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Overview

Introduction to Olympia, Washington

Olympia is the capital of the state of Washington and is situated at the southern portion of Puget Sound on Budd Inlet. The city is recognized as the center for fine arts for the region and is well known for its music scene. The downtown area has been designated as a National Historic District. The city is situated in a beautiful setting with the Olympic Mountains positioned to the northwest, the enormous MT. Rainier located to the southeast and Capitol Lake in the vicinity. Olympia is located in Thurston County and was incorporated in 1859.

History

The area was home to the Squaxin, Chelhalis, Duwamish, Nisqually, Suquamish and the Puyallup tribes. In 1792 Peter Puget charted the region. During the 1840's Edmund Sylvester and Levi Smith claimed the area that is now the downtown. Soon, the city which was known as Smithfield was the location of thriving lumber and mill industries.

In 1853 the citizens of the town decided to rename it Olympia after the nearby Olympic Mountains. The city is well known as the home of the Olympic Brewing Company which made Olympia beer from 1896 until 2003. An earthquake which occurred in 1949 severely damaged a large number of historic structures which unfortunately had to be demolished.

Transportation

Amtrak provides the area with rail transportation. Intercity Transit offers bus services. Air transportation is provided at the Olympia Airport.

Attractions

Olympia is home to numerous theater companies and is the location of the Olympia Film Society's annual film festival. The "Procession of the Species" parade consists of community members wearing costumes which portray a wide variety of species. The parade is popular with residents and tourists. The Capital Building is recognized as one of the biggest free standing masonry domes in the entire world. There are numerous noteworthy attractions in the city including:

  • Olympia Marina
  • Capital Playhouse
  • Washington Center for the Performing Arts
  • Hands On Children's Museum
  • Reinhart Young House
  • Weyerhaeuser South Bay Log Dump Rural Historic Landscape
  • Nisqually School
  • Women's Club

Activities

Puget Sound provides residents and tourists with recreational opportunities such as hiking, boating, kayaking and superb sightseeing. The Black River is utilized for canoeing by residents and visitors.

Higher Education

Olympia is home to Evergreen State College and South Puget Sound Community College. St. Martin's University is located in nearby Lacey.

People

Total Population 48,941
Male Share of the Population 48.6%
Female Share of the Population 51.4%
Senior Citizens 13.7%
Employed Population 16+ 23,167
Age of the Population 37

Families

% of people married 41.7%
Average household size 2

Education and Earnings

Population % with Bachelor Degree or Higher 42.2%
Median Earnings25+ $39,071
Median Earnings Without High School Qualification $21,298
Median Earnings With High School Degree $24,311

Wealth

Median Family Income $73,550
% Above Poverty Level 82.3%
% Below Poverty Level 17.7%

Commute & Sprawl

Average Commute Time 20 minutes
% Working from Home 4.1%
% Walking and Biking to Work 8.2%
% Using Public Transportation 4.6%

Housing

People Living Alone 36.7%
Median Gross Rent $952
Median House Value $242,100

Ancestry

Other(often includes Hispanic and African American) 25.7%
US/American 0.1%
English 11.5%
Irish 14.4%

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

Olympia Almanac

Category Value
Nearest Medium City 20 miles SW of Lakewood, Washington (center to center)
Nearest Large City 47 miles SW of Seattle, Washington
County Thurston
Standard Zip Codes 98501, 98502, 98503, 98506, 98512, 98513, 98516
P.O. Box Zip Codes 98507, 98508, 98509, 98511
Company Zip Codes 98504, 98505, 98599
Phone Area Codes 360
Time Zone Pacific (-8 hours from GMT)
Daylight Savings The city observes Daylight Saving Time.
Latitude 47.038
Longitude -122.899

Olympia Climate

Nearest Weather Stations

Notes:

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

Station OLYMPIA AP
Distance 4.9 miles
Jan Temp 32 to 44 F
Apr Temp 37 to 58 F
Jul Temp 50 to 76 F
Oct Temp 39 to 60 F
Annual Precip 50.7 inches
Station GRAPEVIEW 3 SW
Distance 18.2 miles
Jan Temp 34 to 45 F
Apr Temp 40 to 59 F
Jul Temp 53 to 74 F
Oct Temp 44 to 60 F
Annual Precip 53.2 inches
Station PUYALLUP 2 W EXP STN
Distance 28.9 miles
Jan Temp 33 to 47 F
Apr Temp 39 to 61 F
Jul Temp 52 to 78 F
Oct Temp 42 to 62 F
Annual Precip 40.5 inches

Neighborhood and Nearby Area Names

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

Boston Harbor (98501)

Maytown (98501)

Nisqually (98501)

Offutt Lake (98501)

Oly (98501)

Schneiders Prairie (98501)

South Bay (98501)

South Sound (98501)

Thompson Place (98501)

Union Mills (98501)

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

Nearby Cities and Towns

Location Population Median Family Income
DuPont 9,054 $88,929
Lacey 44,825 $69,802
Rainier 2,219 $70,978
Tenino 1,915 $58,889
Tumwater 18,478 $67,394
Yelm 7,701 $52,392

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

Olympia Hospitals

CAPITAL MEDICAL CENTER
(Proprietary)
3900 CAPITAL MALL DR SW
(360) 754-5858
Emergency Service: Yes

PROVIDENCE ST PETER HOSPITAL
(Voluntary non-profit - Church)
413 LILLY ROAD NE
(360) 491-9480
Emergency Service: Yes

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Olympia High Schools

(Sorted by Number of Students)

OLYMPIA HIGH SCHOOL
1302 NORTH ST SE
360-753-8921
Serves 1,760 students.
Student/teacher ratio: 22

CAPITAL HIGH SCHOOL
2707 CONGER AVE NW
360-753-8847
Serves 1,563 students.
Student/teacher ratio: 23

A G WEST BLACK HILLS HIGH SCHOOL
7741 LITTLEROCK ROAD SW
360-709-7800
Serves 923 students.
Student/teacher ratio: 18.8

AVANTI HIGH SCHOOL
1113 LEGION WAY SE
360-664-0135
A Non-traditional School
Serves 118 students.
Student/teacher ratio: 118

SECONDARY OPTIONS
7741 LITTLEROCK ROAD SW
360-709-7760
A Non-traditional School
Serves 77 students.

Olympia Colleges

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