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Arlington, Washington
Arlington, Washington - Olympic Avenue 01.jpg
Olympic Avenue in downtown Arlington
A map of cities in Snohomish County, with the location of Arlington highlighted.
Location of Arlington within Snohomish County
Arlington, Washington is located in Washington (state)
Arlington, Washington
Arlington, Washington
Location in Washington (state)
Arlington, Washington is located in the United States
Arlington, Washington
Arlington, Washington
Location in the United States
Arlington, Washington is located in North America
Arlington, Washington
Arlington, Washington
Location in North America
Country United States
State Washington
County Snohomish
Incorporated May 20, 1903
 • Type Mayor–council
 • Total 9.81 sq mi (25.4 km2)
 • Land 9.80 sq mi (25.4 km2)
 • Water 0.01 sq mi (0.03 km2)
115 ft (35 m)
 • Total 19,868
 • Density 2,024.45/sq mi (781.64/km2)
Time zone UTC-8 (PST)
 • Summer (DST) UTC-7 (PDT)
ZIP code
Area code 360
FIPS code 53-02585
GNIS feature ID 1515947

Arlington is a city in northern Snohomish County, Washington, United States, part of the Seattle metropolitan area. The city lies on the Stillaguamish River in the western foothills of the Cascade Range, adjacent to the city of Marysville. It is approximately 10 miles (16 km) north of Everett, the county seat, and 40 miles (64 km) north of Seattle, the state's largest city. As of the 2010 U.S. census, Arlington had a population of 17,926.

Arlington was established in the 1880s by settlers and the area was platted as two towns, Arlington and Haller City. Haller City was absorbed by the larger Arlington, which was incorporated as a city in 1903. During the Great Depression of the 1930s, the Arlington area was the site of major projects undertaken for employment under the direction of federal relief agencies, including construction of a municipal airport that would serve as a naval air station during World War II. Arlington began suburbanizing in the 1980s, growing by more than 450 percent by 2000 and annexing the unincorporated area of Smokey Point to the southwest.

The economy of the Arlington area historically relied on timber and agriculture. In the early 21st century, it has transitioned to a service economy, with some aviation industry jobs near the municipal airport. The city is governed by a mayor–council government, electing a mayor and seven city councilmembers. The municipal government maintains the city's parks system and water and wastewater utilities. Other services, including public utilities, public transportation, and schools, are contracted to regional or county-level agencies and companies.


Prior to European settlement, the area was long inhabited by indigenous peoples. Their historic descendants have identified as the Stillaquamish Tribe.

Arlington was platted by European Americans in 1900, and was named after Lord Henry Arlington, a member of the cabinet of King Charles II of England. Haller City was a nearby town founded April 24, 1890, by Theodore Haller and his parents Henrietta and Granville O. Haller. When Arlington was incorporated as a city in May 5, 1903, it included Haller City. Arlington is home to the Stillaguamish Valley Pioneer Museum.

Arlington, WA - City Hall 01
City Hall, Arlington, Washington.


According to the United States Census Bureau, the city has a total area of 9.26 square miles (23.98 km2), of which, 9.25 square miles (23.96 km2) is land and 0.01 square miles (0.03 km2) is water.


Historical population
Census Pop.
1910 1,476
1920 1,418 −3.9%
1930 1,439 1.5%
1940 1,460 1.5%
1950 1,635 12.0%
1960 2,025 23.9%
1970 2,261 11.7%
1980 3,282 45.2%
1990 4,037 23.0%
2000 11,713 190.1%
2010 17,926 53.0%
2020 19,868 10.8%
Source: U.S. Decennial Census
2019 Estimate

The city of Arlington had a population of 19,868 people at the time of the 2020 U.S. census, making it the tenth largest of eighteen cities in Snohomish County. From 1980 to 2010, Arlington's population increased by over 450 percent, fueled by the construction of suburban housing and annexations of outlying areas. The United States Census Bureau estimates the city's 2019 population at 20,523. In 2005, the Arlington city council projected that the city's population would double from 15,000 to 30,528 by 2025.

2010 census

As of the 2010 census, there were 17,926 people, 6,563 households, and 4,520 families residing in the city. The population density was 1,937.9 inhabitants per square mile (748.2/km2). There were 6,929 housing units at an average density of 749.1 per square mile (289.2/km2). The racial makeup of the city was 85.6% White, 1.2% African American, 1.4% Native American, 3.3% Asian, 0.3% Pacific Islander, 3.9% from other races, and 4.2% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 9.5% of the population.

There were 6,563 households, of which 40.3% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 50.7% were married couples living together, 12.6% had a female householder with no husband present, 5.6% had a male householder with no wife present, and 31.1% were non-families. 24.0% of all households were made up of individuals, and 10.2% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.70 and the average family size was 3.21.

The median age in the city was 34.3 years. 28.3% of residents were under the age of 18; 8.7% were between the ages of 18 and 24; 29.2% were from 25 to 44; 22.4% were from 45 to 64; and 11.3% were 65 years of age or older. The gender makeup of the city was 48.6% male and 51.4% female.


According to the Köppen climate classification system, Arlington has a warm-summer Mediterranean climate (Csb).

Climate data for Arlington
Month Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec Year
Record high °F (°C) 59
Average high °F (°C) 44.5
Daily mean °F (°C) 36.9
Average low °F (°C) 29.3
Record low °F (°C) 7
Precipitation inches (mm) 5.8
Avg. precipitation days 20 16 18 16 13 12 6 7 10 15 19 20 172

Districts and neighborhoods

Smokey Point

Smokey Point is a busy residential, commercial, and industrial community. The northeast portion of this community was annexed by Arlington in 1999.


The largest planned development in Arlington, Gleneagle is a 1,037-unit neighborhood and HOA built in and around the Gleneagle Golf Course. Consisting of single-family homes and townhouses, Gleneagle was developed primarily from 1987 through 2002; it houses approximately 30% of Arlington's population.

High Clover Park

High Clover Park is a planned neighborhood and development, consisting of 162 single family homes. It is situated northwest of the Arlington Municipal Airport.

Arlington Heights

Arlington Heights is a residential area situated east of Arlington on the triangular raised plateau bordered on the east by the Cascade Mountains, on the northwest by the North Fork of the Stillaguamish River, and on the southwest by the South Fork of the Stillaguamish River. In the Cascade foothills east of Arlington Heights is the Jim Creek Naval Radio Station, a very low frequency radio array for communication with submarines. It is largely decommissioned but still in use as a recreation facility by Navy personnel and families. Arlington Heights is outside the municipal boundaries of Arlington, but its residents have Arlington postal addresses and their children attend Arlington schools. Some areas in Arlington Heights have excellent views of Whitehorse and Three Fingers mountains.

Surrounding municipalities

Arlington Centennial 1903-2003: A Pictorial History of Arlington, Washington


As of 2015, Arlington has an estimated 9,481 residents who were in the workforce, either employed or unemployed. The average one-way commute for Arlington workers in 2015 was approximately 30 minutes; 85 percent of workers drove alone to their workplace, while 7 percent carpooled, and 2 percent used public transit. As of 2015, only 12 percent of employed Arlington residents work within city limits, while approximately 17 percent commute to Everett, 9 percent to Seattle, 8 percent to Marysville, 3 percent to Bellevue, 2 percent to Renton, and 49 percent to other cities, each of which accounted for less than 2 percent. The largest industry of employment for Arlington workers are educational services and health care, with approximately 19 percent, followed by manufacturing (18%), retail (11%), and food services (10%).

Arlington's early economy relied heavily on timber harvesting and processing, notably the production of red cedar wood shingles at mills that closed during the Great Depression of the 1930s. Locally, Arlington was known as the "Shingle Capital of the World", although mills in Everett and Ballard produced more shingles at the time. Agriculture and dairy farming emerged as significant industries to Arlington during the early 20th century, with farms lining the floodplain of the Stillaguamish River. A major cooperative creamery and condensery was established in Arlington during the 1910s, but later moved to Mount Vernon after World War II.

The transformation of Arlington into a bedroom community for Everett and Seattle during the 1980s and 1990s came with it a move towards a service economy. Among the largest employers of Arlington residents are the Boeing Everett Factory and Naval Station Everett. The expansion of the aerospace industry in the Seattle region led Arlington to develop its own municipal airport into an aerospace job center, which includes a high concentration of Boeing subcontractors. As of 2012, the airport has 130 on-site businesses that employ 590 people, with an annual economic output of $94.5 million. Aircraft manufacturer Glasair Aviation is based in Arlington, and Eviation Aircraft uses its Arlington hangars for assembly and testing of the Eviation Alice, an electric prototype model.

The city of Arlington plans to increase the number of jobs within the city to over 20,000 by 2035, bolstered by the designation of the Cascade Industrial Center by the Puget Sound Regional Council in 2019. The industrial center, located between the two cities near Smokey Point, already included major distribution centers and other light industry in the 2000s. A five-story Amazon distribution center is planned to be constructed near the airport in 2021 at a cost of $355 million.


Arlington, WA - old Arlington High School 01
The former Arlington High School building, vacated in 1999

Public schools in Arlington are operated by the Arlington School District, which covers most of the incorporated city and also includes the outlying areas of Arlington Heights, Bryant, Getchell, and Sisco Heights. The district had an enrollment of approximately 5,528 students in 2014 and has nine total schools, including one high school, two middle schools, four elementary schools, and two alternative learning facilities. In the early 2000s, the school district opened four new schools to replace other facilities as part of a $54 million bond measure passed by Arlington voters in 2000. The Smokey Point neighborhood is served by the Lakewood School District, which is in unincorporated North Lakewood and served the area prior to its annexation by Arlington.

Arlington is located approximately 15 miles (24 km) away from the Everett Community College, its nearest post-secondary education institution, situated in northern Everett. The college has offered basic skills and job training courses at Arlington's Weston High School since 2016, including a branch of its Advanced Manufacturing Training & Education Center.

In 1966, the Smokey Point area was proposed as the location of a four-year public college, with 645 acres (261 ha) offered by the city of Arlington to the state government. The Washington State Legislature decided to build the college instead in Olympia, becoming The Evergreen State College. The Smokey Point area was again offered by Arlington and Marysville as the site of a University of Washington branch campus in the 2000s, but the project was put on hold and later declined by the state legislature in favor of a Washington State University branch campus in Everett.



Arlington (WA) Municipal Airport 1
Aerial view of Arlington Municipal Airport

Downtown Arlington is located near the junction of State Route 9 and State Route 530, which serve as the main highways to the city. From Arlington, State Route 9 travels north into Skagit County and south to Snohomish; and State Route 530 travels west to an interchange with Interstate 5, the main north–south highway between Seattle and Vancouver, British Columbia, and east to Darrington. Within the city is an additional state highway, State Route 531, which connects Smokey Point, the municipal airport, and Gleneagle to Interstate 5 and State Route 9 in the southern part of the city. Other major arterial roads include Smokey Point Boulevard and 67th Avenue NE, which serve as north–south thoroughfares within Arlington.

Public transportation in Arlington is provided by Community Transit, a public transit authority that operates in most of Snohomish County. Community Transit runs all-day local bus service on one route from Downtown Arlington to Smokey Point, as well as four other routes to Marysville, Everett, Lake Stevens, Lynnwood, and Stanwood from a transit center in Smokey Point. During peak hours, Community Transit also provides local service from Darrington, and commuter service to the Boeing Everett Factory from a park and ride in downtown Arlington.

Arlington has one active railroad, a 6.9-mile-long (11.1 km) spur line from Marysville to downtown Arlington operated by BNSF Railway (the successor to Burlington Northern). As part of the development of the Arlington Airport business park, BNSF Railway will build two rail spurs leading to the airport in the near future. Arlington does not have passenger rail service, but is near Amtrak stations in Everett and Stanwood.

Historically, Arlington developed along several railroads that have since been abandoned or re-purposed. The Seattle, Lake Shore and Eastern Railway, which spurred the establishment of Arlington in the 1880s, ran north–south through Arlington on its main line between Snohomish and the Canada–United States border. In 1892, it was acquired by the Northern Pacific Railway, which was acquired by Burlington Northern in 1970. Burlington Northern abandoned the railroad in 1972, favoring a parallel route to the west through Marysville, and it was converted into the Centennial Trail in the 1990s and 2000s. A Northern Pacific branch to Darrington, following the modern-day State Route 530, was built in 1901 and abandoned in 1990; the county government plans to use the right of way for the Whitehorse Trail, a multi-purpose trail.

The city of Arlington owns the Arlington Municipal Airport, located 3 miles (4.8 km) southwest of downtown Arlington. The airport is primarily used for general aviation and light business, and is home to 475 aircraft, including 10 helicopters, 20 gliders, and 23 ultra-light aircraft. Approximately 130 businesses are located on airport property, of which one-quarter are involved in aviation-related uses directly impacting the airport. In the 1990s, the airport was explored as a candidate for expansion into a regional airport to relieve Seattle–Tacoma International Airport. The plan was ultimately abandoned by 1996, as the Puget Sound Regional Council instead chose to construct a third runway at Seattle–Tacoma International Airport.


Electric power in Arlington is provided by the Snohomish County Public Utility District (PUD), a consumer-owned public utility that purchases most of its electricity from the federal Bonneville Power Administration (BPA). The BPA operates the region's system of electrical transmission lines, including Path 3, a major national transmission corridor running along the eastern side of Arlington towards British Columbia. Cascade Natural Gas and Puget Sound Energy provide natural gas to Arlington residents and businesses north and south of State Route 531, respectively; two major north–south gas pipelines run through Arlington and are maintained by the Olympic Pipeline Company, a subsidiary of BP, and the Northwest Pipeline Company, a subsidiary of Williams Companies. Arlington is served by three telephone companies and internet service providers: Comcast (Xfinity), Frontier Communications (including Verizon FiOS), and Wave Broadband.

The city of Arlington provides water and water treatment to approximately 5,548 customers within a 25.3 square miles (66 km2) service area within the city limits and some surrounding areas. The city's water is sourced from groundwater deposits near Haller Park on the Stillaguamish River and near Arlington Municipal Airport, as well as water purchased from the Snohomish County PUD that is sourced from Spada Lake. The Smokey Point neighborhood is served by the City of Marysville's water system.

Wastewater and stormwater are collected and treated by the municipal government before being discharged into the Stillaguamish River basin. Arlington's municipal solid waste and single-stream recycling collection and disposal services are contracted by the municipal government to Waste Management; the Snohomish County government and Republic Services also operate a transfer station in Arlington.

Notable people

  • Kenneth Boulton, pianist
  • Bob Drewel, former County Executive
  • Celia M. Hunter, environmentalist and conservationist
  • John Koster, former state legislator and County Councilmember
  • Rick Larsen, U.S. Congressman
  • Erik Norgard, American football player

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