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Olympia, Washington

Olympia is the capital of Washington, a state of the United States of America. As of the 2000 census, it has a population of 42,514. It is the county seat of Thurston County. Along with the cities of Lacey and Tumwater, Olympia is the focal point of the South Puget Sound region.

Rachel Corrie, a member of the International Solidarity Movement, became one of the first US citizens to be killed in the Israel-Palestine conflict. Rachel was on a leave of absence from The Evergreen State College (website) in Olympia.


Olympia is located at 47°2'33" North, 122°53'35" West (47.042418, -122.893077)1.

According to the United States Census Bureau, the city has a total area of 48.0 km² (18.5 mi²). 43.3 km² (16.7 mi²) of it is land and 4.7 km² (1.8 mi²) of it is water. The total area is 9.77% water.


As of the census1 of 2000, there are 42,514 people, 18,670 households, and 9,969 families residing in the city. The population density is 982.3/km² (2,544.4/mi²). There are 19,738 housing units at an average density of 456.1/km² (1,181.3/mi²). The ethnic makeup of the city is 85.26% White, 1.89% African American, 1.30% Native American, 5.82% Asian, 0.29% Pacific Islander, 1.68% from other cultural backgrounds, and 3.76% from two or more ethnicities. 4.38% of the population are Hispanic or Latino of any ethnicities.

There are 18,670 households out of which 26.8% have children under the age of 18 living with them, 39.6% are married couples living together, 10.4% have a female householder with no husband present, and 46.6% are non-families. 35.2% of all households are made up of individuals and 10.7% have someone living alone who is 65 years of age or older. The average household size is 2.21 and the average family size is 2.88.

In the city the population is spread out with 21.5% under the age of 18, 11.9% from 18 to 24, 30.4% from 25 to 44, 22.9% from 45 to 64, and 13.3% who are 65 years of age or older. The median age is 36 years. For every 100 females there are 91.5 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there are 88.1 males.

The median income for a household in the city is $40,846, and the median income for a family is $54,136. Males have a median income of $41,267 versus $31,515 for females. The per capita income for the city is $22,590. 12.1% of the population and 6.9% of families are below the poverty line. Out of the total people living in poverty, 10.4% are under the age of 18 and 6.3% are 65 or older.


Originally a lumber and milltown, Olympia was made state Capitol in 1889.

In 1971, the experimental "The Evergreen State College" was sited there much to the dismay of the town's generally conservative residents. Because of the college's presence, Olympia has become a hub for artists and musicians (many of whom have been influential in post-punk music trends).

See also