Seattle (/siˈætəl/ (listen) see-AT-əl) is a seaport city on the West Coast of the United States. It is the seat of King County, Washington. With a 2020 population of 737,015,[2] it is the largest city in both the state of Washington and the Pacific Northwest region of North America. The Seattle metropolitan area's population is 4.02 million, making it the 15th-largest in the United States.[10] Its growth rate of 21.1% between 2010 and 2020 makes it one of the nation's fastest-growing large cities.[11]

Seattle, Washington
City of Seattle
Top to bottom, left to right: Downtown with Mount Rainier in the distance, the Quad at the University of Washington, Pike Place Market, the Space Needle with Puget Sound and the Olympic mountains in the background, Seattle Great Wheel, Link light rail, and the Amazon Spheres.
The Emerald City, Jet City, Rain City
The City of Flowers, The City of Goodwill
Location within King County
Location within the State of Washington
Location within the United States
Location within North America
Coordinates: 47°36′35″N 122°19′59″W
CountryUnited States
FoundedNovember 13, 1851 (1851-11-13)
Incorporated as a townJanuary 14, 1865 (1865-01-14)
Incorporated as a cityDecember 2, 1869 (1869-12-02)
Named forChief Si'ahl
  BodySeattle City Council
  MayorBruce Harrell (D)
  Deputy mayorsMonisha Harrell, Tiffany Washington, and Kendee Yamaguchi
  City142.07 sq mi (367.97 km2)
  Land83.99 sq mi (217.54 km2)
  Water58.08 sq mi (150.43 km2)
8,186 sq mi (21,202 km2)
Elevation175 ft (53 m)
Highest elevation
520 ft (158 m)
Lowest elevation
0 ft (0 m)
  Rank18th in the United States
1st in Washington
  Density8,775.03/sq mi (3,387.95/km2)
  Urban3,544,011 (US: 13th)
  Urban density3,607.1/sq mi (1,392.7/km2)
  Metro4,018,762 (US: 15th)
DemonymSeattleite[5] or Seattlite[6]
Time zoneUTC−8 (Pacific (PST))
  Summer (DST)UTC−7 (PDT)
ZIP Codes
ZIP Codes[7][8]
Area code206
FIPS code53-63000
GNIS feature ID1512650[9]

Seattle is situated on an isthmus between Puget Sound (an inlet of the Pacific Ocean) and Lake Washington. It is the northernmost major city in the United States, located about 100 miles (160 km) south of the Canadian border. A major gateway for trade with East Asia, Seattle is the fourth-largest port in North America in terms of container handling as of 2021.[12]

The Seattle area was inhabited by Native Americans for at least 4,000 years before the first permanent European settlers.[13] Arthur A. Denny and his group of travelers, subsequently known as the Denny Party, arrived from Illinois via Portland, Oregon, on the schooner Exact at Alki Point on November 13, 1851.[14] The settlement was moved to the eastern shore of Elliott Bay and named "Seattle" in 1852, in honor of Chief Si'ahl of the local Duwamish and Suquamish tribes. Today, Seattle has high populations of Native, Scandinavian, European American, Asian American and African American people, as well as a thriving LGBT community that ranks sixth in the United States by population.[15]

Logging was Seattle's first major industry, but by the late 19th century, the city had become a commercial and shipbuilding center as a gateway to Alaska during the Klondike Gold Rush. Growth after World War II was partially due to the local Boeing company, which established Seattle as a center for aircraft manufacturing. The Seattle area developed into a technology center from the 1980s onwards with companies like Microsoft becoming established in the region; Microsoft founder Bill Gates is a Seattleite by birth. Internet retailer Amazon was founded in Seattle in 1994, and major airline Alaska Airlines is based in SeaTac, Washington, serving Seattle's international airport, Seattle–Tacoma International Airport. The stream of new software, biotechnology, and Internet companies led to an economic revival, which increased the city's population by almost 50,000 between 1990 and 2000. Seattle also has a significant musical history. Between 1918 and 1951, nearly two dozen jazz nightclubs existed along Jackson Street, from the current Chinatown/International District to the Central District. The jazz scene nurtured the early careers of Ray Charles, Quincy Jones, Ernestine Anderson, and others. Seattle is also the birthplace of rock musician Jimi Hendrix, as well as the origin of the bands Nirvana, Pearl Jam, Soundgarden, Heart, Alice in Chains, Foo Fighters, and the alternative rock movement grunge.[16]

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