Sequim, Washington 1 of 6 Olympic Peninsula Washington areas with Active Retirement Communities Locations.
Active Retirement Communities
State: Washington--Olympic Peninsula
Sequim is a city in Clallam County, Washington, United States. The 2010 US Census counted a population of 6,606. Sequim is located along the Dungeness River near the base of the Olympic Mountains. The city has been increasing in population dramatically in recent years due to the influx of retirees from the Puget Sound region and California.
Sequim lies within the rainshadow of the Olympic Mountains and receives an average of less than 15 inches (380 mm) of rain per year--about the same at Los Angeles, California. Yet the city is fairly close to some of the wettest temperate rainforests of the contiguous United States. This climate anomaly is sometimes called the blue hole of Sequim. Fogs and cool breezes from the Juan de Fuca Strait make Sequim's environment more humid than would be expected from the low average annual precipitation. Some places have surprisingly luxuriant forests dominated by Douglas-fir and western red cedar. Black cottonwood, red alder, bigleaf maple, Pacific madrone, lodgepole pine and Garry oak can also be large. Historically, much of the area was an open oak-studded prairie supported by somewhat excessively drained gravelly sandy loam soil, though agriculture and development of the Dungeness valley have changed this ecosystem. Most soils under Sequim have been placed in a series which is named after the city. This "Sequim series" is one of the few Mollisols in western Washington and its high base saturation, a characteristic of the Mollisol order, is attributed to the minimal leaching of bases caused by low annual rainfall.
The city and the surrounding area are particularly known for the commercial growth of lavender, supported by the unique climate: it makes Sequim the "Lavender Capital of North America", rivaled only in France. The area is also known for its Dungeness crab.
Sequim is pronounced as one syllable, with the e elided: "skwim". The word comes from the Klallam language. It can be broken down into multiple sounds, that mean "reason, thing or place for", "shoot" and "go to" which translates to "place for going to shoot" referring to the numerous elk and fowl resources in the area.
In recent decades, the family farms that once dotted the valley have been parceled off into home sites as the area's excellent climate has drawn many retired people. Recent years have seen a resurgence of organic farming in the area, with Nash Huber of Nash's Organic Produce leading the way, and a weekly farmer's market is held downtown from May to October. By the late 1990s lavender farming began to be popular and has grown into a major part of the local economy as well as a large tourist attraction, culminating every July in the Sequim Lavender Festival.
Sequim has held its Irrigation Festival every May since 1895. As of 2010[update], it is the longest continuously running festival in the state.
The Sequim Lavender Festival has been held every July since 1996. It includes three days of lavender farm tours and a street fair.
Sequim is home to a herd of Roosevelt elk, one attraction to the area.
The Museum and Arts Center features both natural and cultural exhibits including a mastodon mural mounted with the remaining mastodons bones, artifacts, and a video on the excavation. The Olympic Game Farm allows visitors to get a close look at many large game animals.
The Dungeness National Wildlife Refuge is located just north of the city, near the mouth of the Dungeness River. It includes Dungeness Spit and a five mile hike to the New Dungeness Lighthouse at the end of the spit.
To the east along Highway 101 is Sequim Bay, a 4-mile long inlet from the Straits of Juan de Fuca. Along the western stretch is the Sequim Bay State Park and the John Wayne Marina. The land for the latter was bequeathed by the movie actor John Wayne. The inlet is a popular bird watching area.
Income & Housing Costs Numbers:
As of the census of 2010, there were 6,606 people residing in the city. The population density was 1246.4 people per square mile (482.2/km²).
More detailed information from the 2000 census indicated that the racial makeup of the city was 93.91% White, 0.30% African American, 1.15% Native American, 1.75% Asian, 0.09% Pacific Islander, 0.92% from other races, and 1.87% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 2.86% of the population.
There were 2,163 households out of which 15.5% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 40.1% were married couples living together, 9.1% had a female householder with no husband present, and 48.6% were non-families. 44.0% of all households were made up of individuals and 30.5% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 1.90 and the average family size was 2.55.
In the city the age distribution of the population shows 15.3% under the age of 18, 5.4% from 18 to 24, 15.2% from 25 to 44, 19.5% from 45 to 64, and 44.5% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 59 years. For every 100 females there were 73.2 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 68.9 males.
The median income for a household in the city was $27,880, and the median income for a family was $35,652. Males had a median income of $35,160 versus $20,347 for females. The per capita income for the city was $19,253. About 9.8% of families and 13.9% of the population were below the poverty line, including 19.9% of those under age 18 and 10.7% of those age 65 or over.
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