The state of Washington is located in the northwest corner of the contiguous United States south of Canada, north of Oregon and west of Idaho. It is the only state named after a president, George Washington. The area encompasses 71,300 square miles, 18th in the country for size. Washington's topography is diverse including coastlines, rain forests and mountains west of the Cascade Range with plains and farmland to the east. The Columbia River, the largest in the western United States, originates in British Columbia (Canada) and flows south and west through the state.
Approximately 6,549,000 people live in Washington, according to the 2008 U.S. Bureau of the Census Population Estimates Program. The capital of Washington is Olympia. Spokane is the largest city within a 200 mile radius in eastern Washington, and the service center for the Inland Empire. Washington has 39 counties including King County, which is the 13th largest county in the United States. Population density is highly concentrated in the western Puget Sound region, including the state's largest city of Seattle with a population of 563,400 people, whereas the remainder of the state is sparsely populated. Residents are predominantly white (75.5%) with a significant Hispanic/Latino population (9.8%). Asian (6.7%), African-American (3.7%) and American Indian/Alaska Native (1.7%) comprise the remaining population, with 3.1% reporting more than one ethnicity. Washington tribal organizations include the Spokane Tribe and Yakama Nation to the east and the Makah and Swinomish to the west.