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home | Locations | FACTS & FIGURES FOR OLYMPIA, WASHING . . .

Ivan Gillis
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Olympia, Washington


Olympia is the capital of the U.S. state of Washington. It was incorporated on January 28, 1859.  Olympia is the county seat of Thurston County and a major cultural center of the Puget Sound region.


In the 1840s, Edmund Sylvester and Levi Smith jointly claimed the land that now comprises downtown Olympia. In 1853 the town settled on the name Olympia due to its view of the Olympic Mountains to the northwest. It is also claimed to be the farthest point on The Oregon Trail.


In 1851, the U.S. Congress established the Customs District of Puget Sound for Washington Territory and Olympia became the home of the customs house. Olympia is often associated with the Olympia Brewing Company, which from 1896-2003 brewed Olympia Beer.


A 1949 earthquake damaged many historic buildings beyond repair, and they were demolished. In 1965 and 2001, Olympia suffered damage from earthquake tremors, including the 2001 Nisqually earthquake.


In 1967, the state legislature approved the creation of The Evergreen State College near Olympia. Because of the college's presence, Olympia has become a hub for artists and musicians, and was recently named one of the best college towns in the nation for its vibrant downtown and access to outdoor activities.


The city of Olympia is located at the southern end of Puget Sound on Budd Inlet. The Deschutes River estuary at Olympia has been dammed to create Capitol Lake. Much of the lower areas of downtown Olympia is reclaimed land.


The climate of Olympia is a Marine West Coast climate with warm summers and mild, rainy winters. Snow occurs annually, but large accumulations are relatively rare.


Olympia is a regional center for fine arts. A number of theater experiences are available with companies such as Capital Playhouse , Theater Artists Olympia (TAO), Olympia Little Theater, and Harlequin Productions at the historic State Theater. The Olympia Symphony Orchestra performs five regular season concerts at the Washington Center and two pop concerts. Many of the city's venues offer exceptional quality entertainment.


Olympia was historically dependent on artesian waters. Early settlers in Swantown and Tumwater used artesian springs for their main water supply. The artesian spring at Fourth Avenue and Main Street (now called Capitol Way) was the main community well where settlers gathered to socialize. The Diamond Parking lot at Fourth Avenue and Jefferson Street is active, located in the parking lot of The Manium (421 4th Street). Another still flows at the corner of Olympia Avenue and Washington Street in the Bigelow Neighborhood. The northeast end of Capitol Lake was the location of an artesian well until the creation of the lake. McAllister Springs, the main water source for Olympia, is fed by artesian wells, and the former Olympia Brewery is supplied by 26 artesian wells.




Population (year 2000): 42,514. Estimated population in July 2006: 44,645 (+5.0% change)


Males: 20,319 


Females: 22,195 



Median Age 36

Ancestries: German (19.4%), Irish (14.4%), English (13.7%), Norwegian (6.3%), United States (4.3%), Scottish (4.1%).

Races in Olympia:

  • White Non-Hispanic (83.1%)
  • Hispanic (4.4%)
  • Two or more races (3.8%)
  • American Indian (2.5%)
  • Vietnamese (2.3%)
  • Black (1.9%)
  • Other race (1.7%)
  • Chinese (0.8%)
  • Korean (0.7%)
  • Other Asian (0.7%)
  • Filipino (0.6%)

Income & Housing Costs Numbers:


Estimated median household income in 2005: $41,800 (it was $40,846 in 2000)






Estimated median house/condo value in 2005: $201,300 (it was $143,500 in 2000)







Elevation: 130 feet

Land area: 16.7 square miles.

Population density: 2640 people per square mile 



In-Depth Facts and Figures as listed below, plus other information:

·        Climate Charts

1.      Average Temperature

2.      Precipitation (Rain)

3.      Humidity

4.      Wind Speed (MPH)

5.      Snowfall

6.      Sunshine

7.      Cloudy Days

·        Tornado Activity History

·        Hospitals & Medical

·        Airports

·        Colleges/Universities

·        High Schools

·        Locations of Interest

·        Shopping Centers

·        Churches

·        Lakes/Streams/Rivers/Creeks/Parks

·        Tourist Attractions

·        Banks

·        Housing Costs Information

·        Crime Statistics

·        Radio Stations AM/FM

·        TV Broadcast Stations

·        Discussion Forums


For the above information and photos, click this link:


Total Tax Burden--Data for Calculation


See article on Bellingham, Washington

Cost of Living Calculators Links:

Wikipedia Information Link:,_Washington






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