Spokane, Washington

From Academic Kids

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City skyline and Riverfront Park's Clock Tower

Spokane (pronounced ) is the county seat of Spokane County in the State of Washington. It is also known as the seat of the Inland Empire. Situated at the foot of a valley, midway between the rise and mouth of the Spokane River, it is 280 miles east of Seattle and 375 miles northeast of Portland. It is the commercial center of the eastern part of Washington and of the northern part of Idaho, and the distributing point for a great agricultural, lumbering, horticultural, and stock raising region. As of the 2000 census, the city had a total population of 195,629, and recent projections place the metroplitan population at around 560,000. On March 1st, 2005, the Spokane City Council unanimously agreed to annex 207 acres, raising the population from 197,400 to 199,100, once again becoming the second largest city in Washington State. Gonzaga University and Whitworth College are located in Spokane, as are major branches of Eastern Washington University and Washington State University. James E. West is the current mayor of Spokane.



The growth of the city dates from 1881, when the Northern Pacific Railway was completed at this point. Spokane was officially incorporated on November 29, 1881. Between 1900 and 1910, the population grew from 36,848 to 104,402. The railroad town of Hillyard, Washington was annexed in 1924. The 1974 World's Fair was held at Riverfront Park in Downtown Spokane.


Location of Spokane, Washington
Spokane is located at 47°40'24" North, 117°24'37" West (47.673341, -117.410271)Template:GR.

According to the United States Census Bureau, the city has a total area of 151.6 km² (58.5 mi²). 149.6 km² (57.8 mi²) of it is land and 2.0 km² (0.8 mi²) of it is water. The total area is 1.30% water.


As of the censusTemplate:GR of 2000, there are 195,630 people, 81,512 households, and 47,276 families residing in the city. The population density is 1,307.7/km² (3,387.0/mi²). There are 87,941 housing units at an average density of 587.8/km² (1,522.6/mi²). The racial makeup of the city is 89.46% White, 2.07% African American, 1.76% Native American, 2.25% Asian, 0.19% Pacific Islander, 0.88% from other races, and 3.38% from two or more races. 2.99% of the population are Hispanic or Latino of any race.

There are 81,512 households out of which 29.4% have children under the age of 18 living with them, 41.3% are married couples living together, 12.4% have a female householder with no husband present, and 42.0% are non-families. 33.9% of all households are made up of individuals and 11.7% have someone living alone who is 65 years of age or older. The average household size is 2.32 and the average family size is 2.98.

In the city the population is spread out with 24.8% under the age of 18, 11.1% from 18 to 24, 29.6% from 25 to 44, 20.5% from 45 to 64, and 14.0% who are 65 years of age or older. The median age is 35 years. For every 100 females there are 93.0 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there are 89.9 males.

The median income for a household in the city is $32,273, and the median income for a family is $41,316. Males have a median income of $31,676 versus $24,833 for females. The per capita income for the city is $18,451. 15.9% of the population and 11.1% of families are below the poverty line. Out of the total population, 19.3% of those under the age of 18 and 9.6% of those 65 and older are living below the poverty line.

Spokane is served by Spokane International Airport.

Institutions of Higher Education

1974 World's Fair

Spokane hosted the environmentally themed Expo '74, becoming the smallest city up to that point ever to host a World's Fair.

Many of the structures built for the World's Fair are still standing. The United States Pavilion now houses an IMAX theater; the Washington State Pavilion became the downtown Opera House. The Expo site itself became the 100 acre (400,000 m²) Riverfront Park, containing the U.S. Pavilion and a clock tower (part of a Great Northern rail depot that was demolished for Expo '74), which are prominently featured in the park's logo.

Parks and recreation

Spokane offers several outdoor parks within minutes of most residents' homes.

Riverside State Park (http://www.riversidestatepark.org/) is close to downtown and offers hiking, rafting and camping opportunities as well as scenic views.

Spokane's Centennial Trail (http://www.spokanecentennialtrail.org/) offers visitors the chance to run, walk, bike or roller blade over thirty-seven miles of paved trails running along the Spokane River. Informational signs and parking are provided along the trail.

Events and activities in Spokane

Spokane is home to a number of annual events that draw people from a large surrounding area.

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Some of the many basketball courts at Hoopfest.

Hoopfest (http://www.spokanehoopfest.com) is the largest 3 on 3 basketball tournament in the world. It is held the last weekend in June, and boasts a variety of participants, from kids, teens, and adults to former college and NBA players, in their respective brackets.

The Lilac Bloomsday Run is a 7.46 mile race for walkers and competitive runners. It is held the first Sunday every May.

Spokane is also home to a National Historic Landmark hand-carved carousel, created in 1909 by Charles Looff as a wedding present for his daughter. The carousel still operates in Riverfront Park, downtown, where riders can participate in an old-time ring toss. The carousel continues to offer a free ride to the rider who grabs the brass ring.

The Northwest Museum of Arts and Culture (http://www.northwestmuseum.org/northwestmuseum/) houses a large collection of Native American artifacts as well as regional and national traveling art exhibits. Located in Browne's Addition, the Museum boasts a secluded setting just blocks from the heart of Downtown.

The Spokane Symphony (http://www.spokanesymphony.org/ind.php) performs a full season of concerts and the Spokane Jazz Orchestra (http://www.spokanejazz.com/) is the oldest performing jazz orchestra in the United States.

In the summer, many Spokane residents visit Lake Coeur d'Alene, Priest Lake, or one of the other nearby bodies of water. In the winter, Spokane residents have easy access to five ski resorts within a few hours of their city.

Famous Spokanites

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Famous Spokanite, Bing Crosby
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Famous Spokanite, John Stockton

Common Spokane nicknames

  • Spovegas
  • Spokavegas
  • Spokorn
  • Spotucky
  • Spokan't
  • Spokaloo
  • Spokompton
  • Spokanistan
  • Spoklahoma
  • The Can
  • Spo-KAYNE (everyone's favorite mispronunciation)
  • Methlehem

External links


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State of Washington
Cities | Towns | Municipalities | Governors | Legislature | Initiatives | Congress | Symbols | Parks | Roads | Music

State capital:



Central Washington | Columbia River Plateau | Eastern Washington | Inland Empire | Kitsap Peninsula | Olympic Peninsula | Okanogan Country | Palouse | Puget Sound | San Juan Islands | Western Washington | Yakima Valley

Major cities:

Bellevue | Everett | Federal Way | Kent | Seattle | Spokane | Tacoma | Vancouver | Yakima

Smaller cities:

Auburn | Bellingham | Bremerton | Edmonds | Kennewick | Kirkland | Lakewood | Olympia | Pasco | Redmond | Renton | Richland | Shoreline


Adams | Asotin | Benton | Chelan | Clallam | Clark | Columbia | Cowlitz | Douglas | Ferry | Franklin | Garfield | Grant | Grays Harbor | Island | Jefferson | King | Kitsap | Kittitas | Klickitat | Lewis | Lincoln | Mason | Okanogan | Pacific | Pend Oreille | Pierce | San Juan | Skagit | Skamania | Snohomish | Spokane | Stevens | Thurston | Wahkiakum | Walla Walla | Whatcom | Whitman | Yakima

de:Spokane (Washington) ja:スポーカン


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