Introduction to Centralia, Washington

Centralia, Washington, in Lewis county, is 37 miles SW of Lakewood, Washington (center to center) and 68 miles SW of Seattle, Washington. There are an estimated 14,742 people in the city.

Centralia History

This region served as a halfway stopover point for stagecoaches that ran between Seattle and Columbia River. J.G. Cochran, from Missouri, filed for a donation land claim in this area in 1850. Two years later he sold his claim. The new owner of the land filed a plat for Centerville. He also built his home there. Eventually the area was incorporated in February 1886. However, another town named Centerville already existed in the state. This caused much confusion and ultimately led to the renaming of this town to Centralia in 1891.

Centralia and nearby Attractions

  • Centralia Elks Golf Course
  • Olympic Club
  • Centralia Rifle Club
  • Fort Borst Lake
  • Skookumchuck River
  • Riverside Park

Things To Do In Centralia

The city offers exciting shopping and dining opportunities, especially in its Historic District. There is a fully restored train depot and other historically representative murals that attract visitors and shoppers from neighboring areas and beyond. Special programs, cultural events, and entertainment activities regularly take place in the city and contribute to its vibrant atmosphere.

Centralia Transportation

Olympia Airport is the nearest major airport.

Centralia Higher Education

Centralia College, South Puget Sound Community College, and Evergreen State College offer facilities for higher education.


Total Population 16,664
Male Share of the Population 48.9%
Female Share of the Population 51.1%
Senior Citizens 17.9%
Employed Population 16+ 6,193
Age of the Population 35


% of people married 44.1%
Average household size 2

Education and Earnings

Population % with Bachelor Degree or Higher 13.7%
Median Earnings25+ $27,629
Median Earnings Without High School Qualification $23,672
Median Earnings With High School Degree $26,237


Median Family Income $47,484
% Above Poverty Level 76%
% Below Poverty Level 24%

Commute & Sprawl

Average Commute Time 20 minutes
% Working from Home 6.5%
% Walking and Biking to Work 3.5%
% Using Public Transportation 1.5%


People Living Alone 34.8%
Median Gross Rent $825
Median House Value $156,100


Other(often includes Hispanic and African American) 29.7%
US/American 0%
English 8.2%
Irish 12.3%

Centralia Almanac

Category Value
Nearest Medium City 37 miles SW of Lakewood, Washington (center to center)
Nearest Large City 68 miles SW of Seattle, Washington
County Lewis
Standard Zip Codes 98531
Phone Area Codes 360
Time Zone Pacific (-8 hours from GMT)
Daylight Savings The city observes Daylight Saving Time.
Latitude 46.716
Longitude -122.953

Centralia Climate

Nearest Weather Stations


  • Temp ranges are avg daily min and max for the month
  • Precipitation is rainfall (and rainfall equiv of snowfall)

Distance 0.1 miles
Jan Temp 35 to 47 F
Apr Temp 41 to 62 F
Jul Temp 54 to 79 F
Oct Temp 44 to 64 F
Annual Precip 47.4 inches
Distance 15.5 miles
Jan Temp 33 to 47 F
Apr Temp 38 to 61 F
Jul Temp 51 to 77 F
Oct Temp 41 to 62 F
Annual Precip 57.3 inches
Distance 37.2 miles
Jan Temp 34 to 48 F
Apr Temp 38 to 58 F
Jul Temp 50 to 73 F
Oct Temp 41 to 63 F
Annual Precip 109.4 inches

Neighborhood and Nearby Area Names

According to the US Postal Service, Centralia, its neighborhoods, and/or surrounding areas are also referred to as:

Waunch Prairie (98531)

Note that not all alternate names are acceptable for use in US Post Office addresses.

Nearby Cities and Towns

Location Population Median Family Income
Bucoda 522 $41,944
Chehalis 7,265 $50,857
Napavine 1,660 $55,804
Oakville 706 $47,969
Tenino 1,887 $60,809
Winlock 1,728 $44,375

Centralia Hospitals

(Voluntary non-profit - Church)
(360) 736-2803
Emergency Service: Yes

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Centralia High Schools

(Sorted by Number of Students)

Serves 1,062 students.
Student/teacher ratio: 22.1

20311 OLD HWY 9 SW
Serves 218 students.
Student/teacher ratio: 12.1

Centralia Colleges

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Info for Centralia Government Officials

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