List of counties in Washington facts for kids

Kids Encyclopedia Facts
See also: List of United States counties and county-equivalents
Counties of Washington
Location State of Washington
Number 39
Populations 2,266 (Garfield) – 1,931,249 (King)
Areas 175 square miles (450 km2) (San Juan) – 2,742 square miles (7,100 km2) (Okanogan)
Government County government
Subdivisions cities, towns, townships, unincorporated communities, indian reservations, census designated place

There are 39 counties in the U.S. state of Washington. Washington came from what was the western part of Washington Territory and was admitted to the Union as the 42nd state in 1889. The first counties were created from unorganized territory in 1845. Eight of the counties were created by Oregon governments prior to the organization of Washington Territory, 26 were created during Washington's territorial period, and five more were created after Washington became a state (Benton, Chelan, Grant, Ferry, and Pend Oreille).

Article XI of the Washington State Constitution addresses the organization of counties. New counties must have a population of at least 2,000 and no county can be reduced to a population below 4,000 due to partitioning to create a new county. At least one early county, named Quillehuyte, was disestablished by the territorial government due to low population. To alter the area of a county, the state constitution requires a petition of the "majority of the voters" in that area. A number of county partition proposals in the 1990s interpreted this as a majority of people who voted, until a 1998 ruling by the Washington Supreme Court clarified that they would need a majority of registered voters.

The Federal Information Processing Standard (FIPS) code, used by the United States government to uniquely identify counties, is provided with each entry. The FIPS code links in the table point to U. S. Census "quick facts" pages for each county.

Washington's postal abbreviation is WA and its FIPS state code is 53.

List

County
FIPS Code

County seat

Established

Origin

Etymology
Population
Area
Map
Adams County 001 Ritzville 1883 Whitman County John Adams (1735–1826), 2nd U.S. President &&&&&&&&&&018728.&&&&&018,728 &&&&&&&&&&&01925.&&&&&01,925 sq mi
(&&&&&&&&&&&04986.&&&&&04,986 km²)
Asotin County 003 Asotin 1883 Garfield County The Nez Percé name for Eel Creek &&&&&&&&&&021623.&&&&&021,623 &&&&&&&&&&&&0636.&&&&&0636 sq mi
(&&&&&&&&&&&01647.&&&&&01,647 km²)
Benton County 005 Prosser 1905 Yakima and Klickitat Counties Thomas Hart Benton (1782–1858), a Missouri U.S. Senator &&&&&&&&&0175177.&&&&&0175,177 &&&&&&&&&&&01703.&&&&&01,703 sq mi
(&&&&&&&&&&&04411.&&&&&04,411 km²)
State map highlighting Benton County
Chelan County 007 Wenatchee 1899 Okanogan and Kittitas Counties A Native American word meaning "deep water", likely referring to Lake Chelan &&&&&&&&&&072453.&&&&&072,453 &&&&&&&&&&&02922.&&&&&02,922 sq mi
(&&&&&&&&&&&07568.&&&&&07,568 km²)
State map highlighting Chelan County
Clallam County 009 Port Angeles 1854 Jefferson County A Klallam word meaning "the strong people" &&&&&&&&&&071404.&&&&&071,404 &&&&&&&&&&&01745.&&&&&01,745 sq mi
(&&&&&&&&&&&04520.&&&&&04,520 km²)
State map highlighting Clallam County
Clark County 011 Vancouver 1845 Original county William Clark (1770–1838), the co-captain of the Lewis and Clark Expedition &&&&&&&&&0425363.&&&&&0425,363 &&&&&&&&&&&&0628.&&&&&0628 sq mi
(&&&&&&&&&&&01627.&&&&&01,627 km²)
Columbia County 013 Dayton 1875 Walla Walla County The Columbia River &&&&&&&&&&&04078.&&&&&04,078 &&&&&&&&&&&&0869.&&&&&0869 sq mi
(&&&&&&&&&&&02251.&&&&&02,251 km²)
State map highlighting Columbia County
Cowlitz County 015 Kelso 1854 Original county Cowlitz, an Indian tribe &&&&&&&&&0102410.&&&&&0102,410 &&&&&&&&&&&01139.&&&&&01,139 sq mi
(&&&&&&&&&&&02950.&&&&&02,950 km²)
Douglas County 017 Waterville 1883 Lincoln County Stephen A. Douglas (1813–1861), U.S. Senator from Illinois &&&&&&&&&&038431.&&&&&038,431 &&&&&&&&&&&01821.&&&&&01,821 sq mi
(&&&&&&&&&&&04716.&&&&&04,716 km²)
Ferry County 019 Republic 1899 Stevens County Elisha P. Ferry (1825–1895), 1st Governor of Washington State &&&&&&&&&&&07551.&&&&&07,551 &&&&&&&&&&&02204.&&&&&02,204 sq mi
(&&&&&&&&&&&05708.&&&&&05,708 km²)
Franklin County 021 Pasco 1883 Whitman County Benjamin Franklin (1706–1790), writer, orator, inventor, and U.S. Founding Father &&&&&&&&&&078163.&&&&&078,163 &&&&&&&&&&&01242.&&&&&01,242 sq mi
(&&&&&&&&&&&03217.&&&&&03,217 km²)
State map highlighting Franklin County
Garfield County 023 Pomeroy 1881 Columbia County James A. Garfield (1831–1881), 20th U.S. President &&&&&&&&&&&02266.&&&&&02,266 &&&&&&&&&&&&0710.&&&&&0710 sq mi
(&&&&&&&&&&&01839.&&&&&01,839 km²)
Grant County 025 Ephrata 1909 Douglas County Ulysses S. Grant (1822–1885), 18th U.S. President &&&&&&&&&&089120.&&&&&089,120 &&&&&&&&&&&02681.&&&&&02,681 sq mi
(&&&&&&&&&&&06944.&&&&&06,944 km²)
Grays Harbor County 027 Montesano 1854 Thurston County Grays Harbor, a body of water named after explorer and merchant Robert Gray (1755–1806) &&&&&&&&&&072797.&&&&&072,797 &&&&&&&&&&&01917.&&&&&01,917 sq mi
(&&&&&&&&&&&04965.&&&&&04,965 km²)
State map highlighting Grays Harbor County
Island County 029 Coupeville 1853 Thurston County Whidbey and Camano Islands &&&&&&&&&&078506.&&&&&078,506 &&&&&&&&&&&&0209.&&&&&0209 sq mi
(&&&&&&&&&&&&0541.&&&&&0541 km²)
Jefferson County 031 Port Townsend 1852 Thurston County Thomas Jefferson (1743–1826), 3rd U.S. President and principal author of the Declaration of Independence &&&&&&&&&&029872.&&&&&029,872 &&&&&&&&&&&01809.&&&&&01,809 sq mi
(&&&&&&&&&&&04685.&&&&&04,685 km²)
State map highlighting Jefferson County
King County 033 Seattle 1852 Thurston County William R. King (1786–1853), U.S. Vice President under Franklin Pierce; officially renamed in 1986 after Martin Luther King, Jr. (1929–1968) &&&&&&&&01931249.&&&&&01,931,249 &&&&&&&&&&&02126.&&&&&02,126 sq mi
(&&&&&&&&&&&05506.&&&&&05,506 km²)
State map highlighting King County
Kitsap County 035 Port Orchard 1857 King and Jefferson Counties Chief Kitsap (d. 1860), leader of the Suquamish tribe &&&&&&&&&0251133.&&&&&0251,133 &&&&&&&&&&&&0396.&&&&&0396 sq mi
(&&&&&&&&&&&01026.&&&&&01,026 km²)
State map highlighting Kitsap County
Kittitas County 037 Ellensburg 1883 Yakima County Kittitas tribe word of uncertain meaning, with popular translations ranging from "white chalk" to "land of the plenty" &&&&&&&&&&040915.&&&&&040,915 &&&&&&&&&&&02297.&&&&&02,297 sq mi
(&&&&&&&&&&&05949.&&&&&05,949 km²)
State map highlighting Kittitas County
Klickitat County 039 Goldendale 1859 Walla Walla County Klickitat Tribe &&&&&&&&&&020318.&&&&&020,318 &&&&&&&&&&&01872.&&&&&01,872 sq mi
(&&&&&&&&&&&04848.&&&&&04,848 km²)
Lewis County 041 Chehalis 1845 Original county Meriwether Lewis (1774–1809), the co-captain of the Lewis and Clark Expedition &&&&&&&&&&075455.&&&&&075,455 &&&&&&&&&&&02408.&&&&&02,408 sq mi
(&&&&&&&&&&&06237.&&&&&06,237 km²)
State map highlighting Lewis County
Lincoln County 043 Davenport 1883 Whitman County Abraham Lincoln (1809–1865), 16th U.S. President &&&&&&&&&&010570.&&&&&010,570 &&&&&&&&&&&02311.&&&&&02,311 sq mi
(&&&&&&&&&&&05985.&&&&&05,985 km²)
Mason County 045 Shelton 1854 King County Charles H. Mason (1830–1859), 1st Secretary of Washington Territory &&&&&&&&&&060699.&&&&&060,699 &&&&&&&&&&&&0961.&&&&&0961 sq mi
(&&&&&&&&&&&02489.&&&&&02,489 km²)
Okanogan County 047 Okanogan 1888 Stevens County A Salish Native American word meaning "rendezvous" &&&&&&&&&&041120.&&&&&041,120 &&&&&&&&&&&05268.&&&&&05,268 sq mi
(&&&&&&&&&&013644.&&&&&013,644 km²)
Pacific County 049 South Bend 1851 Lewis County The Pacific Ocean &&&&&&&&&&020920.&&&&&020,920 &&&&&&&&&&&&0975.&&&&&0975 sq mi
(&&&&&&&&&&&02525.&&&&&02,525 km²)
Pend Oreille County 051 Newport 1911 Stevens County The Pend d'Oreille Native American tribe &&&&&&&&&&013001.&&&&&013,001 &&&&&&&&&&&01400.&&&&&01,400 sq mi
(&&&&&&&&&&&03626.&&&&&03,626 km²)
Pierce County 053 Tacoma 1852 Thurston County Franklin Pierce (1804–1869), 14th U.S. President &&&&&&&&&0795225.&&&&&0795,225 &&&&&&&&&&&01676.&&&&&01,676 sq mi
(&&&&&&&&&&&04341.&&&&&04,341 km²)
State map highlighting Pierce County
San Juan County 055 Friday Harbor 1873 Whatcom County San Juan Island &&&&&&&&&&015769.&&&&&015,769 &&&&&&&&&&&&0175.&&&&&0175 sq mi
(&&&&&&&&&&&&0453.&&&&&0453 km²)
Skagit County 057 Mount Vernon 1883 Whatcom County The Skagit Native American tribe &&&&&&&&&0116901.&&&&&0116,901 &&&&&&&&&&&01735.&&&&&01,735 sq mi
(&&&&&&&&&&&04494.&&&&&04,494 km²)
State map highlighting Skagit County
Skamania County 059 Stevenson 1854 Clark County A Chinookan word meaning "swift water" &&&&&&&&&&011066.&&&&&011,066 &&&&&&&&&&&01656.&&&&&01,656 sq mi
(&&&&&&&&&&&04289.&&&&&04,289 km²)
Snohomish County 061 Everett 1861 Island County The Snohomish tribe &&&&&&&&&0713335.&&&&&0713,335 &&&&&&&&&&&02090.&&&&&02,090 sq mi
(&&&&&&&&&&&05413.&&&&&05,413 km²)
State map highlighting Snohomish County
Spokane County 063 Spokane 1879 Stevens County The Spokane Native American tribe &&&&&&&&&0471221.&&&&&0471,221 &&&&&&&&&&&01764.&&&&&01,764 sq mi
(&&&&&&&&&&&04569.&&&&&04,569 km²)
State map highlighting Spokane County
Stevens County 065 Colville 1863 Walla Walla County Isaac Stevens (1818–1862), 1st Governor of the Washington Territory &&&&&&&&&&043531.&&&&&043,531 &&&&&&&&&&&02478.&&&&&02,478 sq mi
(&&&&&&&&&&&06418.&&&&&06,418 km²)
State map highlighting Stevens County
Thurston County 067 Olympia 1852 Lewis County Samuel Thurston (1815–1851), the Oregon Territory's first delegate to U.S. Congress &&&&&&&&&0252264.&&&&&0252,264 &&&&&&&&&&&&0727.&&&&&0727 sq mi
(&&&&&&&&&&&01883.&&&&&01,883 km²)
State map highlighting Thurston County
Wahkiakum County 069 Cathlamet 1854 Cowlitz County Leader of Wahkiakum ("Tall Timber"), Native American tribe &&&&&&&&&&&03978.&&&&&03,978 &&&&&&&&&&&&0264.&&&&&0264 sq mi
(&&&&&&&&&&&&0684.&&&&&0684 km²)
State map highlighting Wahkiakum County
Walla Walla County 071 Walla Walla 1854 Skamania County The Walla Walla Native American tribe, and also another name for running water &&&&&&&&&&058781.&&&&&058,781 &&&&&&&&&&&01270.&&&&&01,270 sq mi
(&&&&&&&&&&&03289.&&&&&03,289 km²)
Whatcom County 073 Bellingham 1854 Island County Nooksack word meaning "noisy water" &&&&&&&&&0201140.&&&&&0201,140 &&&&&&&&&&&02120.&&&&&02,120 sq mi
(&&&&&&&&&&&05491.&&&&&05,491 km²)
State map highlighting Whatcom County
Whitman County 075 Colfax 1871 Stevens County Marcus Whitman (1802–1847), a Methodist missionary &&&&&&&&&&044776.&&&&&044,776 &&&&&&&&&&&02159.&&&&&02,159 sq mi
(&&&&&&&&&&&05592.&&&&&05,592 km²)
Yakima County 077 Yakima 1865 Ferguson County (defunct) The Yakama Native American tribe &&&&&&&&&0243231.&&&&&0243,231 &&&&&&&&&&&04296.&&&&&04,296 sq mi
(&&&&&&&&&&011127.&&&&&011,127 km²)
State map highlighting Yakima County

Former county names

  • Chehalis County, originally named for the Chehalis people, was renamed Grays Harbor County in 1915.
  • Sawamish County, originally named for the Sahewamish Native American tribe, was renamed Mason County in 1864.
  • Slaughter County, originally named for Lieutenant William A. Slaughter who was killed during the Indian Wars, was renamed Kitsap County shortly after its formation in 1857. The initial proposals for this county called it Madison County or Kitsap County.
  • Vancouver County, originally named for George Vancouver, was renamed Clark County in 1849.

Former counties

  • Ferguson County, named for Washington legislator James L. Ferguson, was established on January 23, 1863 from Walla Walla County and dissolved on January 18, 1865. Yakima County was established in its place.
  • Quillehuyte County was split from Jefferson and Clallam counties in 1868 and returned to those counties a year later.

Proposed counties

See also: List of U.S. county secession proposals#Washington
  • The representatives at the Cowlitz Convention of 1851 discussed a proposal to form Columbia Territory, which included a number of new counties in what later became Washington. The next session of the Oregon Territorial Legislature created only one of counties: Thurston County (which was originally proposed as Simmons County).
  • Buchanan County was proposed in 1856 as a division of Clark County.
  • Other proposed counties during Washington's statehood have included (with proposal dates): Big Bend (1891), Palouse (1891 and 1903), Sherman (1891), Washington (1891), McKinley (1903), Steptoe (1903), Coulee (1905).

Works

Template:U.S. Counties


List of counties in Washington Facts for Kids. Kiddle Encyclopedia.