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 16,683
Male Share of the Population 49.2%
Female Share of the Population 50.8%
Senior Citizens 19%
Employed Population 16+ 5,972
Age of the Population 36


% of people married 42.9%
Average household size 2

Education and Earnings

Population % with Bachelor Degree or Higher 13.9%
Median Earnings25+ $27,297
Median Earnings Without High School Qualification $21,549
Median Earnings With High School Degree $30,095


Median Family Income $50,028
% Above Poverty Level 76%
% Below Poverty Level 24%

Commute & Sprawl

Average Commute Time 21 minutes
% Working from Home 7%
% Walking and Biking to Work 3.7%
% Using Public Transportation 1.9%


People Living Alone 36.7%
Median Gross Rent $829
Median House Value $149,500


Other(often includes Hispanic and African American) 29.7%
US/American 0%
English 8.9%
Irish 12.9%

Source: American Community Survey, U.S. Census Bureau, 2015, www.census.gov/programs-surveys/acs/.

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 622 $42,222
Chehalis 7,314 $51,729
Napavine 1,748 $57,159
Oakville 725 $49,083
Tenino 1,915 $58,889
Winlock 1,513 $53,047

Source: American Community Survey, U.S. Census Bureau, 2015, www.census.gov/programs-surveys/acs/.

Centralia Hospitals

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

These schools offer particularly quick info upon request, and we have written detailed profiles for each (click school names to see the profiles). Request info from multiple schools, by clicking the Request Info links.
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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

Click school name for a detailed profile.

Additional Details
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Career and College Resources

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Info for Centralia Government Officials

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