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Overview

Introduction to Tacoma, Washington

Incorporated in 1874, Tacoma, Washington is the third largest city in Washington state with a population of about 200,000. The metropolitan area is home to over 3.5 million people and includes Seattle, Tacoma, and Olympia.

Tacoma is located in western Washington on Commencement Bay, off the southern tip of Puget Sound. It lies 25 miles northeast of Olympia and 26 miles south of Seattle. The peak of Mount Ranier is roughly 40 miles to the southeast and dominates the skyline.

Nisqually and Puyallup Native American tribes first inhabited the area along the bay. Lumber was the reason European-Americans first settled here. In 1852, the first saw mill was constructed and many more followed. The railroad came to Tacoma in the late 1800's in order to link up with shipping vessels using the deep water bay. That provided the impetus for the city's nickname "City of Destiny". Today Tacoma is the 6th largest shipping port in North America, making the city a major player in the wave of economic globalization.

Tacoma has earned many awards including:

  • 1990 - Fourth Best Place to Live by Money Magazine
  • 1995 - Top Mid-Sized City for Small Businesses by Entrepreneur Magazine
  • 1998 - All-American City by the National Civic League
  • 2004 - Most Livable Region (Tacoma-Pierce County) by Partners for Livable Communities

Precipitation is about 37 inches per year. Snowfalls average only around 8 inches annually. July average daily high and low temperatures are 76.1 and 55.0 degrees Fahrenheit. January average daily high and low temperatures are 46.9 and 35.9 degrees Fahrenheit.

Well known companies with a presence in the area are Boeing, State Farm Insurance, Expedia.com, and REI (Recreational Equipment Inc.). The University of Washington, Tacoma is also located here.

Arts and Leisure

Cultural and other attractions include:

  • The Tacoma Art Museum
  • The International Center for Contemporary Art
  • The Tacoma Philharmonic
  • The Tacoma Symphony Orchestra
  • The Tacoma Concert Band
  • The Tacoma Opera
  • The Tacoma City Ballet
  • The Washington Contemporary Ballet
  • The South Sound Playwrights Festival
  • The Tacoma Little Theatre
  • The Washington State History Museum
  • The Point Defiance Zoo & Aquarium
  • More than 20 marinas

While top level professional sports are in nearby Seattle, teams in Tacoma include:

  • The Tacoma Rainiers baseball team of the Triple-A Pacific Coast League, affiliated with the Seattle Mariners
  • The Tacoma Navigators of the American Basketball Association

People

Total Population 203,481
Male Share of the Population 49.5%
Female Share of the Population 50.5%
Senior Citizens 12.8%
Employed Population 16+ 92,712
Age of the Population 36

Families

% of people married 41.9%
Average household size 3

Education and Earnings

Population % with Bachelor Degree or Higher 26.1%
Median Earnings25+ $36,262
Median Earnings Without High School Qualification $22,289
Median Earnings With High School Degree $30,256

Wealth

Median Family Income $62,209
% Above Poverty Level 82%
% Below Poverty Level 18%

Commute & Sprawl

Average Commute Time 26 minutes
% Working from Home 3.7%
% Walking and Biking to Work 4.2%
% Using Public Transportation 5%

Housing

People Living Alone 33.4%
Median Gross Rent $947
Median House Value $203,600

Ancestry

Other(often includes Hispanic and African American) 39.9%
US/American 0.1%
English 8%
Irish 11.5%

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

Tacoma Almanac

Category Value
Nearest Large City 25 miles S of Seattle, Washington
County Pierce
Standard Zip Codes 98402, 98403, 98404, 98405, 98406, 98407, 98408, 98409, 98413, 98418, 98421, 98422, 98424, 98433, 98439, 98443, 98444, 98445, 98446, 98465, 98466, 98467, 98498, 98499
P.O. Box Zip Codes 98401, 98411, 98412, 98415, 98438, 98442, 98464, 98492, 98497
Company Zip Codes 98416, 98430, 98431, 98447, 98450, 98455, 98460, 98471, 98477, 98481, 98493
Phone Area Codes 253
Time Zone Pacific (-8 hours from GMT)
Daylight Savings The city observes Daylight Saving Time.
Latitude 47.253
Longitude -122.443

Tacoma 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 TACOMA 1
Distance 1.3 miles
Jan Temp 35 to 47 F
Apr Temp 42 to 60 F
Jul Temp 55 to 76 F
Oct Temp 45 to 61 F
Annual Precip 38.9 inches
Station PUYALLUP 2 W EXP STN
Distance 6.3 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
Station MC MILLIN RESERVOIR
Distance 11.7 miles
Jan Temp 32 to 45 F
Apr Temp 38 to 57 F
Jul Temp 51 to 75 F
Oct Temp 41 to 59 F
Annual Precip 43.1 inches

Neighborhood and Nearby Area Names

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

American Lake (98498)

Browns Point (98422)

Dash Point (98422)

Fort Steilacoom (98498)

Oakbrook (98497)

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

Nearby Cities and Towns

Location Population Median Family Income
Fife 9,477 $66,651
Fircrest 6,612 $71,793
Lakewood 59,122 $58,457
Milton 7,219 $77,109
Ruston 915 $98,125
University Place 31,991 $77,300

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

Tacoma Hospitals

ST JOSEPH MEDICAL CENTER
(Voluntary non-profit - Church)
1717 SOUTH J STREET
(253) 627-4101
Emergency Service: Yes

TACOMA GENERAL ALLENMORE HOSPITAL
(Voluntary non-profit - Private)
315 S MLK JR WAY
(253) 403-1000
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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Tacoma High Schools

(Sorted by Number of Students)

FOSS
2112 S TYLER ST
253-571-2300
Serves 1,936 students.
Student/teacher ratio: 21

LINCOLN
701 S 37TH ST
253-571-2000
Serves 1,745 students.
Student/teacher ratio: 21.5

WILSON
1202 N ORCHARD ST
253-571-2200
Serves 1,726 students.
Student/teacher ratio: 22.7

STADIUM
111 N E ST
253-571-1325
Serves 1,705 students.
Student/teacher ratio: 21.9

MT TAHOMA
6229 S TYLER ST
253-571-1961
Serves 1,643 students.
Student/teacher ratio: 22.5

FRANKLIN-PIERCE HIGH SCHOOL
11002 18TH AVE E
253-535-9880
Serves 1,159 students.

WASHINGTON HIGH SCHOOL
12420 AINSWORTH AVE S
253-535-9881
Serves 965 students.
Student/teacher ratio: 20.1

FIFE HIGH SCHOOL
5616 20TH ST E
253-284-1100
Serves 777 students.
Student/teacher ratio: 20.4

OAKLAND ALTERNATIVE HIGH SCHOOL
3319 S ADAMS ST
253-571-1387
A Non-traditional School
Serves 450 students.
Student/teacher ratio: 28.1

TACOMA SCHOOL OF THE ARTS
1950 PACIFIC AVENUE
253-571-2645
A Non-traditional School
Serves 337 students.
Student/teacher ratio: 18.7

REMANN HALL
5501 6TH AVE
253-798-7900
Serves 318 students.
Student/teacher ratio: 26.5

TCC FRESH START
601 S 8TH ST
253-571-2645
A Non-traditional School
Serves 269 students.

GATES SECONDARY SCHOOL
813 132ND STREET S
253-535-9882
A Non-traditional School
Serves 176 students.
Student/teacher ratio: 13.5

NEW PATHWAYS STOREFRONT SCHOOL
11110 PACIFIC AVE S
253-537-0211
A Non-traditional School
Serves 129 students.

PARK AVENUE CENTER
6701 S PARK AVE
253-571-1924
A Non-traditional School
Serves 103 students.
Student/teacher ratio: 34.3

I-SCHOOL
12171 PACIFIC AVE S
253-537-0211
A Non-traditional School
Serves 89 students.

LEARNING OPPORTUNITY CENTER
5802 20TH ST E
253-922-6697
A Non-traditional School
Serves 62 students.
Student/teacher ratio: 31

COMM BASED TRANS PROGRAM
601 S 8TH ST
253-571-1040
A Non-traditional School
Serves 42 students.

PEARL STREET CENTER
815 S PEARL ST
253-571-1037
A Special Education School
Serves 11 students.
Student/teacher ratio: 11

TREE FARM
28001 MOUNTAIN HWY E
253-571-2645
A Non-traditional School
Serves 4 students.
Student/teacher ratio: 2

DAY REPORTING SCHOOL
5501 6TH AVENUE
253-798-7990
A Non-traditional School
Serves 4 students.

Additional Details
Tacoma Careers
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Tacoma Colleges
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Career and College Resources

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