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 an estimated 730,000 residents as of 2018, Seattle is the largest city in both the state of Washington and the Pacific Northwest region of North America. According to U.S. Census data released in 2018, the Seattle metropolitan area’s population stands at 3.87 million, and ranks as the 15th largest in the United States. In July 2013, it was the fastest-growing major city in the United States and remained in the Top 5 in May 2015 with an annual growth rate of 2.1%. In July 2016, Seattle was again the fastest-growing major U.S. city, with a 3.1% annual growth rate. Seattle is the northernmost large city in the United States.
The city is situated on an isthmus between Puget Sound (an inlet of the Pacific Ocean) and Lake Washington, about 100 miles (160 km) south of the Canada–United States border. A major gateway for trade with Asia, Seattle is the fourth-largest port in North America in terms of container handling as of 2015.
The Seattle area was inhabited by Native Americans for at least 4,000 years before the first permanent European settlers. 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. 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, African, and Asian Americans, as well as a thriving LGBT community that ranks 6th in the United States for population.
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. Owing largely to its rapidly increasing population in the 21st century, Seattle and the state of Washington have some of the highest minimum wages in the country, at $15 per hour for smaller businesses and $16 for the city's largest employers.
Seattle has a noteworthy musical history. From 1918 to 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, Alice in Chains, Foo Fighters and the alternative rock movement grunge.
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
|Incorporated||December 2, 1869|
|Named for||Chief Seattle|
|• Body||Seattle City Council|
|• Mayor||Jenny Durkan (D)|
|• Deputy mayors||Michael Fong and Shefali Ranganathan|
|• City||142.07 sq mi (367.96 km2)|
|• Land||83.86 sq mi (217.19 km2)|
|• Water||58.21 sq mi (150.77 km2)|
|• Metro||8,186 sq mi (21,202 km2)|
|Highest elevation||520 ft (158 m)|
|Lowest elevation||0 ft (0 m)|
| • Estimate |
|• Rank||US: 18th|
|• Density||8,642.42/sq mi (3,336.87/km2)|
|• Urban||3,059,393 (US: 14th)|
|• Metro||3,733,580 (US: 15th)|
|• CSA||4,459,677 (US: 13th)|
|Demonym(s)||Seattleite or Seattlite|
|Time zone||UTC−8 (PST)|
|• Summer (DST)||UTC−7 (PDT)|
|GNIS feature ID||1512650|
Archaeological excavations suggest that Native Americans have inhabited the Seattle area for at least 4,000 years. By the time the first European settlers arrived, the people (subsequently called the Duwamish tribe) occupied at least seventeen villages in the areas around Elliott Bay.
The first European to visit the Seattle area was George Vancouver, in May 1792 during his 1791–95 expedition to chart the Pacific Northwest. In 1851, a large party led by Luther Collins made a location on land at the mouth of the Duwamish River; they formally claimed it on September 14, 1851. Thirteen days later, members of the Collins Party on the way to their claim passed three scouts of the Denny Party. Members of the Denny Party claimed land on Alki Point on September 28, 1851. The rest of the Denny Party set sail from Portland, Oregon, and landed on Alki point during a rainstorm on November 13, 1851.
Charles Terry and John Low remained at the original landing location and reestablished their old land claim and called it "New York", but renamed "New York Alki" in April 1853, from a Chinook word meaning, roughly, "by and by" or "someday".
For the next few years, New York Alki and Duwamps competed for dominance, but in time Alki was abandoned and its residents moved across the bay to join the rest of the settlers.
The name "Seattle" appears on official Washington Territory papers dated May 23, 1853, when the first plats for the village were filed. In 1855, nominal land settlements were established. On January 14, 1865, the Legislature of Territorial Washington incorporated the Town of Seattle with a board of trustees managing the city. The Town of Seattle was disincorporated on January 18, 1867, and remained a mere precinct of King County until late 1869, when a new petition was filed and the city was re-incorporated December 2, 1869, with a mayor–council government. The corporate seal of the City of Seattle carries the date "1869" and a likeness of Chief Sealth in left profile.
Seattle has a history of boom-and-bust cycles, like many other cities near areas of extensive natural and mineral resources. Seattle has risen several times economically, then gone into precipitous decline, but it has typically used those periods to rebuild solid infrastructure.
The first such boom, covering the early years of the city, rode on the lumber industry. (During this period the road now known as Yesler Way won the nickname "Skid Road," supposedly after the timber skidding down the hill to Henry Yesler's sawmill. The later dereliction of the area may be a possible origin for the term which later entered the wider American lexicon as Skid Row.) Like much of the American West, Seattle saw numerous conflicts between labor and management, as well as ethnic tensions that culminated in the anti-Chinese riots of 1885–1886. This violence originated with unemployed whites who were determined to drive the Chinese from Seattle (anti-Chinese riots also occurred in Tacoma). In 1900, Asians were 4.2% of the population. Authorities declared martial law and federal troops arrived to put down the disorder.
Seattle had achieved sufficient economic success that when the Great Seattle Fire of 1889 destroyed the central business district, a far grander city-center rapidly emerged in its place. Finance company Washington Mutual, for example, was founded in the immediate wake of the fire. However, the Panic of 1893 hit Seattle hard.
The second and most dramatic boom resulted from the Klondike Gold Rush, which ended the depression that had begun with the Panic of 1893. In a short time, Seattle became a major transportation center. On July 14, 1897, the S.S. Portland docked with its famed "ton of gold," and Seattle became the main transport and supply point for the miners in Alaska and the Yukon. Few of those working men found lasting wealth. However, it was Seattle's business of clothing the miners and feeding them salmon that panned out in the long run. Along with Seattle, other cities like Everett, Tacoma, Port Townsend, Bremerton, and Olympia, all in the Puget Sound region, became competitors for exchange, rather than mother lodes for extraction, of precious metals. The boom lasted well into the early part of the 20th century, and funded many new Seattle companies and products. In 1907, 19-year-old James E. Casey borrowed $100 from a friend and founded the American Messenger Company (later UPS). Other Seattle companies founded during this period include Nordstrom and Eddie Bauer. Seattle brought in the Olmsted Brothers landscape architecture firm to design a system of parks and boulevards.
A shipbuilding boom in the early part of the 20th century became massive during World War I, making Seattle somewhat of a company town. The subsequent retrenchment led to the Seattle General Strike of 1919, the first general strike in the country. A 1912 city development plan by Virgil Bogue went largely unused. Seattle was mildly prosperous in the 1920s but was particularly hard hit in the Great Depression, experiencing some of the country's harshest labor strife in that era. Violence during the Maritime Strike of 1934 cost Seattle much of its maritime traffic, which was rerouted to the Port of Los Angeles.
The Great Depression in Seattle affected many minority groups, one being the Asian Pacific Americans; they were subject to racism, loss of property, and failed claims of unemployment due to citizenship status.
Seattle was one of the major cities that benefited from programs such as the WPA, CCC, UCL, and PWA. The workers, mostly men, built roads, parks, dams, schools, railroads, bridges, docks, and even historical and archival record sites and buildings. However, Seattle faced massive unemployment, loss of lumber and construction industries as Los Angeles prevailed as the bigger West Coast city. Seattle had building contracts that rivaled New York City and Chicago, but lost to LA as well. Seattle's eastern farm land faded due to Oregon’s and the Midwest’s, forcing people into town.
The famous Hooverville arose during the Depression, leading to Seattle's growing homeless population. Stationed outside Seattle, the Hooverville housed thousands of men but very very few children and no women. With work projects close to the city, Hooverville grew and the WPA settled into the city.
A movement by women arose from Seattle during the Depression. Fueled by Eleanor Roosevelt’s book It’s Up to the Women, women pushed for recognition, not just as housewives, but as the backbone to family. Using newspapers and journals Working Woman and The Woman Today, women pushed to be seen as equal and receive some recognition.
Seattle's University of Washington was greatly affected during the Depression era. As schools across Washington lost funding and attendance, the UW actually prospered during the time period. While Seattle public schools were influenced by Washington's superintendent Worth McClure, they still struggled to pay teachers and maintain attendance. The UW, despite academic challenges that plagued the college due to differing views on teaching and learning, focused on growth in student enrollment rather than improving the existing school.
Seattle was also the home base of impresario Alexander Pantages who, starting in 1902, opened a number of theaters in the city exhibiting vaudeville acts and silent movies. His activities soon expanded, and the thrifty Greek went on and became one of America's greatest theater and movie tycoons. Between Pantages and his rival John Considine, Seattle was for a while the western United States' vaudeville mecca. B. Marcus Priteca, the Scottish-born and Seattle-based architect, built several theaters for Pantages, including some in Seattle. The theaters he built for Pantages in Seattle have been either demolished or converted to other uses, but many other theaters survive in other cities of the U.S., often retaining the Pantages name; Seattle's surviving Paramount Theatre, on which he collaborated, was not a Pantages theater.
War work again brought local prosperity during World War II, this time centered on Boeing aircraft. The war dispersed the city's numerous Japanese-American businessmen due to the Japanese American internment. After the war, the local economy dipped. It rose again with Boeing's growing dominance in the commercial airliner market. Seattle celebrated its restored prosperity and made a bid for world recognition with the Century 21 Exposition, the 1962 World's Fair. Another major local economic downturn was in the late 1960s and early 1970s, at a time when Boeing was heavily affected by the oil crises, loss of Government contracts, and costs and delays associated with the Boeing 747. Many people left the area to look for work elsewhere, and two local real estate agents put up a billboard reading "Will the last person leaving Seattle – Turn out the lights."
Seattle remained the corporate headquarters of Boeing until 2001, when the company separated its headquarters from its major production facilities; the headquarters were moved to Chicago. The Seattle area is still home to Boeing's Renton narrow-body plant (where the 707, 720, 727, and 757 were assembled, and the 737 is assembled today) and Everett wide-body plant (assembly plant for the 747, 767, 777, and 787). The company's credit union for employees, BECU, remains based in the Seattle area, though it is now open to all residents of Washington.
As prosperity began to return in the 1980s, the city was stunned by the Wah Mee massacre in 1983, when 13 people were killed in an illegal gambling club in the Seattle Chinatown-International District. Beginning with Microsoft's 1979 move from Albuquerque, New Mexico, to nearby Bellevue, Washington, Seattle and its suburbs became home to a number of technology companies including Amazon.com, F5 Networks, RealNetworks, Nintendo of America, McCaw Cellular (now part of AT&T Mobility), VoiceStream (now T-Mobile), and biomedical corporations such as HeartStream (later purchased by Philips), Heart Technologies (later purchased by Boston Scientific), Physio-Control (later purchased by Medtronic), ZymoGenetics, ICOS (later purchased by Eli Lilly and Company) and Immunex (later purchased by Amgen). This success brought an influx of new residents with a population increase within city limits of almost 50,000 between 1990 and 2000, and saw Seattle's real estate become some of the most expensive in the country. In 1993, the movie Sleepless in Seattle brought the city further national attention.The dot-com boom caused a great frenzy among the technology companies in Seattle but the bubble ended in early 2001.
Seattle in this period attracted widespread attention as home to these many companies, but also by hosting the 1990 Goodwill Games and the APEC leaders conference in 1993, as well as through the worldwide popularity of grunge, a sound that had developed in Seattle's independent music scene. Another bid for worldwide attention—hosting the World Trade Organization Ministerial Conference of 1999—garnered visibility, but not in the way its sponsors desired, as related protest activity and police reactions to those protests overshadowed the conference itself. The city was further shaken by the Mardi Gras Riots in 2001, and then literally shaken the following day by the Nisqually earthquake.
Another boom began as the city emerged from the Great Recession which commenced when Amazon.com moved its headquarters from North Beacon Hill to South Lake Union. This initiated a historic construction boom which resulted in the completion of almost 10,000 apartments in Seattle in 2017, which is more than any previous year and nearly twice as many as were built in 2016. Beginning in 2010, and for the next five years, Seattle gained an average of 14,511 residents per year, with the growth strongly skewed toward the center of the city, as unemployment dropped from roughly 9 percent to 3.6 percent. The city has found itself "bursting at the seams", with over 45,000 households spending more than half their income on housing and at least 2,800 people homeless, and with the country's sixth-worst rush hour traffic.
With a land area of 83.9 square miles (217.3 km²), Seattle is the northernmost city with at least 500,000 people in the United States, farther north than Canadian cities such as Toronto, Ottawa, and Montreal, and at about the same latitude as Salzburg, Austria.
The topography of Seattle is hilly. The city lies on several hills, including Capitol Hill, First Hill, West Seattle, Beacon Hill, Magnolia, Denny Hill, and Queen Anne. The Kitsap and the Olympic peninsulas along with the Olympic mountains lie to the west of Puget Sound, while the Cascade Range and Lake Sammamish lie to the east of Lake Washington. The city has over 5,540 acres (2,242 ha) of parkland.
Seattle is located between the saltwater Puget Sound (an arm of the Pacific Ocean) to the west and Lake Washington to the east. The city's chief harbor, Elliott Bay, is part of Puget Sound, which makes the city an oceanic port. To the west, beyond Puget Sound, are the Kitsap Peninsula and Olympic Mountains on the Olympic Peninsula; to the east, beyond Lake Washington and the Eastside suburbs, are Lake Sammamish and the Cascade Range. Lake Washington's waters flow to Puget Sound through the Lake Washington Ship Canal (consisting of two man-made canals, Lake Union, and the Hiram M. Chittenden Locks at Salmon Bay, ending in Shilshole Bay on Puget Sound).
The sea, rivers, forests, lakes, and fields surrounding Seattle were once rich enough to support one of the world's few sedentary hunter-gatherer societies. The surrounding area lends itself well to sailing, skiing, bicycling, camping, and hiking year-round.
The city itself is hilly, though not uniformly so. Like Rome, the city is said to lie on seven hills; the lists vary but typically include Capitol Hill, First Hill, West Seattle, Beacon Hill, Queen Anne, Magnolia, and the former Denny Hill. The Wallingford, Delridge, Mount Baker, Seward Park, Washington Park, Broadmoor, Madrona, Phinney Ridge, Sunset Hill, Blue Ridge, Broadview, Laurelhurst, Hawthorne Hills, Maple Leaf, and Crown Hill neighborhoods are all located on hills as well. Many of the hilliest areas are near the city center, with Capitol Hill, First Hill, and Beacon Hill collectively constituting something of a ridge along an isthmus between Elliott Bay and Lake Washington. The break in the ridge between First Hill and Beacon Hill is man-made, the result of two of the many regrading projects that reshaped the topography of the city center. The topography of the city center was also changed by the construction of a seawall and the artificial Harbor Island (completed 1909) at the mouth of the city's industrial Duwamish Waterway, the terminus of the Green River. The highest point within city limits is at High Point in West Seattle, which is roughly located near 35th Ave SW and SW Myrtle St. Other notable hills include Crown Hill, View Ridge/Wedgwood/Bryant, Maple Leaf, Phinney Ridge, Mt. Baker Ridge, and Highlands/Carkeek/Bitterlake.
Due to its location in the Pacific Ring of Fire, Seattle is in a major earthquake zone. On February 28, 2001, the magnitude 6.8 Nisqually earthquake did significant architectural damage, especially in the Pioneer Square area (built on reclaimed land, as are the Industrial District and part of the city center), but caused only one fatality. Other strong quakes occurred on January 26, 1700 (estimated at 9 magnitude), December 14, 1872 (7.3 or 7.4), April 13, 1949 (7.1), and April 29, 1965 (6.5). The 1965 quake caused three deaths in Seattle directly and one more by heart failure. Although the Seattle Fault passes just south of the city center, neither it nor the Cascadia subduction zone has caused an earthquake since the city's founding. The Cascadia subduction zone poses the threat of an earthquake of magnitude 9.0 or greater, capable of seriously damaging the city and collapsing many buildings, especially in zones built on fill.
According to the United States Census Bureau, the city has a total area of 142.5 square miles (369 km2), 83.9 square miles (217 km2) of which is land and 58.7 square miles (152 km2), water (41.16% of the total area).
Seattle has a warm-temperate climate, officially in the mediterranean zone by the main climatic classification (Köppen: Csb). but other sources due to winter temperatures consider a oceanic climate (Cfb), without meeting Köppen-Geiger criteria. It has cool, wet winters and mild, relatively dry summers, covering characteristics of both. The climate is sometimes characterized as a "modified Mediterranean" climate because it is cooler and wetter than a "true" Mediterranean climate, but shares the characteristic dry summer (which has a strong influence on the region's vegetation). The city and environs are part of USDA hardiness zone 8b, with isolated coastal pockets falling under 9a.
Temperature extremes are moderated by the adjacent Puget Sound, greater Pacific Ocean, and Lake Washington. Thus extreme heat waves are rare in the Seattle area, as are very cold temperatures (below about 15 °F (−9 °C)). The Seattle area is the most cloudy region of the United States, due in part to frequent storms and lows moving in from the adjacent Pacific Ocean. Despite having a reputation for frequent rain, Seattle receives less precipitation than many other U.S. cities like Chicago or New York City. However, unlike many other U.S. cities, Seattle has many more "rain days", when a very light drizzle falls from the sky for many days. In an average year, at least 0.01 inches (0.25 mm) of precipitation falls on 150 days, more than nearly all U.S. cities east of the Rocky Mountains. It is cloudy 201 days out of the year and partly cloudy 93 days. Official weather and climatic data is collected at Seattle–Tacoma International Airport, located about 19 km (12 mi) south of downtown in the city of SeaTac, which is at a higher elevation, and records more cloudy days and fewer partly cloudy days per year.
From 1981 to 2010, the average annual precipitation measured at Seattle–Tacoma International Airport was 37.49 inches (952 mm). Annual precipitation has ranged from 23.78 in (604 mm) in 1952 to 55.14 in (1,401 mm) in 1950; for water year (October 1 – September 30) precipitation, the range is 23.16 in (588 mm) in 1976–77 to 51.82 in (1,316 mm) in 1996–97. Due to local variations in microclimate, Seattle also receives significantly lower precipitation than some other locations west of the Cascades. Around 80 mi (129 km) to the west, the Hoh Rain Forest in Olympic National Park on the western flank of the Olympic Mountains receives an annual average precipitation of 142 in (3.61 m). Sixty miles (95 km) to the south of Seattle, the state capital Olympia, which is out of the Olympic Mountains' rain shadow, receives an annual average precipitation of 50 in (1,270 mm). The city of Bremerton, about 15 mi (24 km) west of downtown Seattle on the other side of the Puget Sound, receives 56.4 in (1,430 mm) of precipitation annually.
Conversely, the northeastern portion of the Olympic Peninsula, which lies east of the Olympic Mountains is located within the Olympic rain shadow and receives significantly less precipitation than its surrounding areas. Prevailing airflow from the west is forced to cool and compress when colliding with the mountain range, resulting in high levels of precipitation within the mountains and its western slopes. Once the airflow reaches the leeward side of the mountains, it then lowers and expands resulting in warmer, and significantly dryer air. Sequim, Washington, nicknamed "Sunny Sequim," is located approximately 40 mi (64 km) northwest of downtown Seattle and receives just 16.51 inches (419 mm) of annual precipitation, more comparable to that of Los Angeles. Often an area devoid of cloud cover can be seen extending out over the Puget Sound to the north and east of Sequim. On average Sequim observes 127 sunny days per year in addition to 127 days with partial cloud cover. Other areas influenced by the Olympic rain shadow include Port Angeles, Port Townsend, extending as far north as Victoria, British Columbia.
In November, Seattle averages more rainfall than any other U.S. city of more than 250,000 people; it also ranks highly in winter precipitation. Conversely, the city receives some of the lowest precipitation amounts of any large city from June to September. Seattle is one of the five rainiest major U.S. cities as measured by the number of days with precipitation, and it receives some of the lowest amounts of annual sunshine among major cities in the lower 48 states, along with some cities in the Northeast, Ohio, and Michigan. Thunderstorms are rare, as the city reports thunder on just seven days per year. By comparison, Fort Myers, Florida, reports thunder on 93 days per year, Kansas City on 52, and New York City on 25.
Seattle experiences its heaviest rainfall during November, December, and January, receiving roughly half of its annual rainfall (by volume) during this period. In late fall and early winter, atmospheric rivers (also known as "Pineapple Express" systems), strong frontal systems, and Pacific low-pressure systems are common. Light rain & drizzle are the predominant forms of precipitation during the remainder of the year; for instance, on average, less than 1.6 in (41 mm) of rain falls in July and August combined when rain is less common. On occasion, Seattle experiences somewhat more significant weather events. One such event occurred on December 2–4, 2007, when sustained hurricane-force winds and widespread heavy rainfall associated with a strong Pineapple Express event occurred in the greater Puget Sound area and the western parts of Washington and Oregon. Precipitation totals exceeded 13.8 in (350 mm) in some areas with winds topping out at 209 km/h (130 mph) along coastal Oregon. It became the second wettest event in Seattle history when a little over 130 mm (5.1 in) of rain fell on Seattle in a 24-hour period. Lack of adaptation to the heavy rain contributed to five deaths and widespread flooding and damage.
Autumn, winter, and early spring are frequently characterized by rain. Winters are cool and wet with December, the coolest month, averaging 40.6 °F (4.8 °C), with 28 annual days with lows that reach the freezing mark, and 2.0 days where the temperature stays at or below freezing all day; the temperature rarely lowers to 20 °F (−7 °C). Summers are sunny, dry and warm, with August, the warmest month, with high temperatures averaging 76.1 °F (24.5 °C), and reaching 90 °F (32 °C) on 3.1 days per year. In 2015 the city recorded 13 days over 90 °F. The hottest officially recorded temperature was 103 °F (39 °C) on July 29, 2009; the coldest recorded temperature was 0 °F (−18 °C) on January 31, 1950; the record cold daily maximum is 16 °F (−9 °C) on January 14, 1950, while, conversely, the record warm daily minimum is 71 °F (22 °C) the day the official record high was set. The average window for freezing temperatures is November 16 through March 10, allowing a growing season of 250 days.
Seattle typically receives some snowfall on an annual basis but heavy snow is rare. Average annual snowfall, as measured at Sea-Tac Airport, is 6.8 inches (17.3 cm). Single calendar-day snowfall of six inches (15 cm) or greater has occurred on only 15 days since 1948, and only once since February 17, 1990, when 6.8 in (17.3 cm) of snow officially fell at Sea-Tac airport on January 18, 2012. This moderate snow event was officially the 12th snowiest calendar day at the airport since 1948 and snowiest since November 1985. Much of the city of Seattle proper received somewhat lesser snowfall accumulations. Locations to the south of Seattle received more, with Olympia and Chehalis receiving 14 to 18 in (36 to 46 cm). Another moderate snow event occurred from December 12–25, 2008, when over one foot (30 cm) of snow fell and stuck on much of the roads over those two weeks, when temperatures remained below 32 °F (0 °C), causing widespread difficulties in a city not equipped for clearing snow. The largest documented snowstorm occurred from January 5–9, 1880, with snow drifting to 6 feet (1.8 m) in places at the end of the snow event. From January 31 to February 2, 1916, another heavy snow event occurred with 29 in (74 cm) of snow on the ground by the time the event was over. With official records dating to 1948, the largest single-day snowfall is 20.0 in (51 cm) on January 13, 1950. Seasonal snowfall has ranged from zero in 1991–92 to 67.5 in (171 cm) in 1968–69, with trace amounts having occurred as recently as 2009–10. The month of January 1950 was particularly severe, bringing 57.2 in (145 cm) of snow, the most of any month along with the aforementioned record cold.
The Puget Sound Convergence Zone is an important feature of Seattle's weather. In the convergence zone, air arriving from the north meets air flowing in from the south. Both streams of air originate over the Pacific Ocean; airflow is split by the Olympic Mountains to Seattle's west, then reunited to the east. When the air currents meet, they are forced upward, resulting in convection. Thunderstorms caused by this activity are usually weak and can occur north and south of town, but Seattle itself rarely receives more than occasional thunder and small hail showers. The Hanukkah Eve Wind Storm in December 2006 is an exception that brought heavy rain and winds gusting up to 69 mph (111 km/h), an event that was not caused by the Puget Sound Convergence Zone and was widespread across the Pacific Northwest.
One of many exceptions to Seattle's reputation as a damp location occurs in El Niño years, when marine weather systems track as far south as California and little precipitation falls in the Puget Sound area. Since the region's water comes from mountain snow packs during the dry summer months, El Niño winters can not only produce substandard skiing but can result in water rationing and a shortage of hydroelectric power the following summer.
According to the 2012-2016 American Community Survey (ACS), the racial makeup of the city was 65.7% Caucasian, 14.1% Asian, 7.0% of African origin, 6.6% Hispanic or Latino of any race, 0.4% Native American, 0.9% Pacific Islander, 0.2% other races, and 5.6% two or more races.
Seattle's population historically has been predominantly white. The 2010 census showed that Seattle was one of the whitest big cities in the country, although its proportion of white residents has been gradually declining. In 1960, whites comprised 91.6% of the city's population, while in 2010 they comprised 69.5%. According to the 2006–2008 American Community Survey, approximately 78.9% of residents over the age of five spoke only English at home. Those who spoke Asian languages other than Indo-European languages made up 10.2% of the population, Spanish was spoken by 4.5% of the population, speakers of other Indo-European languages made up 3.9%, and speakers of other languages made up 2.5%.
Seattle's foreign-born population grew 40% between the 1990 and 2000 censuses. The Chinese population in the Seattle area has origins in mainland China, Hong Kong, Southeast Asia, and Taiwan. The earliest Chinese-Americans that came in the late 19th and early 20th centuries were almost entirely from Guangdong Province. The Seattle area is also home to a large Vietnamese population of more than 55,000 residents, as well as over 30,000 Somali immigrants. The Seattle-Tacoma area is also home to one of the largest Cambodian communities in the United States, numbering about 19,000 Cambodian Americans, and one of the largest Samoan communities in the mainland U.S., with over 15,000 people having Samoan ancestry. Additionally, the Seattle area had the highest percentage of self-identified mixed-race people of any large metropolitan area in the United States, according to the 2000 United States Census Bureau. According to a 2012 HistoryLink study, Seattle's 98118 ZIP code (in the Columbia City neighborhood) was one of the most diverse ZIP Code Tabulation Areas in the United States.
According to a 2014 study by the Pew Research Center, the largest religious groupings are Christians (52%), followed by those of no religion (37%), Hindus (2%), Buddhists (2%), Jews (1%), Muslims (1%) and a variety of other religions have smaller followings. According to the same study by the Pew Research Center, about 34% of Seattleites are Protestant, and 15% professing Roman Catholic beliefs. Meanwhile, 6% of the residents in Seattle call themselves agnostics, while 10% call themselves atheists.
In 1999, the median income of a city household was $45,736, and the median income for a family was $62,195. Males had a median income of $40,929 versus $35,134 for females. The per capita income for the city was $30,306. 11.8% of the population and 6.9% of families are below the poverty line. Of people living in poverty, 13.8% are under the age of 18 and 10.2% are 65 or older.
It is estimated that King County has 8,000 homeless people on any given night, and many of those live in Seattle. In September 2005, King County adopted a "Ten-Year Plan to End Homelessness", one of the near-term results of which is a shift of funding from homeless shelter beds to permanent housing.
In recent years, the city has experienced steady population growth, and has been faced with the issue of accommodating more residents. In 2006, after growing by 4,000 citizens per year for the previous 16 years, regional planners expected the population of Seattle to grow by 200,000 people by 2040. However, former mayor Greg Nickels supported plans that would increase the population by 60%, or 350,000 people, by 2040 and worked on ways to accommodate this growth while keeping Seattle's single-family housing zoning laws. The Seattle City Council later voted to relax height limits on buildings in the greater part of Downtown, partly with the aim to increase residential density in the city center. As a sign of increasing inner-city growth, the downtown population crested to over 60,000 in 2009, up 77% since 1990.
Seattle also has large lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender populations. According to a 2006 study by UCLA, 12.9% of city residents polled identified as gay, lesbian, or bisexual. This was the second-highest proportion of any major U.S. city, behind San Francisco. Greater Seattle also ranked second among major U.S. metropolitan areas, with 6.5% of the population identifying as gay, lesbian, or bisexual. According to 2012 estimates from the United States Census Bureau, Seattle has the highest percentage of same-sex households in the United States, at 2.6 per cent, surpassing San Francisco.
In addition, Seattle has a relatively high number of people living alone. According to the 2000 U.S. Census interim measurements of 2004, Seattle has the fifth highest proportion of single-person households nationwide among cities of 100,000 or more residents, at 40.8%.
Seattle's economy is driven by a mix of older industrial companies, and "new economy" Internet and technology companies, service, design, and clean technology companies. The city's gross metropolitan product (GMP) was $231 billion in 2010, making it the 11th largest metropolitan economy in the United States. The Port of Seattle, which also operates Seattle–Tacoma International Airport, is a major gateway for trade with Asia and cruises to Alaska. It also is the 8th largest port in the United States when measured by container capacity. Its maritime cargo operations merged with the Port of Tacoma in 2015 to form the Northwest Seaport Alliance. Although it was affected by the Great Recession, Seattle has retained a comparatively strong economy. It even remains as a hotbed for start-up businesses, especially in green building and clean technologies. It was ranked as America's No. 1 "smarter city" based on its government policies and green economy. In February 2010, the city government committed Seattle to become North America's first "climate neutral" city, with a goal of reaching zero net per capita greenhouse gas emissions by 2030.
Large companies continue to dominate the business landscape. Five companies on Fortune 500's 2017 list of the United States' largest companies (based on total revenue) are headquartered in Seattle: Internet retailer Amazon.com (#12), coffee chain Starbucks (#131), department store Nordstrom (#188), freight forwarder Expeditors International of Washington (#429) and forest products company Weyerhaeuser (#341). Other Fortune 500 companies commonly associated with Seattle are based in nearby Puget Sound cities. Warehouse club chain Costco (#16), the largest retail company in Washington, is based in Issaquah. Microsoft (#28) is located in Redmond. Furthermore, Bellevue is home to truck manufacturer Paccar (#164). Other major companies headquartered in the area include Nintendo of America in Redmond, T-Mobile US in Bellevue, Expedia Inc. in Bellevue, and Providence Health & Services (the state's largest health care system and fifth largest employer) in Renton. The city has a reputation for heavy coffee consumption; coffee companies founded or based in Seattle include Starbucks, Seattle's Best Coffee, and Tully's. There are also many successful independent artisanal espresso roasters and cafés.
Before moving its headquarters to Chicago, aerospace manufacturer Boeing (#24) was the largest company based in Seattle. Its largest division, Boeing Commercial Airplanes, is still headquartered in nearby Renton. The company also has large aircraft manufacturing plants in Everett and Renton; it remains the largest private employer in the Seattle metropolitan area. In 2006 former Seattle Mayor Greg Nickels announced a desire to spark a new economic boom driven by the biotechnology industry. Major redevelopment of the South Lake Union neighborhood is underway in an effort to attract new and established biotech companies to the city, joining biotech companies Corixa (acquired by GlaxoSmithKline), Immunex (now part of Amgen), Trubion, and ZymoGenetics. Vulcan Inc., the holding company of billionaire Paul Allen, is behind most of the development projects in the region. While some see the new development as an economic boon, others have criticized Nickels and the Seattle City Council for pandering to Allen's interests at taxpayers' expense. Also in 2006, Expansion Magazine ranked Seattle as one of the top 10 metropolitan areas in the nation based on climates favorable to business expansion. In 2005, Forbes ranked Seattle as the most expensive American city for buying a house based on the local income levels. In 2013, however, the magazine ranked Seattle No. 9 on its list of the Best Places for Business and Careers.
Seattle is a hub for global health with the headquarters of the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, PATH, Infectious Disease Research Institute, Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center, and the Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation. In 2015, the Washington Global Health Alliance counted 168 global health organizations in Washington state. Many are headquartered in Seattle.
Twenty of Seattle's neighborhoods host one or more street fairs or parades.
From 1869 until 1982, Seattle was known as the "Queen City". Seattle's official nickname is the "Emerald City", the result of a contest held in 1981; the reference is to the lush evergreen forests of the area. Seattle is also referred to informally as the "Gateway to Alaska" for being the nearest major city in the contiguous U.S. to Alaska, "Rain City" for its frequent cloudy and rainy weather, and "Jet City" from the local influence of Boeing. The city has two official slogans or mottos: "The City of Flowers", meant to encourage the planting of flowers to beautify the city, and "The City of Goodwill", adopted prior to the 1990 Goodwill Games. Seattle residents are known as Seattleites.
Seattle has been a regional center for the performing arts for many years. The century-old Seattle Symphony Orchestra has won many awards and performs primarily at Benaroya Hall. The Seattle Opera and Pacific Northwest Ballet, which perform at McCaw Hall (opened 2003 on the site of the former Seattle Opera House at Seattle Center), are comparably distinguished, with the Opera being particularly known for its performances of the works of Richard Wagner and the PNB School (founded in 1974) ranking as one of the top three ballet training institutions in the United States. The Seattle Youth Symphony Orchestras (SYSO) is the largest symphonic youth organization in the United States. The city also boasts lauded summer and winter chamber music festivals organized by the Seattle Chamber Music Society.
The 5th Avenue Theatre, built in 1926, stages Broadway-style musical shows featuring both local talent and international stars. Seattle has "around 100" theatrical production companies and over two dozen live theatre venues, many of them associated with fringe theatre; Seattle is probably second only to New York for number of equity theaters (28 Seattle theater companies have some sort of Actors' Equity contract). In addition, the 900-seat Romanesque Revival Town Hall on First Hill hosts numerous cultural events, especially lectures and recitals.
Between 1918 and 1951, there were nearly two dozen jazz nightclubs along Jackson Street, running from the current Chinatown/International District to the Central District. The jazz scene developed the early careers of Ray Charles, Quincy Jones, Bumps Blackwell, Ernestine Anderson, and others.
Early popular musical acts from the Seattle/Puget Sound area include the collegiate folk group The Brothers Four, vocal group The Fleetwoods, 1960s garage rockers The Wailers and The Sonics, and instrumental surf group The Ventures, some of whom are still active.
Seattle is considered the home of grunge music, having produced artists such as Nirvana, Soundgarden, Alice in Chains, Pearl Jam, and Mudhoney, all of whom reached international audiences in the early 1990s. The city is also home to such varied artists as avant-garde jazz musicians Bill Frisell and Wayne Horvitz, hot jazz musician Glenn Crytzer, hip hop artists Sir Mix-a-Lot, Macklemore, Blue Scholars, and Shabazz Palaces, smooth jazz saxophonist Kenny G, classic rock staples Heart and Queensrÿche, and alternative rock bands such as Foo Fighters, Harvey Danger, The Presidents of the United States of America, The Posies, Modest Mouse, Band of Horses, Death Cab for Cutie, and Fleet Foxes. Rock musicians such as Jimi Hendrix, Duff McKagan, and Nikki Sixx spent their formative years in Seattle.
Over the years, a number of songs have been written about Seattle.
Seattle annually sends a team of spoken word slammers to the National Poetry Slam and considers itself home to such performance poets as Buddy Wakefield, two-time Individual World Poetry Slam Champ; Anis Mojgani, two-time National Poetry Slam Champ; and Danny Sherrard, 2007 National Poetry Slam Champ and 2008 Individual World Poetry Slam Champ. Seattle also hosted the 2001 national Poetry Slam Tournament. The Seattle Poetry Festival is a biennial poetry festival that (launched first as the Poetry Circus in 1997) has featured local, regional, national, and international names in poetry.
The city also has movie houses showing both Hollywood productions and works by independent filmmakers. Among these, the Seattle Cinerama stands out as one of only three movie theaters in the world still capable of showing three-panel Cinerama films.
Among Seattle's prominent annual fairs and festivals are the 24-day Seattle International Film Festival, Northwest Folklife over the Memorial Day weekend, numerous Seafair events throughout July and August (ranging from a Bon Odori celebration to the Seafair Cup hydroplane races), the Bite of Seattle, one of the largest Gay Pride festivals in the United States, and the art and music festival Bumbershoot, which programs music as well as other art and entertainment over the Labor Day weekend. All are typically attended by 100,000 people annually, as are the Seattle Hempfest and two separate Independence Day celebrations.
Other significant events include numerous Native American pow-wows, a Greek Festival hosted by St. Demetrios Greek Orthodox Church in Montlake, and numerous ethnic festivals (many associated with Festál at Seattle Center).
There are other annual events, ranging from the Seattle Antiquarian Book Fair & Book Arts Show; an anime convention, Sakura-Con; Penny Arcade Expo, a gaming convention; a two-day, 9,000-rider Seattle to Portland Bicycle Classic; and specialized film festivals, such as the Maelstrom International Fantastic Film Festival, the Seattle Asian American Film Festival (formerly known as the Northwest Asian American Film Festival), Children's Film Festival Seattle, Translation: the Seattle Transgender Film Festival, the Seattle Gay and Lesbian Film Festival, Seattle Latino Film Festival, and the Seattle Polish Film Festival.
The Henry Art Gallery opened in 1927, the first public art museum in Washington. The Seattle Art Museum (SAM) opened in 1933; SAM opened a museum downtown in 1991 (expanded and reopened 2007); since 1991, the 1933 building has been SAM's Seattle Asian Art Museum (SAAM). SAM also operates the Olympic Sculpture Park (opened 2007) on the waterfront north of the downtown piers. The Frye Art Museum is a free museum on First Hill.
Regional history collections are at the Log House Museum in Alki, Klondike Gold Rush National Historical Park, the Museum of History and Industry, and the Burke Museum of Natural History and Culture. Industry collections are at the Center for Wooden Boats and the adjacent Northwest Seaport, the Seattle Metropolitan Police Museum, and the Museum of Flight. Regional ethnic collections include the Nordic Heritage Museum, the Wing Luke Asian Museum, and the Northwest African American Museum. Seattle has artist-run galleries, including ten-year veteran Soil Art Gallery, and the newer Crawl Space Gallery.
The Seattle Great Wheel, one of the largest Ferris wheels in the US, opened in June 2012 as a new, permanent attraction on the city's waterfront, at Pier 57, next to Downtown Seattle. The city also has many community centers for recreation, including Rainier Beach, Van Asselt, Rainier, and Jefferson south of the Ship Canal and Green Lake, Laurelhurst, Loyal Heights north of the Canal, and Meadowbrook.
Woodland Park Zoo opened as a private menagerie in 1889 but was sold to the city in 1899. The Seattle Aquarium has been open on the downtown waterfront since 1977 (undergoing a renovation in 2006). The Seattle Underground Tour is an exhibit of places that existed before the Great Fire.
Since the middle 1990s, Seattle has experienced significant growth in the cruise industry, especially as a departure point for Alaska cruises. In 2008, a record total of 886,039 cruise passengers passed through the city, surpassing the number for Vancouver, BC, the other major departure point for Alaska cruises.
|Club||Sport||League||Venue (capacity)||Founded||Titles||Record |
|Seattle Seahawks||American football||NFL||CenturyLink Field (69,000)||1976||1||69,005|
|Seattle Mariners||Baseball||MLB||T-Mobile Park (47,574)||1977||0||46,596|
|Seattle NHL franchise||Ice hockey||NHL||Seattle Center Arena (TBD)||2018||—||—|
|Seattle Sounders FC||Soccer||MLS||CenturyLink Field (69,000)||2007||1||67,385|
|XFL Seattle||American football||XFL||CenturyLink Field (69,000)||2018||—||—|
|Seattle Storm||Women's basketball||WNBA||KeyArena (17,072)||2000||3||7,486|
|Seattle Reign FC||Soccer||NWSL||Memorial Stadium (12,000)||2012||0||6,303|
|Seattle Seawolves||Rugby||MLR||Starfire Sports (4,500)||2017||1||4,500|
Seattle has three major men's professional sports teams: the National Football League (NFL)'s Seattle Seahawks, Major League Baseball (MLB)'s Seattle Mariners, and Major League Soccer (MLS)'s Seattle Sounders FC. Other professional sports teams include the Women's National Basketball Association (WNBA)'s Seattle Storm, who won the WNBA championship on three occasions in 2004 and 2010, and 2018; and the Seattle Reign of the National Women's Soccer League.
The Seattle Seahawks entered the National Football League in 1976 as an expansion team and have advanced to the Super Bowl three times: 2005, 2013 and 2014. The team played in the Kingdome until it was imploded in 2000 and moved into Qwest Field (now CenturyLink Field) at the same site in 2003. The Seahawks lost Super Bowl XL in 2005 to the Pittsburgh Steelers in Detroit, but won Super Bowl XLVIII in 2013 by defeating the Denver Broncos 43–8 at MetLife Stadium. The team advanced to the Super Bowl the following year, but lost to the New England Patriots in Super Bowl XLIX on a last-minute play. Seahawks fans have set stadium noise records on several occasions and are collectively known as the "12th Man".
Seattle Sounders FC has played in Major League Soccer since 2009, sharing CenturyLink Field with the Seahawks, as a continuation of earlier teams in the lower divisions of American soccer. The team set various attendance records in its first few seasons, averaging over 43,000 per match and placing themselves among the top 30 teams internationally. The Sounders have won the MLS Supporters' Shield in 2014 and the Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup on four occasions: 2009, 2010, 2011, and 2014. The Sounders won their first MLS Cup after defeating Toronto FC 5–4 in a penalty shootout, in MLS Cup 2016; the team would go on to finish as runners-up to Toronto FC in the following cup. CenturyLink Field hosted the 2009 MLS Cup, played between Real Salt Lake and the Los Angeles Galaxy in front of 46,011 spectators.
Seattle also has a Major League Rugby team, the Seattle Seawolves, who play at Starfire Sports in Tukwila, a small stadium that is also used by the Sounders for their U.S. Open Cup matches. The team began play in 2018 and won the league's inaugural championship. Seattle will also host a new XFL franchise that will begin play in 2020 at CenturyLink Field.
Seattle's professional sports history began at the start of the 20th century with the PCHA's Seattle Metropolitans, which in 1917 became the first American hockey team to win the Stanley Cup. Seattle was awarded a Major League Baseball franchise, the Seattle Pilots, in 1969. The team played at Sick's Stadium in Mount Baker for one season before relocating to Milwaukee and becoming the Milwaukee Brewers. The city, county, and state governments sued the league and was offered a second expansion team, the Seattle Mariners, who began play at the Kingdome in 1977. The Mariners struggled in the stadium and moved to a purpose-built baseball stadium, T-Mobile Park (formerly Safeco Field), in 1999. The Mariners have never reached a World Series and only appeared in the MLB playoffs four times, all between 1995 and 2001, despite having Hall of Fame players and candidates like Ken Griffey Jr., Randy Johnson, Ichiro, and Alex Rodriguez. The team tied the all-time single regular season wins record in 2001 with 116 wins. Since 2001, the Mariners have failed to qualify for the playoffs—the longest active postseason drought in North American sports, at 17 seasons.
From 1967 to 2008 Seattle was also home to a National Basketball Association (NBA) franchise: the Seattle SuperSonics, who were the 1978–79 NBA champions. The SuperSonics relocated to Oklahoma City and became the Oklahoma City Thunder for the 2008–09 season.
The Major League Baseball All-Star Game was held in Seattle twice, first at the Kingdome in 1979 and again at Safeco Field in 2001. The NBA All-Star Game was also held in Seattle twice: the first in 1974 at the Seattle Center Coliseum and the second in 1987 at the Kingdome.
Seattle also boasts two collegiate sports teams based at the University of Washington and Seattle University, both competing in NCAA Division I for various sports. The University of Washington's athletic program, nicknamed the Huskies, competes in the Pac-12 Conference, and Seattle University's athletic program, nicknamed the Redhawks, mostly competes in the Western Athletic Conference. The Huskies teams use several facilities, including the 70,000-seat Husky Stadium for football and the Hec Edmundson Pavilion for basketball and volleyball. The two schools have basketball and soccer teams that compete against each other in non-conference games and have formed a local rivalry due to their sporting success.
The Seattle Thunderbirds hockey team plays in the Canadian major-junior Western Hockey League and are based in the Seattle suburb of Kent. Seattle successfully applied for a new expansion team with the National Hockey League, which will make its first appearance in 2021. Seattle plans to renovate KeyArena to use for the possible NHL team. On March 1, 2018, a ticket drive began to gauge interests in season ticket deposits. Oak View reported that their initial goal of 10,000 deposits was surpassed in 12 minutes, and that they received 25,000 deposits in 75 minutes.
Seattle's mild, temperate, marine climate allows year-round outdoor recreation, including walking, cycling, hiking, skiing, snowboarding, kayaking, rock climbing, motor boating, sailing, team sports, and swimming.
In town, many people walk around Green Lake, through the forests and along the bluffs and beaches of 535-acre (2.2 km2) Discovery Park (the largest park in the city) in Magnolia, along the shores of Myrtle Edwards Park on the Downtown waterfront, along the shoreline of Lake Washington at Seward Park, along Alki Beach in West Seattle, or along the Burke-Gilman Trail.
Also popular are hikes and skiing in the nearby Cascade or Olympic Mountains and kayaking and sailing in the waters of Puget Sound, the Strait of Juan de Fuca, and the Strait of Georgia. In 2005, Men's Fitness magazine named Seattle the fittest city in the United States.
In its 2013 ParkScore ranking, the Trust for Public Land reported that Seattle had the tenth best park system among the 50 most populous US cities. ParkScore ranks city park systems by a formula that analyzes acreage, access, and service and investment.
Seattle is a charter city, with a mayor–council form of government. From 1911 to 2013, Seattle's nine city councillors were elected at large, rather than by geographic subdivisions. For the 2015 election, this changed to a hybrid system of seven district members and two at-large members as a result of a ballot measure passed on November 5, 2013. The only other elected offices are the city attorney and Municipal Court judges. All city offices are officially non-partisan.
Like some other parts of the United States, government and laws are also run by a series of ballot initiatives (allowing citizens to pass or reject laws), referenda (allowing citizens to approve or reject legislation already passed), and propositions (allowing specific government agencies to propose new laws or tax increases directly to the people).
Jenny Durkan was elected as mayor in the 2017 mayoral election and took office on November 28, 2017. The mayor's office also includes two deputy mayors, appointed to advise the mayor on policies; As of 2017, the city's deputy mayors are Michael Fong and Shefali Ranganathan.
Seattle's political culture is very liberal and progressive for the United States, with over 80% of the population voting for the Democratic Party. All precincts in Seattle voted for Democratic Party candidate Barack Obama in the 2012 presidential election. In partisan elections for the Washington State Legislature and United States Congress, nearly all elections are won by Democrats. Although local elections are nonpartisan, most of the city's elected officials are known to be Democrats.
In 1926, Seattle became the first major American city to elect a female mayor, Bertha Knight Landes. It has also elected an openly gay mayor, Ed Murray, and a third-party socialist councillor, Kshama Sawant. For the first time in United States history, an openly gay black woman was elected to public office when Sherry Harris was elected as a Seattle city councillor in 1991. The majority of the city council is female.
Federally, Seattle is split between two congressional districts. Most of the city is in Washington's 7th congressional district, represented by Democrat Pramila Jayapal, the first Indian-American woman elected to Congress. She succeeded 28-year incumbent and fellow Democrat Jim McDermott. Part of southwestern Seattle is in the 9th District, represented by Democrat Adam Smith.
Seattle is widely considered one of the most socially liberal cities in the United States, even surpassing Portland. In the 2012 U.S. general election, a majority of Seattleites voted to approve Referendum 74 and legalize gay marriage in Washington state. In the same election, an overwhelming majority of Seattleites also voted to approve the legalization of the recreational use of cannabis in the state. Like much of the Pacific Northwest (which has the lowest rate of church attendance in the United States and consistently reports the highest percentage of atheism), church attendance, religious belief, and political influence of religious leaders are much lower than in other parts of America.
Seattle also has a thriving alternative press, with the Web-based daily Seattle Post-Intelligencer, several other online dailies (including Publicola and Crosscut), The Stranger (an alternative, left-leaning weekly), Seattle Weekly, and a number of issue-focused publications, including the nation's two largest online environmental magazines, Worldchanging and Grist.org.
In July 2012, Seattle banned plastic shopping bags. In June 2014 the city passed a local ordinance to increase the minimum wage to $15 an hour on a staged basis from 2015 to 2021. When fully implemented the $15 hourly rate will be the highest minimum wage in the nation.
On October 6, 2014, Seattle officially replaced Columbus Day with Indigenous Peoples' Day, honoring Seattle's Native American community and acknowledging the controversies surrounding the legacy of Christopher Columbus.
On May 9, 2017, Mayor Murray announced he would not seek re-election following a lawsuit alleging sexual abuse of several teenaged boys in the 1980s. Murray resigned as mayor on September 12, 2017, effective at 5 p.m. on September 13, 2017, hours after The Seattle Times reported a fifth allegation of child sexual abuse.
In July 2017, the Seattle City Council unanimously approved an income tax on Seattle residents, making the city the only one in the state with an income tax. The new income tax was ruled unconstitutional in a ruling by King County Superior Court and thus was not allowed to proceed. The city is expected to appeal this ruling.
Of the city's population over the age of 25, 53.8% (vs. a national average of 27.4%) hold a bachelor's degree or higher, and 91.9% (vs. 84.5% nationally) have a high school diploma or equivalent. A 2008 United States Census Bureau survey showed that Seattle had the highest percentage of college and university graduates of any major U.S. city. The city was listed as the most literate of the country's 69 largest cities in 2005 and 2006, the second most literate in 2007 and the most literate in 2008 in studies conducted by Central Connecticut State University.
Seattle Public Schools desegregated without a court order but continue to struggle to achieve racial balance in a somewhat ethnically divided city (the south part of town having more ethnic minorities than the north). In 2007, Seattle's racial tie-breaking system was struck down by the United States Supreme Court, but the ruling left the door open for desegregation formulae based on other indicators (e.g., income or socioeconomic class).
Seattle is home to the University of Washington, as well as the institution's professional and continuing education unit, the University of Washington Educational Outreach. The 2017 U.S. News & World Report ranked the University of Washington at #11 in the world, tied with Johns Hopkins University. The UW receives more federal research and development funding than any public institution. Over the last 10 years, it has also produced more Peace Corps volunteers than any other U.S. university. Seattle also has a number of smaller private universities including Seattle University and Seattle Pacific University, the former a Jesuit Catholic institution, the latter Free Methodist; universities aimed at the working adult, like City University and Antioch University; colleges within the Seattle Colleges District system, comprising North, Central, and South; seminaries, including Western Seminary and a number of arts colleges, such as Cornish College of the Arts, Pratt Fine Arts Center, and The Art Institute of Seattle. In 2001, Time magazine selected Seattle Central Community College as community college of the year, stating the school "pushes diverse students to work together in small teams".
As of 2019, Seattle has one major daily newspaper, The Seattle Times. The Seattle Post-Intelligencer, known as the P-I, published a daily newspaper from 1863 to March 17, 2009, before switching to a strictly on-line publication. There is also the Seattle Daily Journal of Commerce, and the University of Washington publishes The Daily, a student-run publication, when school is in session. The most prominent weeklies are the Seattle Weekly and The Stranger; both consider themselves "alternative" papers. The weekly LGBT newspaper is the Seattle Gay News. Real Change is a weekly street newspaper that is sold mainly by homeless persons as an alternative to panhandling. There are also several ethnic newspapers, including The Facts, Northwest Asian Weekly and the International Examiner, and numerous neighborhood newspapers.
Seattle is also well served by television and radio, with all major U.S. networks represented, along with at least five other English-language stations and two Spanish-language stations. Seattle cable viewers also receive CBUT 2 (CBC) from Vancouver, British Columbia.
Non-commercial radio stations include NPR affiliates KUOW-FM 94.9 and KNKX 88.5 (Tacoma), as well as classical music station KING-FM 98.1. Other non-commercial stations include KEXP-FM 90.3 (affiliated with the UW), community radio KBCS-FM 91.3 (affiliated with Bellevue College), and high school radio KNHC-FM 89.5, which broadcasts an electronic dance music radio format and is owned by the public school system and operated by students of Nathan Hale High School. Many Seattle radio stations are also available through Internet radio, with KEXP in particular being a pioneer of Internet radio. Seattle also has numerous commercial radio stations. In a March 2012 report by the consumer research firm Arbitron, the top FM stations were KRWM (adult contemporary format), KIRO-FM (news/talk), and KISW (active rock) while the top AM stations were KOMO (AM) (all news), KJR (AM) (all sports), KIRO (AM) (all sports).
Seattle also has many online news media websites. The two largest are The Seattle Times and the Seattle Post-Intelligencer.
The University of Washington is consistently ranked among the country's top leading institutions in medical research, earning special merits for programs in neurology and neurosurgery. Seattle has seen local developments of modern paramedic services with the establishment of Medic One in 1970. In 1974, a 60 Minutes story on the success of the then four-year-old Medic One paramedic system called Seattle "the best place in the world to have a heart attack".
Three of Seattle's largest medical centers are located on First Hill. Harborview Medical Center, the public county hospital, is the only Level I trauma hospital in a region that includes Washington, Alaska, Montana, and Idaho. Virginia Mason Medical Center and Swedish Medical Center's two largest campuses are also located in this part of Seattle, including the Virginia Mason Hospital. This concentration of hospitals resulted in the neighborhood's nickname "Pill Hill".
Located in the Laurelhurst neighborhood, Seattle Children's, formerly Children's Hospital and Regional Medical Center, is the pediatric referral center for Washington, Alaska, Montana, and Idaho. The Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center has a campus in the Eastlake neighborhood. The University District is home to the University of Washington Medical Center which, along with Harborview, is operated by the University of Washington. Seattle is also served by a Veterans Affairs hospital on Beacon Hill, a third campus of Swedish in Ballard, and Northwest Hospital and Medical Center near Northgate Mall.
The first streetcars appeared in 1889 and were instrumental in the creation of a relatively well-defined downtown and strong neighborhoods at the end of their lines. The advent of the automobile sounded the death knell for rail in Seattle. Tacoma–Seattle railway service ended in 1929 and the Everett–Seattle service came to an end in 1939, replaced by automobiles running on the recently developed highway system. Rails on city streets were paved over or removed, and the opening of the Seattle trolleybus system brought the end of streetcars in Seattle in 1941. This left an extensive network of privately owned buses (later public) as the only mass transit within the city and throughout the region.
King County Metro provides frequent stop bus service within the city and surrounding county, as well as the South Lake Union Streetcar line and the First Hill Streetcar line. Seattle is one of the few cities in North America whose bus fleet includes electric trolleybuses. Sound Transit provides an express bus service within the metropolitan area, two Sounder commuter rail lines between the suburbs and downtown, and its Central Link light rail line between the University of Washington and Angle Lake. Washington State Ferries, which manages the largest network of ferries in the United States and third largest in the world, connects Seattle to Bainbridge and Vashon Islands in Puget Sound and to Bremerton and Southworth on the Kitsap Peninsula.
According to the 2007 American Community Survey, 18.6% of Seattle residents used one of the three public transit systems that serve the city, giving it the highest transit ridership of all major cities without heavy or light rail prior to the completion of Sound Transit's Central Link line. The city has also been described by Bert Sperling as the fourth most walkable U.S. city and by Walk Score as the sixth most walkable of the fifty largest U.S. cities.
Seattle–Tacoma International Airport, locally known as Sea-Tac Airport and located just south in the neighboring city of SeaTac, is operated by the Port of Seattle and provides commercial air service to destinations throughout the world. Closer to downtown, Boeing Field is used for general aviation, cargo flights, and testing/delivery of Boeing airliners. A secondary passenger airport, Paine Field, opened in 2019 and is located in Everett, 25 miles (40 km) north of Seattle. It is predominently used for Boeing, which has a large assembly plant nearby.
The main mode of transportation, however, relies on Seattle's streets, which are laid out in a cardinal directions grid pattern, except in the central business district where early city leaders Arthur Denny and Carson Boren insisted on orienting their plats relative to the shoreline rather than to true North. Only two roads, Interstate 5 and State Route 99 (both limited-access highways), run uninterrupted through the city from north to south. State Route 99 runs through downtown Seattle on the Alaskan Way Viaduct, which was built in 1953. However, due to damage sustained during the 2001 Nisqually earthquake the viaduct will be replaced by a tunnel. The 2-mile (3.2 km) Alaskan Way Viaduct replacement tunnel was originally scheduled to be completed in December 2015 at a cost of US$4.25 billion. Unfortunately, due to issues with the worlds largest tunnel boring machine (TBM), which is nicknamed "Bertha" and is 57 feet (17 m) in diameter, the projected date of completion has been pushed back to fall 2018 (with tolling set to begin in 2019). Seattle has the 8th worst traffic congestion of all American cities, and is 10th among all North American cities.
The city has started moving away from the automobile and towards mass transit. From 2004 to 2009, the annual number of unlinked public transportation trips increased by approximately 21%. In 2006, voters in King County passed proposition 2 (Transit Now) which increased bus service hours on high ridership routes and paid for five bus rapid transit lines called RapidRide. After rejecting a roads and transit measure in 2007, Seattle-area voters passed a transit only measure in 2008 to increase ST Express bus service, extend the Link light rail system, and expand and improve Sounder commuter rail service. A light rail line from downtown heading south to Sea-Tac Airport began service on December 19, 2009, giving the city its first rapid transit line with intermediate stations within the city limits. An extension north to the University of Washington opened on March 19, 2016; and further extensions are planned to reach Northgate and Lynnwood to the north, Federal Way to the south, and Bellevue and Redmond to the east by 2024. Voters in the Puget Sound region approved an additional tax increase in November 2016 to expand light rail to West Seattle and Ballard as well as Tacoma, Everett, and Issaquah.
Water and electric power are municipal services, provided by Seattle Public Utilities and Seattle City Light respectively. Other utility companies serving Seattle include Puget Sound Energy (natural gas, electricity); Seattle Steam Company (steam); Waste Management, Inc and CleanScapes, Inc. (curbside recycling and solid waste removal); CenturyLink, Frontier Communications, Wave Broadband, and Comcast (telecommunications and television).
Seattle has added about 4,000 residents a year over the past 16 years. If the city did nothing, planners predict it would gain 200,000 residents by 2040.
Seattle's coffee culture has become America's
The 2018 NFL Draft was the 83rd annual meeting of National Football League (NFL) franchises to select newly eligible players for the 2018 NFL season. The draft was held on April 26–28 at AT&T Stadium in Arlington, Texas, and was the first draft to take place in an NFL stadium and the first to be held in Texas, which won out in a fourteen-city bid. In order to be eligible to enter the draft, players must be at least three years removed from high school. The deadline for underclassmen to declare for the draft was January 15, 2018.Five quarterbacks were selected in the first round—Baker Mayfield, Sam Darnold, Josh Allen, Josh Rosen, and Lamar Jackson—the second highest number of first-round quarterback selections (tied with the 1999 NFL Draft) after the six selected in the 1983 NFL Draft. The draft was also the first to have siblings—safety Terrell Edmunds and linebacker Tremaine Edmunds—selected in the opening round of the same draft.The 2018 NFL Draft was the first of two professional sports drafts to be held in the Dallas-Fort Worth metroplex during the calendar year, as the Dallas Stars hosted the 2018 NHL Entry Draft a couple months after the NFL draft. This marked the first time that both the NFL and NHL hosted their drafts in the same sports market in a calendar year.CenturyLink Field
CenturyLink Field is a multi-purpose stadium located in Seattle, Washington, United States. It is the home field for the Seattle Seahawks of the National Football League (NFL) and Seattle Sounders FC of Major League Soccer (MLS). Originally called Seahawks Stadium, it became Qwest Field in June 2004, when telecommunications carrier Qwest acquired the naming rights. It received its current name in June 2011 after Qwest's acquisition by CenturyLink. It is a modern facility with views of the Downtown Seattle skyline and can seat 69,000 people for NFL games and 37,722 for most MLS matches. The complex also includes the Event Center with the Washington Music Theater (WaMu Theater), a parking garage, and a public plaza. The venue hosts concerts, trade shows, and consumer shows along with sporting events. Located within a mile (1.6 km) of Downtown Seattle, the stadium is accessible by multiple freeways and forms of mass transit.
The stadium was built between 2000 and 2002 on the site of the Kingdome after voters approved funding for the construction in a statewide election held in June 1997. This vote created the Washington State Public Stadium Authority to oversee public ownership of the venue. The owner of the Seahawks, Paul Allen, formed First & Goal Inc. to develop and operate the new facilities. Allen was closely involved in the design process and emphasized the importance of an open-air venue with an intimate atmosphere.
The crowd is notoriously loud during Seahawks games. It has twice held the Guinness World Record for loudest crowd roar at an outdoor stadium, first at 136.6 decibels in 2013, followed by a measurement of 137.6 decibels in 2014. The noise has contributed to the team's home field advantage with an increase in false start (movement by an offensive player prior to the play) and delay of game (failure of the offense to snap the ball prior to the play clock expiring) penalties against visiting teams. The stadium was the first in the NFL to implement a FieldTurf artificial field. Numerous college and high school American football games have also been played at the stadium.
CenturyLink Field is also designed for soccer. The first sporting event held included a United Soccer Leagues (USL) Seattle Sounders match. The USL team began using the stadium regularly for home games in 2003. The MLS expansion team Seattle Sounders FC, began its inaugural season in 2009 at the stadium. CenturyLink Field was the site of the MLS Cup in 2009. The venue also hosted the 2010 and 2011 tournament finals for the U.S. Open Cup. Sounders FC won both times and new attendance records were set each year it was hosted at CenturyLink Field. In August 2013, the Sounders broke a new home field attendance record when 67,385 fans turned out to watch them play the Portland Timbers.Frasier
Frasier is an American sitcom that was broadcast on NBC for 11 seasons, premiering on September 16, 1993, and concluding on May 13, 2004. The program was created and produced by David Angell, Peter Casey, and David Lee (as Grub Street Productions) in association with Grammnet (2004) and Paramount Network Television. The series was created as a spin-off of Cheers, continuing the story of psychiatrist Frasier Crane as he returned to his hometown of Seattle and started building a new life as a radio advice show host while reconnecting with his father and brother and making new friends. Frasier stars Kelsey Grammer, Jane Leeves, David Hyde Pierce, Peri Gilpin, and John Mahoney. The show was critically acclaimed, with the show itself and the cast winning thirty-seven Primetime Emmy Awards, a record at the time for a scripted series. It also won the Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Comedy Series for five consecutive years. As of 2019, the possibility of a revival is being discussed.Grey's Anatomy
Grey's Anatomy is an American medical drama television series that premiered on March 27, 2005, on the American Broadcasting Company (ABC) as a mid-season replacement. The fictional series focuses on the lives of surgical interns, residents, and attending physicians, as they develop into seasoned doctors while trying to maintain personal lives and relationships. The title is a play on Gray's Anatomy, a classic human anatomy textbook first published in 1858 in London and written by Henry Gray. Shonda Rhimes developed the pilot and continues to write for the series; she is also one of the executive producers, along with Betsy Beers, Mark Gordon, Krista Vernoff, Rob Corn, Mark Wilding, and Allan Heinberg. Although the series is set in Seattle (at the fictional Seattle Grace Hospital, later known as the Grey-Sloan Memorial Hospital), it is filmed primarily in Los Angeles, California.
The series was designed to be racially diverse and used color-blind casting. It revolves around the title character, Dr. Meredith Grey, played by Ellen Pompeo, first featured as an intern. The original cast consisted of nine star-billed actors: Pompeo, Sandra Oh, Katherine Heigl, Justin Chambers, T. R. Knight, Chandra Wilson, James Pickens Jr., Isaiah Washington and Patrick Dempsey. The cast has undergone major changes through the series' run, with many members leaving and being replaced by others. In its fifteenth season, the show has a large ensemble of eleven actors, including four characters from the original cast (Meredith Grey, Alex Karev, Miranda Bailey, and Richard Webber).
Grey's Anatomy was renewed for a fifteenth season, which premiered on September 27, 2018. The series' success catapulted such long-running cast members as Pompeo, Dempsey, and Oh to worldwide recognition; they were among the top five highest-earning television actors in 2013. While the show's ratings have fallen over the course of its run (it was once among the overall top 10 shows in the United States), it is still one of the highest-rated shows among the 18–49 demographic, and the No. 3 drama on all of broadcast television. The series was the highest revenue-earning show on television, in terms of advertising, in the 2007–08 season; in 2017, it was ranked tenth on the list. Grey's Anatomy ranks as ABC's highest-rated drama in its fifteenth season.
Grey's Anatomy has been well received by critics throughout much of its run, and has been included in various critics' year-end top ten lists. Since its inception, the show has been described by the media outlets as a television "phenomenon" or a "juggernaut", owing to its longevity and dominant ratings. It is considered to have had a significant effect on popular culture and has received numerous awards, including the Golden Globe Award for Best Television Series – Drama and a total of thirty-eight Primetime Emmy Award nominations, including two for Outstanding Drama Series. The cast members have also received several accolades for their respective performances. Grey's Anatomy is the longest-running scripted primetime show currently airing on ABC, and the longest scripted primetime series carried by ABC in general. As of February 28, 2019, it is the longest running American primetime medical drama series.Grunge
Grunge (sometimes referred to as the Seattle sound) is a rock music genre and subculture that emerged during the mid-1980s in the Pacific Northwest U.S. state of Washington, particularly in Seattle and nearby towns. The early grunge movement revolved around Seattle's independent record label Sub Pop and the region's underground music scene. By the early 1990s its popularity had spread, with grunge bands appearing in California, then emerging in other parts of the United States and in Australia, building strong followings and signing major record deals.
Grunge was commercially successful in the early to mid-1990s, due to releases such as Nirvana's Nevermind, Pearl Jam's Ten, Soundgarden's Badmotorfinger and Alice in Chains' Dirt . The success of these bands boosted the popularity of alternative rock and made grunge the most popular form of rock music at the time Although most grunge bands had disbanded or faded from view by the late 1990s, they influenced modern rock music, as their lyrics brought socially conscious issues into pop culture and added introspection and an exploration of what it means to be true to oneself. Grunge was also an influence on later genres such as post-grunge (such as Creed and Nickelback) and nu metal (such as Korn and Limp Bizkit).
Grunge fuses elements of punk rock and heavy metal, featuring the distorted electric guitar sound used in both genres, although some bands performed with more emphasis on one or the other. Like these genres, grunge typically uses electric guitar, bass guitar, a drummer and a singer. Grunge also incorporates influences from indie rock bands such as Sonic Youth. Lyrics are typically angst-filled and introspective, often addressing themes such as social alienation, self-doubt, abuse, neglect, betrayal, social and emotional isolation, psychological trauma and a desire for freedom.A number of factors contributed to grunge's decline in prominence. During the mid-to-late 1990s, many grunge bands broke up or became less visible. Nirvana's Kurt Cobain, labeled by Time as "the John Lennon of the swinging Northwest", appeared unusually tortured by success and struggled with an addiction to heroin before he died by suicide at the age of 27 in 1994.KeyArena
The Seattle Center Arena, known colloquially as KeyArena after a previous naming rights sponsorship, is a temporarily-defunct multi-purpose arena in Seattle, Washington that is currently under redevelopment. It is located north of downtown in the 74-acre (30 ha) entertainment complex known as Seattle Center, the site of the 1962 World's Fair, the Century 21 Exposition. It was used for entertainment purposes, such as concerts, ice shows, circuses, and sporting events. The redeveloped arena, estimated to cost $850 million, is anticipated to open in June 2021.KeyArena had a seating capacity of 17,072 for basketball games, 15,177 for ice hockey games and ice shows, 16,641 for end-stage concerts, and 17,459 for center-stage concerts and boxing. Risers held 7,440 on the upper level and up to 7,741 on the lower level, with luxury suites adding another 1,160 seats.
The arena was most recently home to the Seattle University Redhawks men's basketball team from 1963–1980 and 2009–2018, and the Seattle Storm of the WNBA from 2000–2018. From 2013 to 2018, it played host to the Pac-12 Conference's women's basketball tournament. The Rat City Roller Derby league of the Women's Flat Track Derby Association were tenants from 2009–2018.KeyArena was previously the home of the NBA's Seattle SuperSonics and two minor professional hockey teams: the Seattle Totems of the original Western Hockey League (1962–1974) and Central Hockey League (1974–1975), and the Seattle Thunderbirds of the current Western Hockey League (1989–2008). In July 2008, the Oklahoma City-based ownership group of the SuperSonics (Professional Basketball Club LLC) reached a settlement deal with the city of Seattle, releasing the team from the last two years of their lease with the city and allowing the team to relocate to Oklahoma City for the 2008–09 season. After 41 seasons in Seattle (and Tacoma), the team became the Oklahoma City Thunder and the owners agreed to leave the SuperSonics name, logo, and colors in Seattle for a possible future NBA franchise. The Thunderbirds also left in 2008 for the ShoWare Center in Kent, a suburb southeast of Seattle.
KeyArena was the first publicly financed arena in the area to be fully supported by earned income from the building. Arena finances were bolstered for several years by a payment following the 2008 Sonics settlement, but the current level of activity and revenue leaves little reserve beyond basic building maintenance. A naming rights deal with KeyCorp ended on December 31, 2010, but the building maintained the KeyArena name until its closure in October 2018.
The redeveloped arena, also referred to as the New Arena at Seattle Center, will feature a new interior and entrance atrium while retaining the existing roof and three exterior walls. It is planned to seat 18,600 for basketball, 17,400 for ice hockey (as well as arena football, indoor soccer, indoor lacrosse, and ice shows), 16,940 for end-stage concerts and events, and 19,125 for center-stage concerts and boxing. The Storm will return as tenants following construction, and the Redhawks are expected to return as well. In December 2018, the NHL officially approved a franchise expansion to Seattle, and the team will begin play in the new arena for the 2021–22 NHL season.The facility was formerly named Washington State Pavilion, Washington State Coliseum, Seattle Center Coliseum and KeyArena at Seattle Center.Kurt Cobain
Kurt Donald Cobain (February 20, 1967 – April 5, 1994) was an American singer, songwriter, and musician, best known as the guitarist and frontman of the rock band Nirvana. Cobain is remembered as one of the most iconic and influential rock musicians in the history of alternative music.
Born in Aberdeen, Washington, Cobain formed the band Nirvana with Krist Novoselic and Aaron Burckhard in 1987 and established it as part of the Seattle music scene which later became known as grunge. After signing with major label DGC Records, Nirvana found success with "Smells Like Teen Spirit" from their second album Nevermind (1991). Following the success of Nevermind, Nirvana was labelled "the flagship band" of Generation X, and Cobain was hailed as "the spokesman of a generation"; however, Cobain resented this, believing his message and artistic vision had been misinterpreted by the public, with his personal problems often subject to media attention.During the last years of his life, Cobain struggled with heroin addiction and chronic health problems such as depression. He also struggled with the personal and professional pressures of fame, and his marriage to musician Courtney Love. On April 8, 1994, at the age of 27, Cobain was found dead at his home in Seattle, and police concluded he died on April 5 from a self-inflicted shotgun wound to his head.Cobain has been described as a "Generation X icon". He was posthumously inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, along with Nirvana bandmates Dave Grohl and Novoselic, in their first year of eligibility in 2014. In 2003, David Fricke of Rolling Stone ranked him the 12th greatest guitarist of all time. He was ranked 7th by MTV in the "22 Greatest Voices in Music". In 2006, he was placed 20th by Hit Parader on their list of the "100 Greatest Metal Singers of All Time".Paul Allen
Paul Gardner Allen (January 21, 1953 – October 15, 2018) was an American business magnate, investor, researcher, humanitarian, and philanthropist. He co-founded Microsoft alongside Bill Gates in 1975, which helped spark the microcomputer revolution and later became the world's largest PC software company. In March 2018, Allen was estimated to be the 44th-wealthiest person in the world according to the Forbes annual list of the world's billionaires, with an estimated net worth of $21.7 billion, revised at the time of his death to $20.3 billion.Allen was the founder, with his sister Jody Allen, and Chairman of Vulcan Inc., the privately held company that managed his various business and philanthropic efforts. He had a multibillion-dollar investment portfolio including technology and media companies, scientific research, real estate holdings, private spaceflight ventures, and stakes in other sectors. He owned two professional sports teams: the Seattle Seahawks of the National Football League and the Portland Trail Blazers of the National Basketball Association, and was part-owner of the Seattle Sounders FC, which joined Major League Soccer in 2009.Allen was the founder of the Allen Institute for Brain Science, Institute for Artificial Intelligence, Institute for Cell Science, Stratolaunch Systems, and Apex Learning. He gave more than $2 billion to causes such as education, wildlife and environmental conservation, the arts, healthcare, community services, and more. He received numerous awards and honors in several different professions, and was listed among the Time 100 Most Influential People in the World in both 2007 and 2008.Russell Wilson
Russell Carrington Wilson (born November 29, 1988) is an American football quarterback for the Seattle Seahawks of the National Football League (NFL). Through his first 7 NFL seasons, Wilson has been named to six Pro Bowls and has started in two Super Bowls, winning Super Bowl XLVIII. He holds the record for most wins by an NFL quarterback through 7 seasons (75) and is one of two quarterbacks in NFL history with a career passer rating over 100. On April 15, 2019, Wilson signed a four-year, $140 million contract extension with the Seahawks, making him the highest paid player in the NFL.Wilson was selected by the Seahawks with the 12th pick in the third round (75th overall) of the 2012 NFL Draft. In 2012, he tied Peyton Manning's record for most passing touchdowns by a rookie (26) and was named the Pepsi NFL Rookie of the Year.Wilson played college football for the University of Wisconsin during the 2011 season, in which he set the single-season FBS record for passing efficiency (191.8) and led the team to a Big Ten title and the 2012 Rose Bowl. Wilson also played football and baseball for North Carolina State University from 2008 to 2010 before transferring to Wisconsin. He played minor league baseball for the Tri-City Dust Devils in 2010 and the Asheville Tourists in 2011 as a second baseman, and as of 2019 his professional baseball rights are held by the Trenton Thunder, a Double-A affiliate of the New York Yankees.Seattle Mariners
The Seattle Mariners are an American professional baseball team based in Seattle, Washington. The Mariners compete in Major League Baseball (MLB) as a member club of the American League (AL) West Division. The team joined the American League as an expansion team in 1977 playing their home games in the Kingdome. Since July 1999, the Mariners' home ballpark has been T-Mobile Park (formerly Safeco Field), located in the SoDo neighborhood of Seattle.
The "Mariners" name originates from the prominence of marine culture in the city of Seattle. They are nicknamed the M's, a title featured in their primary logo from 1987 to 1992. They adopted their current team colors – Navy blue, northwest green (teal), and silver – prior to the 1993 season, after having been royal blue and gold since the team's inception. Their mascot is the Mariner Moose.
The organization did not field a winning team until 1991, and any real success eluded them until 1995 when they won their first division championship and defeated the New York Yankees in the ALDS. The game-winning hit in Game 5, in which Edgar Martínez drove home Ken Griffey Jr. to win the game in the 11th inning, clinched a series win for the Mariners, served as a powerful impetus to preserve baseball in Seattle, and has since become an iconic moment in team history.
The Mariners won 116 games in 2001, which set the American League record for most wins in a single season and tied the 1906 Chicago Cubs for the Major League record for most wins in a single season.
Through the end of the 2018 season, the franchise has finished with a losing record in 28 of 42 seasons. The Mariners are one of seven Major League Baseball teams who have never won a World Series championship, and one of two (along with the Washington Nationals) never to have played in a World Series. With the National Football League's Buffalo Bills ending their 17-year playoff drought on December 31, 2017, the Mariners now hold the longest playoff drought in all of the four major North American professional sports, having not qualified for the playoffs since 2001.Seattle Seahawks
The Seattle Seahawks are a professional American football franchise based in Seattle, Washington. The Seahawks compete in the National Football League (NFL) as a member club of the league's National Football Conference (NFC) West division. They joined the NFL in 1976 as an expansion team. The Seahawks are coached by Pete Carroll. Since 2002, they have played their home games at CenturyLink Field (formerly Qwest Field), located south of downtown Seattle. They previously played home games in the Kingdome (1976–1999) and Husky Stadium (1994, 2000–2001).
Seahawks fans have been referred to collectively as the "12th Man", "12th Fan", or "12s". The Seahawks' fans have twice set the Guinness World Record for the loudest crowd noise at a sporting event, first registering 136.6 decibels during a game against the San Francisco 49ers in September 2013, and later during a Monday Night Football game against the New Orleans Saints a few months later, with a then record-setting 137.6 dB. The Seahawks are the only NFL franchise based in the Pacific Northwest region of North America, and thus attract support from a wide geographical area, including some parts of Oregon, Montana, Idaho, and Alaska, as well as Canadian fans in British Columbia, Alberta and Saskatchewan.Steve Largent, Cortez Kennedy, Walter Jones, and Kenny Easley have been voted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame primarily or wholly for their accomplishments as Seahawks. In addition to them, Dave Brown, Jacob Green, Dave Krieg, Curt Warner, and Jim Zorn have been inducted into the Seahawks Ring of Honor along with Pete Gross (radio announcer) and Chuck Knox (head coach). The Seahawks have won 10 division titles and three conference championships. They are the only team to have played in both the AFC and NFC Championship Games. They have appeared in three Super Bowls: losing 21–10 to the Pittsburgh Steelers in Super Bowl XL, defeating the Denver Broncos 43–8 for their first championship in Super Bowl XLVIII, and losing 28–24 to the New England Patriots in Super Bowl XLIX.Seattle Sounders FC
Seattle Sounders FC is an American professional soccer club based in Seattle, Washington. The Sounders compete as a member of the Western Conference of Major League Soccer (MLS). The club was established on November 13, 2007, and began play in 2009 as an MLS expansion team. The Sounders are a phoenix club, carrying the same name as the original franchise that competed in the North American Soccer League from 1974 to 1983.
The club's majority owner is Adrian Hanauer, and its minority owners are Joe Roth, the estate of Paul Allen and Drew Carey. Former USL Sounders coach and assistant coach Brian Schmetzer took over as head coach in July 2016 after the departure of Sigi Schmid. The Sounders play their home league matches at CenturyLink Field, with a reduced capacity of 37,722 seats for most matches. Along with several organized groups, a 53-member marching band called 'Sound Wave' supports the club at each home match. Seattle competes with rival MLS clubs Portland and Vancouver for the Cascadia Cup.
The Sounders played their inaugural match on March 19, 2009, winning 3–0 over the New York Red Bulls. Seattle has been among the league's most successful teams, winning the U.S. Open Cup four times, the Supporters' Shield in 2014, and the MLS Cup in 2016. The team has qualified for the MLS Cup Playoffs in each of its ten seasons and competed in the CONCACAF Champions League five times, advancing to the semifinal round once. The team set a new MLS record for average attendance in each of its first five seasons. The Sounders are ranked as one of the most valuable franchises in North America.
The team's players have included joint top goalscorers Clint Dempsey and Fredy Montero, as well as long-time captain Osvaldo Alonso, and current captain Nicolás Lodeiro. The Sounders also operate a players' academy and lower division teams that have produced homegrown players, including forward Jordan Morris and current Newcastle United F.C. defender DeAndre Yedlin.Seattle SuperSonics
The Seattle SuperSonics, commonly known as the Sonics, were an American professional basketball team based in Seattle, Washington. The SuperSonics played in the National Basketball Association (NBA) as a member club of the league's Western Conference Pacific and Northwest divisions from 1967 until 2008. After the 2007–08 season ended, the team relocated to Oklahoma City, Oklahoma, and now plays as the Oklahoma City Thunder.
Sam Schulman owned the team from its 1967 inception until 1983. It was then owned by Barry Ackerley (1983–2001), and then Basketball Club of Seattle, headed by Starbucks chairman emeritus, former president and CEO Howard Schultz (2001–2006). On July 18, 2006, the Basketball Club of Seattle sold the SuperSonics and its Women's National Basketball Association (WNBA) sister franchise Seattle Storm to the Professional Basketball Club LLC, headed by Oklahoma City businessman Clay Bennett. The sale was approved by the NBA Board of Governors on October 24, 2006, and finalized on October 31, 2006, at which point the new ownership group took control. After failing to find public funding to construct a new arena in the Seattle area, the SuperSonics moved to Oklahoma City before the 2008–09 season, following a $45 million settlement with the city of Seattle to pay off the team's existing lease at KeyArena at Seattle Center in advance of its 2010 expiration.Home games were played at KeyArena, originally known as Seattle Center Coliseum, for 33 of the franchise's 41 seasons in Seattle. In 1978, the team moved to the Kingdome, which was shared with the Seattle Mariners of Major League Baseball (MLB) and the Seattle Seahawks of the National Football League (NFL). They returned to the Coliseum full-time in 1985, moving temporarily to the Tacoma Dome in Tacoma, Washington, for the 1994–95 season while the Coliseum was renovated and rebranded as KeyArena.
The SuperSonics won the NBA championship in 1979. Overall, the franchise won three Western Conference titles: 1978, 1979, and 1996. The franchise also won six divisional titles, their last being in 2005, with five in the Pacific Division and one in the Northwest Division. Settlement terms of a lawsuit between the city of Seattle and Clay Bennett's ownership group stipulated the SuperSonics' banners, trophies, and retired jerseys remain in Seattle; the nickname, logo, and color scheme are available to any subsequent NBA team that plays at a renovated KeyArena subject to NBA approval. The SuperSonics' franchise history, however, would be shared with the Thunder.Seattle metropolitan area
The Seattle metropolitan area is an urban conglomeration in the U.S. state of Washington that includes Seattle and its surrounding satellites and suburbs. It includes the three most populous counties in the state—King, Snohomish, and Pierce—and is considered a component of the greater Puget Sound region. The United States Census Bureau defines the metropolitan area as the Seattle–Tacoma–Bellevue, WA Metropolitan Statistical Area. With an estimated population of 3,867,046 as of 2017, it is the 14th largest Metropolitan Statistical Area in the United States, with almost half of Washington's population.Seattle–Tacoma International Airport
Seattle–Tacoma International Airport (IATA: SEA, ICAO: KSEA, FAA LID: SEA), also referred to as Sea–Tac Airport or Sea–Tac (), is the primary commercial airport serving the Seattle metropolitan area in the U.S. state of Washington. It is located in the city of SeaTac, approximately 14 miles (23 km) south of Downtown Seattle and 18 miles (29 km) north-northeast of Downtown Tacoma. The airport, the largest in the Pacific Northwest region of North America, is owned and operated by the Port of Seattle.
The airport has flights to cities throughout North America, Europe, the Middle East, and Asia. It is the primary hub for Alaska Airlines, whose headquarters are near the airport. It is also a hub and international gateway to Asia for Delta Air Lines, which has expanded at the airport since 2011. Thirty-four airlines serve 91 non-stop domestic and 28 international destinations.
In 2017, the airport was the 30th-busiest airport in the world and the eighth-busiest in the United States by passenger traffic, and is considered one of the fastest growing in the United States. The entire airport covers an area of 2,500 acres or 3.9 square miles (10 km2), much smaller than other U.S. airports with similar annual passenger numbers.Starbucks
Starbucks Corporation is an American coffee company and coffeehouse chain. Starbucks was founded in Seattle, Washington in 1971. As of early 2019, the company operates over 30,000 locations worldwide.
Starbucks is considered the main representative of "second wave coffee", initially distinguishing itself from other coffee-serving venues in the US by taste, quality, and customer experience while popularizing darkly roasted coffee. Since the 2000s, third wave coffee makers have targeted quality-minded coffee drinkers with hand-made coffee based on lighter roasts, while Starbucks nowadays uses automated espresso machines for efficiency and safety reasons.Starbucks locations serve hot and cold drinks, whole-bean coffee, microground instant coffee known as VIA, espresso, caffe latte, full- and loose-leaf teas including Teavana tea products, Evolution Fresh juices, Frappuccino beverages, La Boulange pastries, and snacks including items such as chips and crackers; some offerings (including their annual fall launch of the Pumpkin Spice Latte) are seasonal or specific to the locality of the store. Many stores sell pre-packaged food items, hot and cold sandwiches, and drinkware including mugs and tumblers; select "Starbucks Evenings" locations offer beer, wine, and appetizers. Starbucks-brand coffee, ice cream, and bottled cold coffee drinks are also sold at grocery stores.
Starbucks first became profitable in Seattle in the early 1980s. Despite an initial economic downturn with its expansion into the Midwest and British Columbia in the late 1980s, the company experienced revitalized prosperity with its entry into California in the early 1990s. The first Starbucks location outside North America opened in Tokyo in 1996; overseas properties now constitute almost one-third of its stores. The company opened an average of two new locations daily between 1987 and 2007.On December 1, 2016, Howard Schultz announced he would resign as CEO effective April 2017 and would be replaced by Kevin Johnson. Johnson assumed the role of CEO on April 3, 2017, and Howard Schultz retired to become Chairman Emeritus effective June 26, 2018.The Seattle Times
The Seattle Times is a daily newspaper serving Seattle, Washington, United States. It has the largest circulation of any newspaper in the state of Washington and in the Pacific Northwest region.
The newspaper was founded in 1891 and has been controlled by the Blethen family since 1896. The Seattle Times Company also owns local newspapers in Walla Walla and Yakima. It had a longstanding rivalry with the Post-Intelligencer until the latter ceased publication in 2009.University of Washington
The University of Washington (commonly referred to as UW, simply Washington, or informally U-Dub) is a public research university in Seattle, Washington.
Founded in 1861, Washington was first established in downtown Seattle approximately a decade after the city's founding to aid its economic development. Today, the university's 703-acre main Seattle campus is situated in the University District above the Montlake Cut, within the urban Puget Sound region of the Pacific Northwest. The university has two additional campuses in Tacoma and Bothell. Overall, UW encompasses over 500 buildings and over 20 million gross square footage of space, including one of the largest library systems in the world with over 26 university libraries, as well as the UW Tower, lecture halls, art centers, museums, laboratories, stadiums, and conference centers. The university offers bachelor's, master's and doctoral degrees through 140 departments in various colleges and schools, sees about 46,000 in total student enrollment every year, and functions on a quarter system.
Washington is a member of the Association of American Universities and classified as an R1 Doctoral Research University classification under the Carnegie Classification of Institutions of Higher Education. It is cited as a leading university in the world for scientific performance and research output by the Times Higher Education World University Rankings and the CWTS Leiden Ranking. In the 2015 fiscal year, the UW received nearly $1.2 billion in research funding, the 3rd largest among all universities in the United States. As the flagship institution of the six public universities in Washington State, it is known for its research in medicine, science, as well as its highly-competitive computer science and engineering programs. Additionally, Washington continues to benefit from its deep historical ties and major collaborations with numerous technology giants in the region, such as Amazon, Boeing, Nintendo, and particularly Microsoft. Paul G. Allen, Bill Gates and others spent significant time at Washington computer labs for a prior venture before founding Microsoft. Its 22 varsity sports teams are also highly competitive, competing as the Huskies in the Pac-12 Conference of the NCAA Division I, representing the United States at the Olympic Games, and other major competitions.The University has been affiliated with many notable alumni and faculty, including 20 Nobel Prize laureates and numerous Pulitzer Prize winners, Fulbright Scholars, Rhodes Scholars, Marshall Scholars, as well as members of other distinguished institutions.Washington (state)
Washington ( (listen)), officially the State of Washington, is a state in the Pacific Northwest region of the United States. Named for George Washington, the first president of the United States, the state was made out of the western part of the Washington Territory, which was ceded by Britain in 1846 in accordance with the Oregon Treaty in the settlement of the Oregon boundary dispute. It was admitted to the Union as the 42nd state in 1889. Olympia is the state capital; the state's largest city is Seattle. Washington is sometimes referred to as Washington State to distinguish it from Washington, D.C., the capital of the United States.
Washington is the 18th largest state, with an area of 71,362 square miles (184,827 km2), and the 13th most populous state, with more than 7.4 million people. Approximately 60 percent of Washington's residents live in the Seattle metropolitan area, the center of transportation, business, and industry along Puget Sound, an inlet of the Pacific Ocean consisting of numerous islands, deep fjords, and bays carved out by glaciers. The remainder of the state consists of: deep temperate rainforests in the west; mountain ranges in the west, central, northeast, and far southeast; and a semi-arid basin region in the east, central, and south, given over to intensive agriculture. Washington is the second most populous state on the West Coast and in the Western United States, after California. Mount Rainier, an active stratovolcano, is the state's highest elevation, at almost 14,411 feet (4,392 meters), and is the 2nd topographically prominent mountain in the continental United States, the first being Denali in Alaska. It is also the 2nd highest peak in the contiguous United States, the first being Mt. Whitney in California.
Washington is a leading lumber producer. Its rugged surface is rich in stands of Douglas fir, hemlock, ponderosa pine, white pine, spruce, larch, and cedar. The state is the biggest producer of apples, hops, pears, red raspberries, spearmint oil, and sweet cherries, and ranks high in the production of apricots, asparagus, dry edible peas, grapes, lentils, peppermint oil, and potatoes. Livestock and livestock products make important contributions to total farm revenue, and the commercial fishing of salmon, halibut, and bottomfish makes a significant contribution to the state's economy. Washington ranks second only to California in the production of wine.
Manufacturing industries in Washington include aircraft and missiles, ship-building, and other transportation equipment, lumber, food processing, metals and metal products, chemicals, and machinery. Washington has over 1,000 dams, including the Grand Coulee Dam, built for a variety of purposes, including irrigation, power, flood control, and water storage.
Washington is one of the wealthiest and most socially progressive states in the country. The state consistently ranks among the best for life expectancy and low unemployment. Along with Colorado, Washington was one of the first to legalize medicinal and recreational cannabis, was among the first thirty-six states to legalize same-sex marriage, doing so in 2012, and was one of only four U.S. states to have been providing legal abortions on request before the 1973 Supreme Court decision in Roe v. Wade loosened federal abortion laws. Similarly, Washington voters approved a 2008 referendum on legalization of physician-assisted suicide, and is currently only one of five states, along with Oregon, California, Colorado and Vermont, as well as the District of Columbia to have legalized the practice. The state is also one of eight in the country to have criminalized the sale, possession and transfer of bump stocks, with California, Florida, New Jersey, New York, Vermont, Maryland, and Massachusetts also having banned these devices.
|Climate data for Seattle (SeaTac Airport), 1981–2010 normals,[a] extremes 1894–present[b]|
|Record high °F (°C)||67
|Mean maximum °F (°C)||56.4
|Average high °F (°C)||47.2
|Average low °F (°C)||36.9
|Mean minimum °F (°C)||25.4
|Record low °F (°C)||0
|Average precipitation inches (mm)||5.57
|Average snowfall inches (cm)||1.4
|Average precipitation days (≥ 0.01 in)||18.2||14.7||16.9||14.3||12.0||9.1||5.0||4.8||7.9||13.1||18.4||17.6||152.0|
|Average snowy days (≥ 0.1 in)||1.3||0.9||0.5||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||0.3||1.6||4.6|
|Average relative humidity (%)||78.0||75.2||73.6||71.4||68.9||67.1||65.4||68.2||73.2||78.6||79.8||80.1||73.3|
|Mean monthly sunshine hours||69.8||108.8||178.4||207.3||253.7||268.4||312.0||281.4||221.7||142.6||72.7||52.9||2,169.7|
|Percent possible sunshine||25||38||48||51||54||56||65||64||59||42||26||20||49|
|Source: NOAA (relative humidity and sun 1961–1990)|
|Climate data for Seattle|
|Average sea temperature °F (°C)||45.5
|Mean daily daylight hours||9.0||10.0||12.0||14.0||15.0||16.0||16.0||14.0||13.0||11.0||9.0||8.0||12.3|
|Average Ultraviolet index||1||2||3||5||6||7||7||6||5||3||1||1||3.9|
|Source: Weather Atlas |
|Black or African American||7.9%||10.1%||7.1%||1.0%|
|Hispanic or Latino (of any race)||6.6%||3.6%||2.0%||n/a|
|Two or more races||5.1%||n/a||n/a||n/a|
Places adjacent to Seattle
City of Seattle
Articles relating to Seattle and King County