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State Information for Washington

State of Washington

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.

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Locate Washington NN/LM Members

The directory of Washington members of the National Network of Libraries of Medicine (NN/LM) includes health libraries, public libraries, and community-based organizations in the state that provide quality health information.

Library and Information Professional Resources

State Health and Statistics Information

State General Information

  • Access Washington, Washington's official state government website.
  • City and County Data, from Washington's Office of Financial Management, provides information by county on economic, financial, criminal justice and human services data.
  • Washington State Data Book, from Washington's Office of Financial Management, provides state-level information on Washington's population, economy, education, environment and related topics.
  • Washington Quick Facts, from the U.S. Census Bureau, provides current state population, business and geographical facts.

Special Populations

This section includes groups of individuals who share common characteristics that are distinctive from the general population. These characteristics may include racial and/or ethnic background, socioeconomic status, geographic location, and age. The characteristics of special populations are important to be aware of as they can affect the population's health status.

Medically Underserved Areas/Populations (MUA/Ps)

MUA/Ps are areas or populations designated by the Shortage Designation Branch, part of the Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA) as not having sufficient access to medical care. If an area is designated MUA, then the entire population is covered, if the designation is MUP, only a specific population is. Occasionally, regions receive a designation of GOV, which means that the state governor requested that the area be included due to local barriers and/or health conditions. The MUA/P designation is often important when obtaining grants or other funding. The most accurate and up-to-date source of this information is the HRSA database.

Government Information Resources

  • State Snapshots, from the U.S. Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality, provides health care quality information, including strengths, weaknesses, and opportunities for improvement. The goal is to help State officials and their public- and private-sector partners better understand health care quality and disparities in their State.
  • FedStats provides access to statistics prepared by over 100 federal agencies. Statistics are available on a state and community level.
  • Google Search <Uncle Sam> searches government information on all levels using the standard Google interface and algorithm.
  • State and Local Government on the Net provides links to government information on a state and local level for the fifty states, as well as selected US territories.
  • provides a search engine and subject indexes for US state and federal information.

Additional Resources