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City of Tacoma

  •   State: 
    Pierce County
      County FIPS: 
    47°14′29″N 122°27′34″W
      Area total: 
    62.42 sq mi
      Area land: 
    49.71 sq mi (128.76 km²)
      Area water: 
    12.71 sq mi (32.92 km²)
    243 ft (74 m)
    Incorporated November 12, 1875
  •   Latitude: 
      Dman name cbsa: 
    Seattle-Tacoma-Bellevue, WA
    Pacific Standard Time (PST) UTC-8:00; Pacific Daylight Time (PDT) UTC-7:00
      ZIP codes: 

    Tacoma, Pierce County, Washington, United States

  •   Population: 
      Population density: 
    4,412.51 residents per square mile of area (1,703.53/km²)
      Household income: 
      Unemployment rate: 
  •   Sales taxes: 

Tacoma (t-KOH-m) is the county seat of Pierce County, Washington, United States. A port city, it is situated along Washington's Puget Sound, 32 miles (51 km) southwest of Seattle, 31 miles (50 km) northeast of the state capital, Olympia, and 58 miles (93 km) northwest of Mount Rainier National Park. The city's population was 219,346 at the time of the 2020 census. Tacoma is the second-largest city in the PugetSound area and the third-largest in the state. It is locally known as the "City of Destiny" because the area was chosen to be the western terminus of the Northern Pacific Railroad in the late 19th century. Since the 1990s, downtown Tacoma has experienced a period of revitalization. Developments in the downtown include the University of Washington Tacoma; the T Line (formerly Tacoma Link), the first modern electric light rail service in theState; the state's highest density of art and history museums; and a restored urban waterfront, the Thea Foss Waterway. The area was inhabited for thousands of years by American Indians, most recently the Puyallup people, who lived in settlements on the delta. In 1852, a Swede named Nicolas Delin built a water-powered sawmill on a creek near the head of Commencement Bay, but the small settlement that grew around it was abandoned during the Indian War of 185556. The Port of Tacoma is a center of international trade on the Pacific Coast and Washington's largest port.


Tacoma is the primary city name, but also Lakewood are acceptable city names or spellings. The official name is City of Tacoma. Tacoma was incorporated on November 12, 1875, following its selection in 1873 as the western terminus of the Northern Pacific Railroad. Rudyard Kipling visited Tacoma in 1889 and said it was "literally staggering under a boom of the boomiest" The discovery of gold in the Klondike in 1898 led to Tacoma's prominence in the region being eclipsed by the development of Seattle. Tacoma was briefly a major destination for big-time automobile racing, with one of the nation's top-rated racing venues just outside the city limits, at the site of today's Clover Park Technical College. During the Great Depression, Tacoma experienced mass shutdown of major power supply dams, leaving the city without power and heat in the winter of 1929 and 1930. In 1924, Tacoma's first movie studio, H. C. Weaver Studio, was sited at present-day Titlow Beach. At the time, it was the third-largest freestanding film production space in America, with the two larger facilities being located in Hollywood. A plaque in downtown Tacoma marks the start and finish line of a circumnavigation starting and ending in Tacoma in 1890. In 1890, George Francis Train staged a global circumnavia starting and Ending in Tacoma to promote the city. In the early 20th century, the city was the site. of a smelter workers' strike organized by Local 545 of the Industrial Workers of the World (IWW), with the goal of a fifty-cent per day pay raise. The strike was strongly opposed by the local business community.


Tacoma straddles the neighboring Commencement Bay with several smaller cities surrounding it. The city is several miles north of Joint Base LewisMcChord, formerly known separately as Fort Lewis and McChord Air Force Base. In the event of a major eruption of Mount Rainier, the low-lying areas of Tacoma near the Port of Tacoma are at risk from a lahar flowing down the Puyallup River. Tacoma has a warm-summer Mediterranean climate (Köppen Csb) The warmest months are July and August; the coldest month is December. Tacoma is at 47°1429N 24°2734W (47.1371, 122.459389). Its official elevation is 381 feet (116 m), varying between sea level and about 500 feet (150 m) According to the United States Census Bureau, the city has an area of 62.34 square miles (161.46 km²), of which 49.72 sq miles (128.77 km²) is land and 12.62sq miles (32.69 km²") is water. The Köppens Csb climate classification is "mild" or "sunny" It is the warmest month of the year in Tacoma, Washington, with an average daily temperature of °C (88.7°F) of 88.2°F (93.7 °C) The city has a high school population of 2,816 (2,817 in the U.S.).


There were 198,397 people, 78,541 households, and 45,716 families in the 2010 census. The racial makeup of the city was 64.9% White (60.5% Non-Hispanic White), 8.2% Asian (2.1% Vietnamese, 1.6% Cambodian,1.3% Filipino, 0.4% Chinese), 1.8% Native American, and 1.7% Pacific Islander. There were 81,102 housing units at an average density of 1,619.4 per square mile (625.3/km²) The city's Hilltop neighborhood struggled with crime in the 1980s and early 1990s. The beginning of the 21st century has seen a marked reduction in crime. Bill Baarsma (mayor, 2002-2010) was a member of the Mayors Against Illegal Guns Coalition, a bi-partisan group with the goal of "making the public safer by getting illegal guns off the streets" In 2018, there were 950 violent crimes and 5,641 property crimes per 100,000 residents, according to the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) in 2018, the violent crimes consisted of 84 forcible rapes, 7 murders, 257 robberies and 602 aggravated assaults, while 963 burglaries, 3,674 larceny-thefts, 1,004 motor vehicle thefts and 46 instances of arson defined the property offenses. The median income for a household in the city is $37,879, and the median income was $45,567.


The government of the city of Tacoma operates under a council-manager system. The city council consists of an elected mayor (Victoria Woodards) and eight elected council members: five from individual city council districts and three others from the city at-large. All serve four-year terms and are elected in odd-numbered years. The council adopts and amends city laws, approves a two-year budget, establishes city policy, appoints citizens to boards and commissions, and performs other actions. Victoria Woodards began her term as mayor of the City of Tacoma on January 2, 2018. She is Tacoma's third African-American mayor and third female mayor. At the federal level, Tacoma is part of three congressional districts, represented by Derek Kilmer, Marilyn Strickland, and Adam Smith. All three are Democrats. The mayor of Tacoma is a Democrat, as is the city's city manager, Elizabeth Pauli, who replaced T. C. Broadnax in January 2012 and left in 2017 to become the city manager of Dallas, Texas. She replaced former manager T.C.Broadnax, who was appointed to the office in 2012 and was elected to the post in 2012. The current city manager was appointed in 2013 and served until February 6, 2017, when she was appointed Interim City Manager. She was elected in 2013, becoming Tacoma's first African- American female mayor and the second African-Americans female mayor in the city. The City Council meets as a whole most Tuesdays at 5:00 p.m. in the council chambers.


Tacoma is the home of several international companies, including staffing company True Blue Inc. (formerly Labor Ready), lumber company Simpson, and the food companies Roman Meal and Brown and Haley. U.S. Oil and Refining operates an oil refinery on the tide flats in the Port of Tacoma. The major employers in the area include the military, healthcare, finance and insurance, aerospace, trade and logistics, government and education. The Tacoma Mall is the largest shopping center in Tacoma. It is owned by Simon Property Group. An economic setback for the city occurred in September 2009 when Russell Investments, which has been in downtown Tacoma since its inception in 1936, announced it was moving its headquarters to Seattle along with several hundred white-collar jobs. TOTE Alaska announced in 2019 that it would be relocating its Federal Way headquarters to the 909 A Street building's top two floors. Hospitals in Tacoma are operated by MultiCare Health System and Franciscan Health System. TacomaPierce County Health Department manages public health initiatives across the city and county. The city is home to the Washington State Department of Health and Human Services, which provides health care services to the city, county, and Pierce County. The City of Tacoma is the seat of the Pierce County Prosecuting Attorney's Office, which is responsible for prosecuting crime and misdemeanors such as assault, domestic violence, and child abuse, among other charges. The mayor of Tacoma, John Schneider, is the mayor of the city's first African-American mayor.

Parks and recreation

Parks and recreation services in and around Tacoma are governed by Metro Parks Tacoma, a municipal corporation established as a separate entity from the city government in 1907. Metro Parks maintains over fifty parks and open spaces in Tacoma. Point Defiance Park, one of the largest urban parks in the country (at 700 acres), is in Tacoma and has many historic structures, including the Pagoda, which was originally built as a streetcar waiting room. The Pagoda was nearly destroyed by fire on August 15, 2011, and repair work began immediately after the fire and continued until January 2013, when it was reopened for public use. In response to the Tacoma area's growing dog population and stricter leash laws in many areas, dog parks have begun to be established. Rogers Off-Leash Dog Park is a metro public park established in 1949. Jefferson Park in North Tacoma is the location of a new sprayground, an area designed to be a safe and unique play area where water is sprayed from structures or ground sprays and then drained away before it can accumulate. Wapato Park, near downtown, is a large, English-style park designed in the late 19th century by Edward Otto Schwagerl and Ebenezer Rhys Roberts. This historic park is also the home of local festivals such as Ethnic Fest, Out in the Park, and the Tacoma Hempfest (Tacoma's annual gathering advocating decriminalization of marijuana). It contains Wright Park Arboretum and the W. Seymour Botanical Conservatory.


Tacoma was home to prolific architects, including Everett Phipps Babcock, Frederick Heath, Ambrose J. Russell, and Silas E. Nelsen. The failure of the first Tacoma Narrows Bridge, which was the third-longest suspension bridge in the world, is a famous case study in architecture textbooks. The city of Tacoma has an active municipal historic preservation program, which includes 165 individual city landmarks and over 1,000 historic properties included within five locally regulated historic overlay zones. Other notable buildings include the National Realty Building, Lincoln High School, Rhodes House, Pythian Temple, Perkins Building, Tacoma Dome, and Rhodesleigh. The Luzon Building and Nihon Go Gakko school house have been demolished, and the MV Kalakala was scrapped in early 2015. The Stadium Bowl, part of the Tacoma School District, provided a setting for the movie 10 Things I Hate About You. It is one of only five fireboats designated as a National Historic Landmark. It was built in 1929 for the Port of Tacoma by the Coastline Shipbuilding Company, and served for 54 years in waterfront fire protection, harbor security patrols, search and rescue missions, and water pollution control. In 2007, it was closed to automobile traffic due to its deteriorating condition but was reopened to all traffic in February 2013 following a substantial rehabilitation. The building was placed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1975. It houses a pub and microbrewery. It has been listed on the City of Tacoma Register ofHistoric Places.


The school district for the majority of Tacoma is Tacoma Public Schools. The district contains 36 elementary schools, eleven middle schools, and 10 high schools, including three non-traditional high schools (SAMi, SOTA, and iDEA) Tacoma is also home to three charter public schools: SOAR Academy (elementary), Green Dot Destiny (middle) and Summit Olympus (high) school. The University of Puget Sound, Tacoma Community College, City University of Seattle-Tacoma, Bates Technical College, Corban University School of Ministry, and The Evergreen State College are located in the city. Pacific Lutheran University is in Parkland, just south of the city; nearby Lakewood is the home of Clover Park Technical College and Pierce College. Other school districts with territory covering parts of Tacoma are: Clover Park School District, Fife Public Schools, Franklin Pierce School District, and University Place School District. The area also has numerous private schools, such as Evergreen Lutheran High School, the Annie Wright Schools, Bellarmine Preparatory School, Life Christian Academy, Charles Wright Academy, Covenant High School and Parkland Lutheran School. Tacoma is home to the University of Washington in the Classroom college credit options from theUniversity of Washington. The city also has a number of other colleges and universities, including Washington State University in the College of Arts and Sciences, Washington State College of the Arts, and Washington State Technical College. The Tacoma Public School District is a member of the Washington State School Board of Education.

Cultural attractions

Tacoma hosts part of the annual four-part Daffodil Parade, which takes place every April in Tacoma, Puyallup, Sumner, and Orting. America's Car Museum opened in June 2012 and displays 300 vehicles in various exhibits on vintage to modern automobiles. The downtown Tacoma farmers' market runs every Thursday, from May through September, in the Theatre District. There are also seasonal farmers' markets in the Proctor District (along Sixth Avenue), and in South Tacoma. The Tacoma Film Festival takes place annually at the Grand Cinema. The city is home to the first modern legal American marijuana farmers' Market, which runs from May to September. The Museum of Glass has a structure standing near the Thea Foss Waterway; the steel cone of the hot shop (glassblowing studio) is one of the most recognizable structures in the city. It is connected to the rest of the Museum District by the Bridge of Glass, which features works by Tacoma native glass artist Dale Chihuly. Fort Nisqually is a prominent local attraction featuring historical reenactments.Shakespeare in the Parking Lot celebrated its 15th anniversary in 2014. Its motto is "taking the fear out of Shakespeare". It offers both educational opportunities and inspired theater in and around Tacoma. There is also a public memorial for officers, dominated by the sculptures Memories in Blue and For All They Gave, by James Kelsey. The museum pays respects to Harold LeMay's collection with a permanent display entitled "Lucky's Garage".

Air Quality, Water Quality, Superfund Sites & UV Index

The Air Quality index is in Tacoma, Pierce County, Washington = 28.1. These Air Quality index is based on annual reports from the EPA. Higher values are better (100=best). The number of ozone alert days is used as an indicator of air quality, as are the amounts of seven pollutants including particulates, carbon monoxide, sulfur dioxide, lead, and volatile organic chemicals. The Water Quality Index is 60. A measure of the quality of an area’s water supply as rated by the EPA. Higher values are better (100=best). The EPA has a complex method of measuring the watershed quality, using 15 indicators such as pollutants, turbidity, sediments, and toxic discharges. The Superfund Sites Index is 10. Higher is better (100=best). Based upon the number and impact of EPA Superfund pollution sites in the county, including spending on the cleanup efforts. The UV Index in Tacoma = 2.6 and is a measure of an area's exposure to the sun's ultraviolet rays. This is most often a combination of sunny weather, altitude, and latitude. The UV Index has been defined by the WHO ( and is uniform worldwide.


The most recent city population of 219,346 individuals with a median age of 35.9 age the population grows by 3.28% in Tacoma, Pierce County, Washington population since 2000 and are distributed over a density of 4,412.51 residents per square mile of area (1,703.53/km²). There are average 2.45 people per household in the 78,591 households with an average household income of $46,952 a year. The unemployment rate in Alabama is 9.00% of the available work force and has dropped -2.18% over the most recent 12-month period and the projected change in job supply over the next decade based on migration patterns, economic growth, and other factors will increase by 26.64%. The number of physicians in Tacoma per 100,000 population = 201.7.


The annual rainfall in Tacoma = 38.8 inches and the annual snowfall = 8.1 inches. The annual number of days with measurable precipitation (over .01 inch) = 146. The average number of days per year that are predominantly sunny = 141. 76 degrees Fahrenheit is the average daily high temperature for the month of July and 36.6 degrees Fahrenheit is the average daily low temperature for the month of January. The Comfort Index (higher=better) is 69, where higher values mean a more pleasant climate. The Comfort Index measure recognizes that humidity by itself isn't the problem. (Have you noticed nobody ever complains about the weather being 'cold and humid?) It's in the summertime that we notice the humidity the most, when it's hot and muggy. Our Comfort Index uses a combination of afternoon summer temperature and humidity to closely predict the effect that the humidity will have on people.

Median Home Cost

The percentage of housing units in Tacoma, Pierce County, Washington which are owned by the occupant = 50.88%. A housing unit is a house, apartment, mobile home, or room occupied as separate living quarters. The average age of homes = 45 years with median home cost = $209,980 and home appreciation of -9.89%. This is the value of the years most recent home sales data. Its important to note that this is not the average (or arithmetic mean). The median home price is the middle value when you arrange all the sales prices of homes from lowest to highest. This is a better indicator than the average, because the median is not changed as much by a few unusually high or low values. The property tax rate of $13.07 shown here is the rate per $1,000 of home value. If for simplification for example the tax rate is $14.00 and the home value is $250,000, the property tax would be $14.00 x ($250,000/1000), or $3500. This is the 'effective' tax rate.


The local school district spends $4,586 per student. There are 19.7 students for each teacher in the school, 452 students for each Librarian and 431 students for each Counselor. 7.57% of the area’s population over the age of 25 with an Associate Degree or other 2-year college degree, 13.01% with a master’s degree, Ph.D. or other advanced college degree and 6.80% with high school diplomas or high school equivalency degrees (GEDs).

  • Tacoma's population in Pierce County, Washington of 37,714 residents in 1900 has increased 5,82-fold to 219,346 residents after 120 years, according to the official 2020 census.

    Approximately 51.11% female residents and 48.89% male residents live in Tacoma, Pierce County, Washington.

    As of 2020 in Tacoma, Pierce County, Washington are married and the remaining 49.95% are single population.

  • 27.6 minutes is the average time that residents in Tacoma require for a one-way commute to work. A long commute can have different effects on health. A Gallup poll in the US found that in terms of mental health, long haul commuters are up to 12 percent more likely to experience worry, and ten percent less likely to feel well rested. The Gallup poll also found that of people who commute 61­–90 minutes each day, a whopping one third complained of neck and back pain, compared to less than a quarter of people who only spend ten minutes getting to work.

    72.20% of the working population which commute to work alone in their car, 13.97% of the working population which commutes to work in a carpool, 5.23% of the population that commutes using mass transit, including bus, light rail, subway, and ferry. 3.67% of the population that has their home as their principal place of work.

  • Of the total residential buildings in Tacoma, Pierce County, Washington, 50.88% are owner-occupied homes, another 42.08% are rented apartments, and the remaining 7.04% are vacant.

  • The 28.02% of the population in Tacoma, Pierce County, Washington who identify themselves as belonging to a religion are distributed among the following most diverse religions.

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