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  •   State: 
    Whatcom County
      County FIPS: 
    48°45′7″N 122°28′43″W
      Area total: 
    30.51 sq mi
      Area land: 
    28.14 sq mi (72.88 km²)
      Area water: 
    2.37 sq mi (6.14 km²)
    69 ft (22 m)
    Incorporated December 28, 1903
  •   Latitude: 
      Dman name cbsa: 
    Bellingham, WA
    Pacific Standard Time (PST) UTC-8:00; Pacific Daylight Time (PDT) UTC-7:00
      ZIP codes: 

    Bellingham, Whatcom County, Washington, United States

  •   Population: 
      Population density: 
    3,280.41 residents per square mile of area (1,266.58/km²)
      Household income: 
      Unemployment rate: 
  •   Sales taxes: 

Bellingham (BEL-ing-ham) is the most populous city in, and county seat of Whatcom County in the U.S. state of Washington. It takes its name from Bellingham Bay, named by George Vancouver in 1792, for Sir William Bellingham, the Controller of Storekeeper Accounts of the Royal Navy during the Vancouver Expedition. Bellingham is the northernmost city with a population of more than 90,000 people in the contiguous United States. It is a popular tourist destination known for its easy access to outdoor recreation in the San Juan Islands and North Cascades. More than 100 acres (40 ha) of former industrial land on the Bellingham waterfront is undergoing redevelopment, with plans for a hotel, conference center, condos, retirement housing, retail and commercial development. Bellingham is the homeland of Coast Salish peoples of the Lummi (or Lhaq'temish) People and neighboring tribes. People of Lummi ancestry continue to live in and around Bellingham Bay, particularly on the nearby Lummi Nation reservation. In 1858, the Fraser Canyon Gold Rush caused a short lived population growth that established the community. In 1890, Fairhaven developers bought the tiny community of Bellingham. Whatcom and Sehome merged in 1891 to form New Whatcom (1903 act of the State legislature dropped "New" from the name.) At first, attempts to combine Fairhaven and Whatcom failed, and there was controversy over the name of the proposed new city. They eventually settled on the name Bellingham - which remains today.


Bellingham is the homeland of Coast Salish peoples of the Lummi (or Lhaq'temish) People and neighboring tribes. People of Lummi ancestry continue to live in and around Bellingham Bay, particularly on the nearby Lummi Nation reservation. The first European immigrants reached the area about 1852 when Henry Roeder and Russel Peabody set up a lumber mill at Whatcom, now the northern part of Bellingham. Lumber cutting and milling continues to the present in Whatcom county. In 1858, the Fraser Canyon Gold Rush caused a short lived population growth that established the community. In the early 1890s, three railroad lines arrived, connecting the bay cities to a nationwide market of builders. Bellingham was the site of the Bellingham riots against East Indian (Sikh) immigrant workers in 1907. The city was officially incorporated on December 28, 1903, as a result of the incremental consolidation of the four towns initially situated on the east ofBellingham Bay during the final decade of the 19th Century. At first, attempts to combine Fairhaven and Whatcom failed, and there was controversy over the name of the proposed new city. Whatcom citizens would not support a city named Fairhaven, and Fairhaven residents would notsupport a city name Whatcom. They eventually settled on the name Bellingham, which remains today. The last mine closed in 1955, after a hundred years of extensive mining beneath present-day Bellingham; the last coal mine in Bellingham opened in 1854.


The city is situated on Bellingham Bay which is protected by Lummi Island, Portage Island, and the Lummi Peninsula. It lies west of Mount Baker and Lake Whatcom (from which it gets its drinking water) and north of the Chuckanut Mountains and the Skagit Valley. Bellingham receives an average annual rainfall of 34.84 inches (885 mm), which is slightly less than nearby Seattle. The year-long average daily high and low temperatures are 59 and 44.1 °F (15.0 and 6.7 °C), respectively. Drought is rare, although some summers are noticeably drier than others and some normally reliable wells have been known to run dry in August and September. It is one of only a few cities in the continental United States that experience astronomical twilight for the entire night every year between June 14 and June 28. The hottest summer days rarely exceed 90°F (32 °C) and the warmest temperature on record is 100 °F ($38°C) on August 12, 2021. The city's proximity to the Fraser River valley occasionally subjects it to a harsh winter weather pattern (termed a 'northaster') wherein cold Arctic air from the Canadian interior drives a trough through the canyon. This can also lead to a "silver thaw" that produces hazardous roads, among other inconveniences for travelers. Its "Papple Express" refers to mild and mild autumn and winter spells and can collide with a Gulf of Alaska moisture and create ice, snow, or heavy rains.


As of the census of 2010, there were 80,885 people, 34,671 households, and 16,129 families residing in the city. The racial makeup of the city was 84.9% White, 1.3% African American, 1,3% Native American, 5.1% Asian, 0.3%) Pacific Islander, 2.8% from other races, and 4.3%. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 7.0% of the population. The median income for a household was $32,530, and the median income. for a family was $47,196. The per capita income was $19,483. About 9.4% of families and 20.6% of residents were below the poverty line, including 17.2% of those under age 18 and 9.0%) of those aged 65 or over. The average household size was 2.18 and the average family size was2.79. The city's median age was 31.3 years, with a median age of 48.8 years. The gender distribution was 48.7% male and 51.2%. The city has a population density of 2,986.9 inhabitants per square mile (1,153.2/km²). There were 36,760 housing units at an average density of 1,357.5 per squaremile (524.1/km 2) The city is located on the U.S.-Mexico border. It is the only city in the state to be on the border with Mexico.


The mean annual salary of a wage earner in Bellingham is $49,363. Bellingham's median home sale was $382,763, compared to the Whatcom County median of $322,779. Strong job and income growth, along with low inventory of homes for sale, have contributed to a median monthly rental payment in February 2017 of $1,526. The largest employers inBellingham are: Bellingham Medical Center, Bellingham Memorial Hospital and Bellingham Children's Hospital. The city's unemployment rate is 3.7 per cent, the lowest in the state. The unemployment rate in Washington State is 4.1 per cent. The state's poverty rate is 2.9 per cent; the national rate is 5.1. The median household income is $54,856. The average household income in Bellingham is $52,852. The town's unemployment rates are 3.8 per cent and the state's average is 4 per cent, The city has a population of 2,854. The county's poverty rates are 1.8per cent and 1.9per cent. the state average is 1.7per cent, and the national average is 3 per cent%. The town has a unemployment rate of 3.6 per cent but the Washington State average is 6.2 per cent (the state's highest). The town is home to more than 1,000 businesses. The population is 2,000 people, and it has a median income of $50,000. It has a poverty rate of 1.6 percent.

Arts and culture

The Ski to Sea race is a team relay race made up of seven legs: cross country skiing, downhill skiing (or snowboarding), running, road biking, canoeing (2 person), mountain biking, and kayaking. The annual International Day of Peace is celebrated in Bellingham on September 21. The Bellingham Farmers Market is open on Saturdays from early April to late December. There are now 14 breweries within Bellingham city limits and three additional breweries in Whatcom County. In 2018, these breweries combined won 46 medals at seven national and international brewery competitions. On June 29, 1999, the Olympic pipeline explosion occurred in the Whatcom Falls Park, killing three boys who were playing in the vicinity. The city holds the world record for the greatest distance a skier can ski or snowboard in one day: 31.50 km (About 31 mi) Bellingham Ski Area holds the record for most skiers in a single day: 10.50km (About 10 mi) Mount Baker Ski Area is home to the largest ski resort in the world, with more than 2,000 skiers and snowboarders per day. Bellingham has a private, privately funded arts and science museum, the Mindport Museum of History and Art, which has exhibits of painting, sculpture, local history, and is an active participant in the city's monthly Gallery Walks. The Whatcom Railway Museum has educational displays on the history of railroading in whatcom County, as well as model trains and a freight-train simulator.


Mt. Baker claims a world record for seasonal snowfall, with 1,140 inches (29,000 mm) recorded in the 1998-1999 season. The Lady Vikings became Western's very first NCAA champion team in 2005 and won again in 2006, 2007, 2008, 2009, and 2011. Future Hall of Famer Ken Griffey Jr. began his professional career with the short-season class A Bellingham Mariners of the Northwest League in 1987. Western Washington University also operates a collegiate road cycling program that took top-5 positions nationwide at the 2006 nationals. The 2011-2012 Western Men's Basketball team won the NCAA Division II National Championship. In 2016, the nationally ranked Western Women's Soccer Team won theNCAA Division II national championship. The Bellingham area is home to the University of Washington's women's basketball team, which won the national championship in 2011 and 2012. The university also has a women's soccer team that won the National Championship in 2016. The town has a number of amateur sports teams, including the Bellingham YMCA, Bellingham High School, and Western Washington State University's men's and women's swimming and diving teams. The Mount Baker Ski Area is popular in the winter, with skiing and snowboarding at the Mount Baker ski Area popular in winter and kayaking and cycling in the summer. The city is also home to a wide range of non-profit organizations, such as the Western Washington Foundation, which provides grants and scholarships to students and community members.


The City of Bellingham has a non-partisan strong-mayor, weak-council form of government. Six of the seven city council members are elected by ward for staggered four-year terms. The seventh council member is elected at-large every two years. The city maintains Bellingham Police Department and fire department and operates the countywide Medic One medical emergency response service through an agreement with Whatcom County. According to Uniform Crime Report statistics compiled by the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) in 2010, there were 282 violent crimes and 3,653 property crimes per 100,000 residents. Of these, the violent crimes consisted of 37 forcible rapes, 73 robberies and 170 aggravated assaults, while 589 burglaries, 2,931 larceny-thefts, 133 motor vehicle thefts and six arson defined the property offenses. A municipal court judge is also elected for four- year terms. For confidential support call the Samaritans on 08457 90 90 90, visit a local Samaritans branch, or see for details. In the U.S. call the National Suicide Prevention Line on 1-800-273-8255 or visit For confidential help in the UK, call the helpline on 0800- Samaritans, or click here. For support in the Middle East and Africa, call the Samaritans on 08457 909090 or  visit the Middle East Samaritans.


Bellingham has four public high schools and four public middle schools. Western Washington University is located in Bellingham and has more than 16,000 students. The Northwest Film School is a private, non-profit educational institution specializing in digital media production. Lummi Nation School has a Bellingham postal address but it is away from the city limits in an unincorporated area on the Lummi reservation. There are two community colleges: Whatcom Community College and Bellingham Technical College. For-profit schools include Charter College, Lean Leadership Institute, Washington Engineering Institute and Washington Technology Institute. The city is home to the Whatcom Hills Waldorf School (Prekindergarten through 8th grade) and Assumption Catholic School (Kindergarden to 9th grade). The Bellingham School District is the local school district. It has a population of more than 2,000, mostly from the Bellingham, Washington, area. It is located on the edge of the Olympic Peninsula and is in the eastern part of the Cascade Range of the Washington state. The town has a post office with a ZIP code of 7053. It also has a number of private schools, including Whatcom Day Academy, St. Paul's Academy, and St. Peter's Catholic School. It was the site of the World War II Battle of the Bulge, which took place in World War I and II. The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers is based in the city and has a base at Bellingham.

Air Quality, Water Quality, Superfund Sites & UV Index

The Air Quality index is in Bellingham, Whatcom County, Washington = 94.2. 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 20. 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 Bellingham = 2.5 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 91,482 individuals with a median age of 33.6 age the population grows by 15.12% in Bellingham, Whatcom County, Washington population since 2000 and are distributed over a density of 3,280.41 residents per square mile of area (1,266.58/km²). There are average 2.22 people per household in the 32,791 households with an average household income of $39,361 a year. The unemployment rate in Alabama is 6.80% of the available work force and has dropped -6.61% 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 19.98%. The number of physicians in Bellingham per 100,000 population = 234.1.


The annual rainfall in Bellingham = 36 inches and the annual snowfall = 11.6 inches. The annual number of days with measurable precipitation (over .01 inch) = 168. The average number of days per year that are predominantly sunny = 157. 74 degrees Fahrenheit is the average daily high temperature for the month of July and 30.1 degrees Fahrenheit is the average daily low temperature for the month of January. The Comfort Index (higher=better) is 77, 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 Bellingham, Whatcom County, Washington which are owned by the occupant = 45.69%. A housing unit is a house, apartment, mobile home, or room occupied as separate living quarters. The average age of homes = 29 years with median home cost = $258,590 and home appreciation of -1.04%. 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 $10.53 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 $4,717 per student. There are 20.5 students for each teacher in the school, 348 students for each Librarian and 573 students for each Counselor. 8.65% of the area’s population over the age of 25 with an Associate Degree or other 2-year college degree, 21.42% with a master’s degree, Ph.D. or other advanced college degree and 10.98% with high school diplomas or high school equivalency degrees (GEDs).

  • Bellingham's population in Whatcom County, Washington of 11,062 residents in 1900 has increased 8,27-fold to 91,482 residents after 120 years, according to the official 2020 census.

    Approximately 51.51% female residents and 48.49% male residents live in Bellingham, Whatcom County, Washington.

    As of 2020 in Bellingham, Whatcom County, Washington are married and the remaining 56.10% are single population.

  • 19.2 minutes is the average time that residents in Bellingham 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.

    70.24% of the working population which commute to work alone in their car, 11.89% of the working population which commutes to work in a carpool, 3.49% of the population that commutes using mass transit, including bus, light rail, subway, and ferry. 4.33% of the population that has their home as their principal place of work.

  • Of the total residential buildings in Bellingham, Whatcom County, Washington, 45.69% are owner-occupied homes, another 48.77% are rented apartments, and the remaining 5.54% are vacant.

  • The 27.64% of the population in Bellingham, Whatcom County, Washington who identify themselves as belonging to a religion are distributed among the following most diverse religions.

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