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Tacoma, Washington

Tacoma is a city located in Pierce County, Washington. As of the 2000 census, the city had a total population of 193,556.

It is the home of such international companies as Weyerhaeuser, Labor Ready, Inc and the Frank Russell Company, as well as institutions of higher learning, including Pacific Lutheran University, University of Puget Sound, Tacoma Community College, and the University of Washington's Tacoma branch.

The Museum of Glass opened in downtown Tacoma in 2002, showcasing glass art from the region and around the world. It includes a functional glassblowing studio. Tacoma is also the site of the Washington State History Museum.

Tacoma is the county seat of Pierce County6.

Tacoma is famous in the Puget Sound region for smelling bad. The "Tacoma aroma," a distinctive, unpleasant smell that was a byproduct of local paper manufacturing, pervaded much of the city for decades. However, now that Simpson Paper shut down a large furnace and an urban renewal program has replaced many of the other industrial odor sources, the "Tacoma aroma" has dissipated.

Many well known people have come from Tacoma, among them singer Bing Crosby, author Richard Brautigan, serial killer Ted Bundy, actress Dyan Cannon, auto racer Pat Austin, prize fighter Sugar Ray Seales, glass artist Dale Chihuly, and musician Neko Case.

Table of contents
1 Geography
2 Demographics
3 Sports
4 Tacoma in pop culture


Tacoma is located at 47°14'29" North, 122°27'34" West (47.241371, -122.459389)1.

According to the United States Census Bureau, the city has a total area of 162.2 km² (62.6 mi²). 129.7 km² (50.1 mi²) of it is land and 32.5 km² (12.5 mi²) of it is water. The total area is 20.01% water.


As of the census1 of 2000, there are 193,556 people, 76,152 households, and 45,919 families residing in the city. The population density is 1,492.3/km² (3,864.9/mi²). There are 81,102 housing units at an average density of 625.3/km² (1,619.4/mi²). The racial makeup of the city is 69.08% White, 11.24% African American, 1.96% Native American, 7.57% Asian, 0.93% Pacific Islander, 2.94% from other races, and 6.28% from two or more races. 6.85% of the population are Hispanic or Latino of any race.

There are 76,152 households out of which 30.9% have children under the age of 18 living with them, 41.6% are married couples living together, 13.9% have a female householder with no husband present, and 39.7% are non-families. 31.7% of all households are made up of individuals and 10.4% have someone living alone who is 65 years of age or older. The average household size is 2.45 and the average family size is 3.10.

In the city the population is spread out with 25.8% under the age of 18, 10.4% from 18 to 24, 31.6% from 25 to 44, 20.3% from 45 to 64, and 11.9% who are 65 years of age or older. The median age is 34 years. For every 100 females there are 95.2 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there are 92.3 males.

The median income for a household in the city is $37,879, and the median income for a family is $45,567. Males have a median income of $35,820 versus $27,697 for females. The per capita income for the city is $19,130. 15.9% of the population and 11.4% of families are below the poverty line. Out of the total people living in poverty, 20.6% are under the age of 18 and 10.9% are 65 or older.

There is no International Airport within Tacoma city limits; however, the Seattle-Tacoma International Airport is located halfway between Seattle and Tacoma in the city of SeaTac between Burien and Federal Way. It serves Seattle, Washington, Tacoma and the Greater Puget Sound Metropolitan Area.


Tacoma, in addition to the professional sports teams of Seattle, has one minor leage baseball franchise, the Tacoma Rainiers. The city has struggled to keep a minor league hockey franchise, having lost the Tacoma Rockets of the WHL to relocation and having the Tacoma Sabercats of the West Coast Hockey League go defunct due to financial woes. The Tacoma Dome does still host traveling sports and pseudo-sports events such as pro wrestling, figure skating tours, and the Harlem Globetrotters.

Tacoma in pop culture

Case's "Thrice All American", featured on her album Furnace Room Lullaby, is an ode to Tacoma, which she considers her hometown. The city is also prominently mentioned in the 1977 Steve Miller Band song "Rock 'N Me" (I went from Phoenix, Arizona all the way to Tacoma, Philadelphia, Atlanta, L.A.).