Located between Puget Sound and Lake Washington, Seattle is a center of the software and telecommunications industries. The birthplace of Starbucks, the Seattle metropolitan area has a population of 3.8 million, with Seattle (568,000), Tacoma (197,000), and Bellevue (112,000) as the largest cities. Known for its Space Needle, Seattle was ranked the most literate city in the U.S. in a 2005 study by Central Connecticut State University.
The average personal income for Seattle area residents in 2004 was $41,634 a year, an extraordinary 26% over the national average, according to the US Department of Commerce's Bureau of Economic Analysis. Personal income has grown by a robust 8.3% over the past 35 years, 11% over the national average.
Several major companies have their headquarters in Seattle and nearby Redmond, including:
Consider these additional Seattle employment facts:
- Although Boeing moved its headquarters from Seattle to Chicago, it remains one the largest employers in the area.
- The Port of Seattle has made the city a center of international trade.
- Fisherman's Terminal is the homeport for the U.S. North Pacific fishing fleet.
Seattle is notorious for its gloomy climate, and while it averages only 38 inches of precipitation annually, it's cloudy 226 days a year. Seattle is also famous for being the birthplace of grunge music and is the home of the Experience Music Project.
For more information on colleges and universities in Washington, explore our Washington state page.