King County, Washington

From Academic Kids

King County is located in the state of Washington. As of 2000, the population is 1,737,034, the largest in the state and the 12th largest in the nation. The county seat is Seattle.

The county was named in 1852 after William Rufus King, vice president under president Franklin Pierce. In 1986, the King County Council passed a motion "setting forth the historical basis for the 'renaming' of King County in honor of Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.". Councilmember Larry Gossett has repeatedly lobbied to change the county's logo from a royal crown to an image of King's face without success. On April 19, 2005, the Washington State Legislature passed and Governor Christine Gregoire signed this change into law, making it official. It is unclear what practical force this law will have.

King County

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King County is home to one of the first paramedic services in the United States, Medic One.



The King County Executive, currently Ron Sims, heads the county's executive branch. The King County Council is the legislative branch of government. Judicial power is vested in the King County Superior Court and the King County District Court. The county seat is Seattle, which houses the King County Courthouse.

King County is represented in the United States Congress through the Washington 7th Congressional District and parts of the 1st, 8th, and 9th districts. In the state legislature, King contains the entirety of the 5th, 11th, 32nd, 33rd, 34th, 36th, 37th, 41st, 43rd, 45th, 46th, 47th, and 48th legislative districts as well as parts of the 1st, 25th, 30th, 31st, and 39th districts.


King County is a major center for liberal politics and is a bastion for the Democrats. In the 2004 election, John Kerry defeated George W. Bush here by 32%, a larger margin than what Al Gore won in the 2000 election. King County has also been the deciding factor in a few recent close election which have given victory to the Democratic candidate in statewide elections. In 2000, it was King County that pushed Maria Cantwell over incumbent Republican Slade Gorton, winning her a seat in the United States Senate. In 2004, King County gave a lead to Democrat Christine Gregoire in the third recount in the state's razor-thin governor's race, pushing her ahead of Republican Dino Rossi, who had previously been certified as governor-elect by as little as 42 votes. If the 2004 results stand, Gregoire will be the next Governor of Washington by 129 votes from King County.

Some conservative rural residents of eastern King County are agitating to secede and form their own county, though there does not appear to exist a procedure by which they could do so without the agreement of a King County Council controlled by urban and suburban Democrats.Template:RefTemplate:Ref According to a map published by the Seattle TimesTemplate:Ref, four different geographic borders are being considered.


According to the U.S. Census Bureau, the county has a total area of 5,974 km² (2,307 mi²). It is the 11th largest county in Washington by area. 5,506 km² (2,126 mi²) of it is land and 467 km² (180 mi²) of it is water. The total area is 7.82% water.

King County borders Snohomish County to the north, Kitsap County to the west, Kittitas County to the east, and Pierce County to the south. It also shares a small border with Chelan County to the northeast. It includes Vashon Island and Maury Island.

Geographic features

Major highways

Adjacent counties


As of the census2 of 2000, there are 1,737,034 people, 710,916 households, and 420,151 families residing in the county. The population density is 315/km² (817/mi²). There are 742,237 housing units at an average density of 135/km² (349/mi²). The racial makeup of the county is 75.73% White, 5.40% Black or African American, 0.92% Native American, 10.81% Asian, 0.52% Pacific Islander, 2.56% from other races, and 4.06% from two or more races. 5.48% of the population are Hispanic or Latino of any race.

There are 710,916 households out of which 28.40% have children under the age of 18 living with them, 46.40% are married couples living together, 9.00% have a female householder with no husband present, and 40.90% are non-families. 30.50% of all households are made up of individuals and 7.50% have someone living alone who is 65 years of age or older. The average household size is 2.39 and the average family size is 3.03.

In the county, the population is spread out with 22.50% under the age of 18, 9.30% from 18 to 24, 34.70% from 25 to 44, 23.10% from 45 to 64, and 10.50% who are 65 years of age or older. The median age is 36 years. For every 100 females there are 99.10 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there are 97.30 males.

The median income for a household in the county is $53,157, and the median income for a family is $66,035. Males have a median income of $45,802 versus $34,321 for females. The per capita income for the county is $29,521. 8.40% of the population and 5.30% of families are below the poverty line. Out of the total population, 9.40% of those under the age of 18 and 7.40% of those 65 and older are living below the poverty line.

Cities and towns

See also Cities in King County.



  1. Template:Note King County Journal: Proposal would ease creation of new county (
  2. Template:Note King County Journal: Calls for new county intensify - Rural rage revives drive to escape Seattle influence (
  3. Template:Note Cascade County (GIF) (

External links

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Smaller cities:

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fr:comté de King, Washington


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