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Tukwila, Washington

Tukwila, Washington
Official seal of Tukwila, Washington
Nickname(s): Hazelnut City
Location of Tukwila, Washington
Location of Tukwila, Washington
Country United States
State Washington
County King
Incorporated 1908
 • Mayor Jim Haggerton
 • City 9.58 sq mi (24.81 km2)
 • Land 9.17 sq mi (23.75 km2)
 • Water 0.41 sq mi (1.06 km2)
Elevation 138 ft (42 m)
Population (2010)[2]
 • City 19,107
 • Estimate (2014)[3] 19,920
 • Density 2,083.6/sq mi (804.5/km2)
 • Metro 3,552,157
Time zone PST (UTC-8)
 • Summer (DST) PDT (UTC-7)
ZIP codes 98100-98199
Area code(s) 206
FIPS code 53-72625
GNIS feature ID 1509106[4]
Duwamish River, Tukwila (2007)

Tukwila ( US dict: )[5] is a suburban city in King County, Washington, United States. The northern edge of Tukwila borders the city of Seattle. The population was 19,107 at the 2010 census.[6] The population was 19,080 at 2012 Estimate from Office of Financial Management. The City of Tukwila is a community of communities: residents of many diverse origins make Tukwila their home, a large commercial center draws workers and consumers to the city daily, and industry thrives with the confluence of rivers, freeways, railroads, and Seattle-Tacoma International Airport.


  • History 1
  • Geography 2
    • Neighborhoods 2.1
    • Surrounding cities 2.2
  • Demographics 3
    • 2010 census 3.1
    • 2000 census 3.2
    • Crime 3.3
  • Industry 4
    • Top Employers 4.1
  • Education 5
  • Culture 6
  • References 7
  • External links 8


The earliest people in Tukwila were the Duwamish who made their homes along the Black and Duwamish Rivers. The name "Tukwila" is believed to have come from the Chinook Jargon word for "nut" or "hazelnut",[7] referring to the hazelnut trees that grew in the area, although some say it was named after the Indian word T’awedIc, for river duck. The Duwamish lived in cedar longhouses, hunted and fished, picked wild berries, and used the river for trade with neighboring peoples.

In 1853, the area was settled by Joseph Foster, a Canadian pioneer who had traveled to the northwest from Wisconsin. Foster would become known as the "Father of Tukwila" and serve King County, Washington Territory in the legislature for 22 years. Today, the site of Foster's home on the banks of the Duwamish River is part of Fort Dent Park, which also served as a military base during the 1850s Indian Wars. Foster's name is memorialized in the Foster neighborhood of Tukwila, where Foster High School is located.

In the early years, the small village grew into an agricultural center and a vital trading point in the upper Duwamish River Valley. Population began to grow and industry followed, largely farm-oriented commerce. Early electric rail trains traveled along Interurban Avenue in Tukwila, connecting to Renton and a line to Tacoma. The Interurban Railroad operated a commuter line from 1902 to 1928, making it possible to travel from Seattle to Tacoma in less than an hour. The first macadam paved road in Washington State was in Tukwila and bears the name of this new method of street paving. One of the earliest paved military roads is located in the city.

Tukwila was incorporated as a city in 1908.


Tukwila is located at (47.478243, -122.275432).[8]

According to the United States Census Bureau, the city has a total area of 9.58 square miles (24.81 km2), of which, 9.17 square miles (23.75 km2) is land and 0.41 square miles (1.06 km2) is water.[1]


  • Cascade View (Upper West Side) Suburban, Lower Income
  • McMicken Heights (Lower West Side) Suburban, Middle Income
  • Riverton (Central West Side) Urban, Lower Income
  • Foster (Central/Mid-West) Suburban, Middle Income
  • Ryan Hill (Upper End) Industrial, Middle Income
  • Allentown (Upper End) Industrial, Middle Income
  • Duwamish (Upper East Side) Industrial, Lower Income
  • Thorndyke (Central/Lower East Side), Suburban, Middle Income
  • Southcenter (Central) Urban, Upper-Middle Income

Surrounding cities


2010 census

As of the census[2] of 2010, there were 19,107 people, 7,157 households, and 4,124 families residing in the city. The population density was 2,083.6 inhabitants per square mile (804.5/km2). There were 7,755 housing units at an average density of 845.7 per square mile (326.5/km2). The racial makeup of the city was 43.9% White, 17.9% African American, 1.1% Native American, 19.0% Asian, 2.8% Pacific Islander, 9.3% from other races, and 6.0% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 17.5% of the population.

There were 7,157 households of which 33.3% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 36.6% were married couples living together, 13.8% had a female householder with no husband present, 7.2% had a male householder with no wife present, and 42.4% were non-families. 32.2% of all households were made up of individuals and 5.9% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.64 and the average family size was 3.42.

The median age in the city was 33.8 years. 24.2% of residents were under the age of 18; 10.2% were between the ages of 18 and 24; 32.7% were from 25 to 44; 25.1% were from 45 to 64; and 8% were 65 years of age or older. The gender makeup of the city was 51.9% male and 48.1% female.

The median income for a household is $40,718, and the median income for a family of $42,442. Males had a median income of $35,525 versus $28,913 for females. The per capita income for the city was $22,354. About 8.8% of families and 12.7% of the population were below the poverty line, including 18.0% of those under age 18 and 7.7% of those ages 65 or over.

2000 census

Tukwila is one of King County's most diverse cities. As of the census of 2000, there were 17,181 people, 7,186 households, and 3,952 families residing in the city. The population density was 1,927.0 people per square mile (743.7/km2). There were 7,725 housing units at an average density of 866.4 per square mile (334.4/km2). The racial makeup of the city was 58.63% White, 12.79% African American, 1.30% Native American, 10.88% Asian, 1.82% Pacific Islander, 8.06% from other races, and 6.51% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race was 13.56% of the population. On a New York Times article it is stated that the Tukwila School District consists one of the most diverse range of students in Washington.[11]

There were 7,186 households out of which 28.2% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 36.4% were married couples living together, 12.4% had a female householder with no husband present, and 45.0% were non-families. 34.3% of all households were made up of individuals and 5.6% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.38 and the average family size was 3.09.

In the city the population was spread out with 24.0% under the age of 18, 10.4% from 18 to 24, 37.3% from 25 to 44, 20.5% from 45 to 64, and 7.8% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 33 years. For every 100 females there were 109.3 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 108.9 males.


According to the Uniform Crime Report statistics compiled by the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) in 2012, there were 200 violent crimes and 3,161 property crimes. Of these, the violent crimes consisted of two murders, 20 forcible rapes, 98 robberies, and 80 aggravated assaults, while 282 burglaries, 2,493 larceny-thefts, 386 motor vehicle thefts and 6 arson defined the property offenses.[12][13]

The crime figures stated above are based upon the permanent resident population, and therefore may be inflated somewhat as Tukwila's daytime population is much higher. This is due to Tukwila's status as a daytime destination for employment, shopping, dining, and lodging; the latter is the result of the proximity of SeaTac International Airport. Also, among Washington cities, Tukwila has been in the top ten for retail sales per capita,[14] bringing tens of thousands of people within the city limits; this has the effect of localizing any crime committed by shoppers from out of town to Tukwila.


Tukwila's location at the confluence of rivers, freeways and railroads has determined its destiny as a center of commerce. Westfield Southcenter (formerly Southcenter Mall), Puget Sound's largest shopping complex, is located in Tukwila, as well as a number of Boeing corporation facilities. Tukwila is also the location of several Internet and Corporate datacenters, including Microsoft, Internap, the University of Washington, Savvis, AboveNet,[15] digital.forest, HopOne, and Fortress Colocation, these are mostly located in Sabey Corporation's Intergate [16] Seattle campus near Boeing Field. It is only 5 minutes from Seattle-Tacoma International Airport. Approximately 45,000 people work in Tukwila.

Top Employers

According to the City's 2012 Comprehensive Annual Financial Report,[17] the top employers in the city are:

# Employer # of Employees
1 Boeing 7,572
2 Group Health Cooperative 2,386
3 King County Metro 778
4 Costco 703
5 Carlisle Interconnect Technologies 567
6 Boeing Employees Credit Union 543
7 Nordstrom 537
8 Macy's 445
9 City of Tukwila 407
10 Red Dot Corporation 348
11 J. C. Penney 337
12 United Parcel Service 335


Tukwila is home to the Tukwila School District. The campuses that the Tukwila School District operate are Cascade View Elementary School, Thorndyke Elementary School, Tukwila Elementary School, Showalter Middle School, and Foster High School. Also in Tukwila is Raisbeck Aviation High School operated by the Highline School District.


The Museum of Flight is an air and space museum located in the extreme northern part of Tukwila,[18] adjacent to Boeing Field. Tukwila is also home to the Rainier Symphony, which conducts several performances each year at the Foster Performing Arts Center in Tukwila.


  1. ^ a b "US Gazetteer files 2010".  
  2. ^ a b "American FactFinder".  
  3. ^ a b "Population Estimates".  
  4. ^ "Tukwila".  
  5. ^ "A Northwest Pronunciation Guide". Retrieved 30 November 2010. 
  6. ^ "2010 Census Redistricting Data (Public Law 94-171) Summary File". American FactFinder.  
  7. ^  
  8. ^ "US Gazetteer files: 2010, 2000, and 1990".  
  9. ^ "Annual Estimates of the Resident Population for Incorporated Places: April 1, 2010 to July 1, 2014". Retrieved June 4, 2015. 
  10. ^  
  11. ^ "Diversity in the Classroom". The New York Times. April 23, 2010. Retrieved 30 November 2010. 
  12. ^ "Washington – Offenses Known to Law Enforcement by State by City, 2012".  
  13. ^ "Crime rate in Tukwila, Washington (WA): murders, rapes, robberies, assaults, burglaries, thefts, auto thefts, arson, law enforcement employees, police officers, crime map".  
  14. ^ "Washington State Retail Survey" (PDF). Eureka Group. Retrieved 3 August 2014. 
  15. ^ " homepage". 
  16. ^ "Sabey Corporation homepage". 
  17. ^ City of Tukwila CAFR
  18. ^ "Museum of Flight". Retrieved 2007-09-17. 

External links

  • City of Tukwila website
  • City of Tukwila's Tourism website
  • Tukwila -- Thumbnail History
  • Tukwila School District
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