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Burlington, Washington
Burlington, WA - south side 600 block of E Fairhaven Ave.jpg
The Hub City
Location of Burlington in Washington
Location of Burlington in Washington
Country United States
State Washington
County Skagit
Incorporated June 16, 1902
 • Type Mayor-council
 • Total 4.42 sq mi (11.45 km2)
 • Land 4.26 sq mi (11.03 km2)
 • Water 0.16 sq mi (0.41 km2)  3.62%
30 ft (9.1 m)
 • Total 8,388
 • Estimate 
 • Density 1,969.0/sq mi (760.2/km2)
Time zone UTC-8 (PST)
 • Summer (DST) UTC-7 (PDT)
ZIP code
Area code 360
FIPS code 53-08920
GNIS feature ID 1512052
Highways I-5
SR 11
SR 20
Website City of Burlington

Burlington is a city in Skagit County, Washington, United States. The population is 8,388 as recorded by the 2010 census. It is included in the Mount VernonAnacortes, Washington Metropolitan Statistical Area.


Burlington began as a logging camp, established by John P. Millett and William McKay, in 1882. It was officially incorporated on June 16, 1902.

In 2007, the city opened a new library and city hall.

Fairhaven Avenue

Originally, Burlington's businesses were centered on Fairhaven Avenue. Today, Fairhaven Avenue is the center of Burlington's old downtown, and provides a gathering place for the whole city during the annual summer Berry Dairy Days.

Berry Dairy Days started in 1937 was originally simply known as the Strawberry Festival. It served as a fundraiser for the town's fire department for many years. It is now a community event put on by the Burlington Chamber of Commerce. A 1954 article described a gigantic strawberry shortcake that was the centerpiece of that year's festival: it consisted of 60 sheets of sponge cake that took 12 hours to bake, and claimed to be the largest strawberry shortcake in the world.


The Skagit River has a long history of flooding, which has affected Burlington as well as other communities in the Skagit Valley. A 1909 newspaper article describes how a dike broke upriver "and a mountain of water came rushing down the Skagit valley and quickly inundated [Burlington]". Burlington is protected by a system of dikes under the jurisdiction of Skagit County Dike District #12, which was originally incorporated in 1895.

Indigent defense ruling

In December 2013, U.S. District Judge Robert Lasnik determined that Burlington had systematically violated its duty to offer effective legal representation to defendants who couldn't afford an attorney. The ruling required Burlington and Mount Vernon to hire a public defense supervisor to ensure their defense system complies with constitutional standards.


According to the United States Census Bureau, the city has a total area of 4.42 square miles (11.45 km2), of which, 4.26 square miles (11.03 km2) is land and 0.16 square miles (0.41 km2) is water.


Historical population
Census Pop.
1910 1,302
1920 1,360 4.5%
1930 1,407 3.5%
1940 1,632 16.0%
1950 2,350 44.0%
1960 2,968 26.3%
1970 3,138 5.7%
1980 3,894 24.1%
1990 4,349 11.7%
2000 6,757 55.4%
2010 8,388 24.1%
2015 (est.) 8,633 2.9%
U.S. Decennial Census
2015 Estimate

2010 census

As of the census of 2010, there were 8,388 people, 3,166 households, and 1,935 families residing in the city. The population density was 1,969.0 inhabitants per square mile (760.2/km2). There were 3,419 housing units at an average density of 802.6 per square mile (309.9/km2). The racial makeup of the city was 72.1% White, 1.2% African American, 1.8% Native American, 3.0% Asian, 0.3% Pacific Islander, 17.9% from other races, and 3.6% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 31.4% of the population.

There were 3,166 households of which 37.0% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 40.7% were married couples living together, 14.4% had a female householder with no husband present, 6.1% had a male householder with no wife present, and 38.9% were non-families. 30.2% of all households were made up of individuals and 13.6% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.62 and the average family size was 3.26.

The median age in the city was 32.1 years. 27.4% of residents were under the age of 18; 11.2% were between the ages of 18 and 24; 27.8% were from 25 to 44; 20.4% were from 45 to 64; and 13.2% were 65 years of age or older. The gender makeup of the city was 48.5% male and 51.5% female.


Burlington is home to Cascade Mall, a shopping mall located in the heart of the Skagit Valley. It is an enclosed, single-level 585,362 sq ft (54,382 m2). regional shopping center in Burlington, 60 miles (97 km) north of Seattle. Cascade Mall opened in the fall of 1989, during a time-period where the city of Burlington was credited by the Wall Street Journal as one of the fastest-growing and best investment opportunities of small towns in the United States. The mall is situated near the interchange of Interstate 5 and State Route 20. The mall is owned and managed by The Macerich Company and local management is headed by property manager Taylor Long.

Notable locals

  • Former 60 Minutes producer Mary Mapes grew up in Burlington
  • Lynn "Buck" Compton, First Lieutenant with Easy Company (portrayed in the HBO miniseries Band of Brothers by Neal McDonough), later lead prosecutor in Sirhan Sirhan's murder trial of Robert Kennedy
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