largest city of Thurston County. It had a population of 55,605 at the time of the 2020 census, making it the state's 23rd-largest city. The region surrounding Olympia has a warm-summer Mediterranean climate (Kpp), whereas the local part of Puget Sound has dry summers and cool August overnight lows. It is located at 47°233N 122°5335W (47.042418, 122.893077). According to the U.S. Census Bureau, the city has an area of 19.68 square miles (50.97 km²), of which 17.82 sq mi (46.15 km²) is land and 1.86sq mi (4.82 km 2) is water. The Deschutes River estuary was dammed in 1951 to create Capitol Lake. The 1949 Olympia earthquake damaged many historic buildings beyond repair, and they were demolished. Parts of the city also suffered damage from earthquakes in 1965 and 2001. The cities of Lacey and Tumwater border the Olympia microclimate zone 8a, with isolated pockets of hard weather brought in by weather systems that form near the Alaska Islands. The city is 60 miles (100 km) southwest of Seattle, Washington's most populous city, and is a cultural center of the southern Pugetsound region. The first recorded Europeans came to Olympia in 1792. The town settled on the name Olympia, at local resident Colonel Isaac N. Ebey's suggestion, because of its view of the Olympic Mountains to the northwest.


Olympia is the primary city name, but also Lacey are acceptable city names or spellings. The official name is City of Olympia. The site of Olympia had been home to Lushootseed-speaking peoples known as the Steh-Chass (or Stehchass, later part of the post-treaty Squaxin Island Tribe) for thousands of years. In 1846, Edmund Sylvester and Levi Lathrop Smith jointly claimed the land that is now downtown Olympia. The town settled on the name Olympia, at local resident Colonel Isaac N. Ebey's suggestion, because of its view of the Olympic Mountains to the northwest. In 1896, Olympia became the home of the Olympia Brewing Company, which brewed Olympia Beer until 2003. The 1949 Olympia earthquake damaged many historic buildings beyond repair, and they were demolished. Parts of the city also suffered damage from earthquakes in 1965 and 2001. The first recorded Europeans came to Olympia in 1792. Peter Puget and a crew from the British Vancouver Expedition are said to have explored the site, but neither recorded any encounters with the resident Indigenous population. The area began to be served by a small fleet of steamboats known as a Puget Sound Mosquito Fleet. The Nisqually, Puyallup, Squawksin, Steh'Chass, Noo-Seh-chatl, Squi-Aitl, T'Peeksin, Sah-Heh-Wa-Mish, and S'Hotl-Ma-mish were among the signatories of the 1854 Treaty of Medicine Creek. It included the preservation of Indigenous fishing, hunting, gathering and other rights.

Geography and climate

Olympia is located at 47°233N 122°5335W (47.042418, 122.893077). The city has an area of 19.68 square miles (50.97 km²), of which 17.82 sq mi (46.15 km²) is land. The region surrounding Olympia has a warm-summer Mediterranean climate (Köppen Csb), whereas the local microclimate has dry summers and cool July and August overnight lows. November through January are Olympia's rainiest months. City streets, creeks, and rivers can flood from November to February. On average, 6.3 days annually reach 90 °F (32 °C), 1.8 days stay at or below freezing all day, and 78 nights reach the freezing mark. The average window for freezing temperatures is October 8 through May 3, allowing a growing season of 157 days, nearly 100 days shorter than in Seattle. The city is part of USDA Hardiness zone 8a, with isolated pockets around Puget Sound in zone 8b. The Deschutes River estuary was dammed in 1951 to create Capitol Lake. Much of the lower area of downtown Olympia sits on reclaimed land and the city has a wide array of public parks and nature conservation areas. The Woodard Bay Natural Resources Conservation Area is a 600-acre parcel that preserves more than 5 miles (8.0 km) of Pugets Sound waterfront along the Woodard and Chapman Bays of the Henderson Inlet.


As of the census of 2010, there were 46,478 people, 20,761 households, and 10,672 families residing in the city. There were 22,086 housing units at an average density of 1,239.4 per square mile (478.5/km²) The racial makeup of the city was 83.7% White, 2.0% African American, 1.1% Native American, 6.0%, Asian, 0.4% Pacific Islander, and 1.8% from other races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 6.3% of the population. The median income for a household in theCity was $40,846, and the median income. for a family was $54,136. The city has a population of 42,514, making it one of the largest cities in the U.S. with more than 40,000 people living in it. It is the largest city in the state with a population over the age of 50, and one of only a handful of cities with such a high percentage of people living over 50. It also has the highest rate of obesity in the United States. It has a high rate of diabetes and high levels of heart disease. It was the second-largest city in New Mexico in the 1990s, with a rate of 7.7%. It is one of three cities in New Jersey, the third-largest state in New Hampshire and the fourth-largest in New York.

Schools and universities

Olympia's main public school district is the Olympia School District. It enrolled 9,782 students in K-12 in the 202122 school year. The district has a total of 18 schools: 11 elementary schools, four middle schools and three high schools. In the 200708 school year, Olympia began the Parent Partnership Program, which provides more opportunities to homeschooling families. The Evergreen State College offers bachelor's degrees in liberal arts and science. South Puget Sound Community College offers associate degrees in arts, science, biology, elementary education, pre-nursing, applied science, general studies, and business. Olympia's online high school, Olympia Regional Learning Academy (ORLA), is part of the same program. Pope John Paul II High School is a private high school. Olympia has a number of institutions of higher learning, including The Ever green State College and South Pugets Sound Community college. It also has a private elementary school, St. Michael School, Holy Family, and Evergreen Christian. It is home to the Olympia Waldorf School, Olympia Community School, and NOVA School. It has a high school called Olympia High School (formally known as William Winlock Miller High School), Capital High School, and Avanti High School. Its high schools are Olympia High. School, Capital. High School, AvantI High School and Olympia High, which is also home to a private middle school, and a private. elementary school. The school district's high school is known as Olympia High and is located in the city's downtown area.


According to Olympia's 2017 Comprehensive Annual Financial Report, the county's top employers are: Olympia's three largest employers: Olympia, Olympia Falls and Olympia City. The county's unemployment rate is at 3.8 percent. The unemployment rate for the county is 3.7 percent. Olympia County's top employer is Olympia City, which has the highest rate of unemployment at 4.7 per cent. Olympia City's top employment rate is the highest in the county at 6.8 per cent, according to the report. The state's top job is the sheriff's office, followed by Olympia Police Department, Olympia Fire Department and Olympia Fire and Rescue. The top employer in Olympia County is Olympia County, with the highest unemployment rate at 5.9 per cent and the lowest rate in Olympia City at 2.2 per cent; Olympia County has the lowest unemployment at 1.4 per cent of the county. The U.S. economy is the state's fastest-growing county. Olympia has the second-highest unemployment rate in the state at 2 per cent after Olympia City and the third-highest rate in Washington County, at 0.7. Olympia is home to the nation's largest private-sector employer, the state-owned Olympia City of Olympia. The city's top jobs are in Olympia and Olympia Falls, with a total of 6.6 per cent unemployment. Olympia's largest employers are Olympia and the city of Olympia City with a combined rate of 2.7per cent. The largest employers in Olympia are Olympia City Schools, Olympia City Council, Olympia Police and Fire and Fire.


Olympia is a regional center for fine arts. Murals and public art installations of sculpture are prevalent. The Fleetwoods, a popular 1950s and 1960s doo-wop group, originated in Olympia. The Olympia Film Society (OFS) produces a film festival and fosters film and video education in the city. It also shows independent, classic, and international films year-round at the art-deco Capitol Theater. On the fourth Saturday in April, in honor of Earth Day, Olympia is host to one of the region's largest community celebrations the Procession of the Species. The Procession attracts up to 30,000 viewers, while its costumed participants of all ages frequently number nearly 3,000. The Washington Center for the Performing Arts also presents visual art exhibitions throughout the season in its lobby areas. In its July 2009 Best of America feature, Reader's Digest magazine honored the Processions of the species with the top spot in its "can't resist" parades and processions list. It is held in conjunction with the city's biannual Arts Walk, and is the culmination of an annual Community Art Studio that is free and open to the public. The procession is organized by the community-based nonprofit organization Earthbound Productions. The Luminary Procession is held the Friday evening before the Processional of Species, and it is held at Evergreen State College, northwest of Olympia, with rotating shows in the Dan Evans Library building. It has an 80-acre sculpture garden and art gallery.


In 1984, Olympia hosted the U.S. Olympic women's marathon trial. The winner of the event was Joan Benoit, who won a gold medal at the first women's Olympic marathon at the 1984 Summer Olympic games in Los Angeles. Olympia is the home of the Oly Rollers, the local women's flat track roller derby league whose travel team, the Cosa Nostra Donnas, were the 2009 national champions of the Women's Flat Track Derby Association (WFTDA), winning the national Declaration of Derby tournament in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. The city is also home to the American Open Figure Skating Championships, which are held every year in the summer. Olympia also hosts the World Open Figure skating Championships in the winter, which take place in the spring and summer of the same year as the Winter Olympics. The town is home to a number of charities, including the Olympia Foundation, which provides grants to people in need of financial assistance. The Olympia Opera House is located in the city, and was built in the early 1900s. It was the site of the first Olympic Games, which were held in 1924 and 1928. It also hosted the first World Cup, which was held in 1936 and 1936, and the first Winter Olympics, which took place in 1984 and 1988. It is also the birthplace of the National Football League, which held its first games in the late 1960s and early 1970s in Olympia. It has been home to several professional sports teams, most notably the American Football League (AFL) and the Philadelphia Eagles.


Amtrak provides service to Olympia-Lacey at Centennial Station. Amtrak Cascades trains, operating as far north as Vancouver and as far south as Eugene, Oregon, serve Olympia- Lacey several times daily in both directions. Intercity Transit won an award for America's best Public Transportation System in the midsize category by the American Public Transportation Association in 2009. The fleet runs entirely on biodiesel fuel and is composed of about 20% biodiesel-electric hybrid buses. The airport hosts the Olympic AirShow, a medium-sized airshow that occurs on Father's Day weekend each year. It is operated by the Port of Olympia and serves general aviation as well as corporate aviation. In 2009, the Olympia Express provided service to Lakewood and Tacoma, with connections to regional bus and commuter rail service. The Olympia Express is a free shuttle route that runs from the Capitol Campus to the Farmers Market at the far edge of downtown. It runs from 11:19am to 6:01pm daily with service to Tacoma and Seattle. It also runs to Centralia; Portland; Sacramento; Emeryville, California (with bus connection to San Francisco); and Los Angeles. It was named the best public transit system in the U.S. in 2009 by the Public Transit Association. It has connections to Grays Harbor Transit, Mason Transit Authority, Pierce Transit, Sound Transit, and Twin Transit. The Olympic Airshow is held at Olympia Regional Airport, just south of Olympia in Tumwater.

Air Quality, Water Quality, Superfund Sites & UV Index

The Air Quality index is in Olympia, Thurston County, Washington = 95. 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 50. 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 20. 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 Olympia = 2.6 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 55,605 individuals with a median age of 37.9 age the population grows by 7.20% in Olympia, Thurston County, Washington population since 2000 and are distributed over a density of 2,902.26 residents per square mile of area (1,120.58/km²). There are average 2.18 people per household in the 20,298 households with an average household income of $49,978 a year. The unemployment rate in Alabama is 6.00% of the available work force and has dropped -3.43% 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 27.14%. The number of physicians in Olympia per 100,000 population = 238.3.


The annual rainfall in Olympia = 50.8 inches and the annual snowfall = 18.1 inches. The annual number of days with measurable precipitation (over .01 inch) = 164. The average number of days per year that are predominantly sunny = 136. 77 degrees Fahrenheit is the average daily high temperature for the month of July and 31.5 degrees Fahrenheit is the average daily low temperature for the month of January. The Comfort Index (higher=better) is 67, 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 Olympia, Thurston County, Washington which are owned by the occupant = 47.38%. 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 = $251,960 and home appreciation of -3.48%. 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 $12.74 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 $4,378 per student. There are 20.9 students for each teacher in the school, 653 students for each Librarian and 676 students for each Counselor. 7.03% of the area’s population over the age of 25 with an Associate Degree or other 2-year college degree, 25.06% with a master’s degree, Ph.D. or other advanced college degree and 14.88% with high school diplomas or high school equivalency degrees (GEDs).

  • Olympia's population in Thurston County, Washington of 3,863 residents in 1900 has increased 14,39-fold to 55,605 residents after 120 years, according to the official 2020 census.

    Approximately 51.95% female residents and 48.05% male residents live in Olympia, Thurston County, Washington.

    As of 2020 in Olympia, Thurston County, Washington are married and the remaining 50.34% are single population.

  • 21.9 minutes is the average time that residents in Olympia 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.

    71.77% of the working population which commute to work alone in their car, 12.32% of the working population which commutes to work in a carpool, 5.04% of the population that commutes using mass transit, including bus, light rail, subway, and ferry. 3.44% of the population that has their home as their principal place of work.

  • Of the total residential buildings in Olympia, Thurston County, Washington, 47.38% are owner-occupied homes, another 47.23% are rented apartments, and the remaining 5.39% are vacant.

  • The 25.76% of the population in Olympia, Thurston County, Washington who identify themselves as belonging to a religion are distributed among the following most diverse religions.

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