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Washington state overview and general information!
The State of Washington lies to the Pacific Northwest of the United States. It was carved out of the western part of the Washington Territory, that was ceded by Britain in 1846 according to the Oregon Treaty. Washington was admitted to the Union in 1889 as the 42nd state. The state capital of Washington is Olympia. Seattle is its largest city. Washington is often referred to as Washington State to distinguish it from Washington D.C., i.e., the capital of the United States.
The remains of the Kennewick Man, among the oldest and the complete human, remains found in North America was discovered here. Before European settlement, the area was home to several aboriginal American tribes. Industries of note during this time were whale-hunting and salmon fishing. The smallpox epidemic of the 1770s destroyed the Native American population living in Washington.
Washington Size and Population
Washington is the 18th largest state in the United States encompassing a geographical area of 71,362 sq miles. It is the 13th most populous state with more than 7.4 million residents. According to the US Census Bureau figures obtained in 2016, 7,288,000 people lived in Washington at the time. Female residents made up half of Washington’s population. The population here is predominantly young.
60% of Washington residents inhabit the Seattle metropolitan area, the center of transportation, business and industry along Puget Sound which is an inlet of the Pacific Ocean that consists of numerous islands, bays carved out of glaciers and deep fjords. The rest of the state comprises of deep and temperate rainforests in the west; mountain ranges in the west, northeast, central and far southeast; a semi-arid basin region in the central, south and east used for intensive agriculture.
Washington is the second-most populous state in the West Coast. Mount Rainier, an active stratovolcano is the state’s highest elevation at 14,411 feet. It is also the most topographically prominent mountain in the contiguous United States. Forests cover 52% of the state’s land area. The state’s ample wilderness provides sanctuary to many wild animals. The Pacific Shore Area is home to many kinds of whales.
Washington is home to manufacturing industries like aircraft and missiles, transportation equipment, lumber, food processing, metal and metal products, shipbuilding, chemicals, and machinery. The state has over a 1,000 dams which has been built for various reasons such as irrigation, flood control, power, and water storage. The Grand Coulee Dam is one among them.
It is a leading lumber producer. The rugged ground surface is profitable for the growth of hemlock, ponderosa pine, white pine, spruce, larch, cedar, and Douglas fir. Washington ranks highest in apple, hops, pears, spearmint oil, sweet cherries, and red raspberries production. It also significantly grows apricots, potatoes, peppermint oil, grapes, lentils, asparagus, and dry edible peas. Livestock makes a crucial contribution to the farm revenue and commercial fishing of salmon, bottom fish and halibut contributes significantly to the state economy. It is the second largest wine-producing state in the whole of U.S.
Washington is fairly wealthy and liberally progressive as compared to other states in the country. The state possesses a record of constantly coming up low for unemployment and high for life expectancy rates. It was also one of the earliest states to legalize the use of medicinal marijuana. It was also among the first thirty-six states to legalize same-sex marriage in 2012. Additionally, it was amongst the only states where you could opt for legal abortion before the abortion laws were loosened later. It is among the only five states to have asserted the practice of physician-assisted suicide.
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