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Federal Way

Federal Way, Washington

  •   State: 
    King County
    Federal Way
      County FIPS: 
    47°18′54″N 122°20′24″W
      Area total: 
    23.70 sq mi (61.39 km²)
      Area land: 
    22.30 sq mi (57.74 km²)
      Area water: 
    1.41 sq mi (3.64 km²)
    515 ft (157 m)
    1990; Incorporated 1990
  •   Latitude: 
      Dman name cbsa: 
    Seattle-Tacoma-Bellevue, WA
    Pacific Standard Time (PST) UTC-8:00; Pacific Daylight Time (PDT) UTC-7:00
      ZIP codes: 

    Federal Way, King County, Washington, United States

  •   Population: 
      Population density: 
    4,300 residents per square mile of area (1,600/km²)
      Household income: 
      Unemployment rate: 
  •   Sales taxes: 

Federal Way is the tenth-largest city in Washington and the fifth-largest in King County. The name "Federal Way" was first used in 1929 when five existing schools consolidated operations into School District #210. Wild Waves Theme & Water Park, the largest amusement park in the region, opened in 1977 on the south side of the city. Weyerhaeuser King County Aquatic Center features an Olympic-size swimming pool which has been used for the 1990 Goodwill Games and 2012 US Olympic Swim & Dive Trials. The Commons at Federal Way, the city's only indoor shopping mall, is located on South 320th Street and Pacific Highway South (State Route 99) The city is known for its 1990s semi-urban development, characterized by landscaped off-street multi-structure apartment complexes and shopping centers. The city has also developed many lakefront and neighborhood parks, playgrounds, and trails. City leaders have suggested promoting the location as a potential community college. Federal Way is home to the US headquarters of World Vision International, which was founded in 1883 in the Barker Cabin, which is the city’s oldest known building. The Denny Cabin was built by David Denny in 1889 as a real-estate office and was made from trees cut down on Queen Anne Hill. It is the only developed waterfront park located within the city, including hiking trails and campground. The BPA Trail extends from the entrance to Celebration Park to approximately 18th Avenue SW, then south to the Pierce County border.


Federal Way is the primary city name, but also Auburn are acceptable city names or spellings. The official name is Federal Way, Washington. The name derived from Federal Highway U.S. 99 (now State Route 99 or Pacific Highway South), which ran from Everett and Seattle to Tacoma. The name "Federal Way" was first used in 1929 when five existing schools consolidated operations into School District #210 and planned construction of Federal Way High School. The local chamber of commerce adopted the name in the early 1950s. The voters eventually approved incorporation as a city on February 28, 1990. The official act of incorporation was held at the Sportsworld Lanes bowling complex. The city's name was changed from Federal Way to Federal Way after the construction of the city's first high school in 1930, which gave its name to the school district. It was named after Federal Way, California, which was once the site of the nation's second-largest city, after the first city to be named after a federal district, Federal, California. It is located in the Snohomish County, Washington, which is home to the Washington D.C. state capital, Seattle, and the state's largest city, Tacoma. It has a population of about 3,000. The town was founded as a logging settlement in the late 19th century. It became a city in the 1920s and was named for the Federal Way School District, which opened in 1929. The first city hall was built in 1929, and it is located on the former site of a former logging site. The area was once known as Federal Way and was known as the "Logging Town".

Commerce and attractions

Until 2014, Federal Way was home to Weyerhaeuser, the largest private owner of softwood timberland in the world. In 2014, the company announced it would vacate its Federal Way headquarters. City leaders have suggested promoting the location as a potential community college. The city has also developed many lakefront and neighborhood parks, playgrounds, and trails. The Commons at Federal Way, the city's only indoor shopping mall, is located on South 320th Street and Pacific Highway South (State Route 99) The city is known for its 1990s semi-urban development, characterized by landscaped off-street multi-structure apartment complexes and shopping centers. Federal Way is also home to the US headquarters of World Vision International, which was founded by David Denny in 1889 as a real-estate office and was made from trees cut down on Queen Anne Hill in 1883. It is the Seattle area's only permanent amusement park. Wild Waves Theme & Water Park is the largest amusement park in the region, opened in 1977 on the south side of the city. Six Flags purchased Wild Waves in December 2000. However, after low sales, Six Flags sold the park in April 2007 to Parc Management LLC of Jacksonville, Florida, for $31.75 million. The BPA Trail extends from the entrance to Celebration Park west to approximately 18th Avenue SW, then south to the Pierce County border. The trail is paved and lies under the Bonneville Power Administration electricity transmission line. The park also features two iconic buildings: the nearby Barker Cabin built in 18 83, and the 22 by 22 ft (6.7 by 6.7 m) Denny Cabin, once located west of present-day Seattle Center.


Federal Way has a mayorcouncil form of government with a seven-member city council whose members are elected at-large to staggered four-year terms. Former councilmember Jim Ferrell was elected as mayor in 2013 and re-elected in 2017 and 2021. The city initially had a councilmanager government with an appointed city manager, but changed to the mayorCouncil system after a referendum in November 2009. It is located in the eastern part of the city and has a population of about 2,000. It was founded as a city in 1883 and was incorporated in 1894. The current mayor is a former councilmember who was elected to the position in 2013. It has been in the city's hands since 1894 and was founded in 1875. It's located on the banks of the Columbia River and was once known as the "Gateway to the West" It was named after the first president of the United States, George H.W. Bush, who served from 1894 to 1894, and is now known as "The Gateway to the Pacific Northwest" The city's name is a reference to the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, which is based in Federal Way, Washington, and was established in 1884. It also was named for the town's first mayor, James Ferrell, who took office in 1891. The name "Federal Way" is now used to refer to the city in honor of the former mayor, who died in 2011.


Federal Way has identified areas of unincorporated King County as Potential Annexation Areas (PAAs) to be annexed to the city. In 2004, the city annexed the Northlake, East Redondo, and Parkway neighborhoods, adding over 2,700 people and nearly 1 square mile (2.6 km²) of area. Residents of the proposed East Federal Way annexation area rejected annexation to Federal Way by a 66% to 34% margin. In 2011, opponents of annexation petitioned King County to designate this same area as a township, an undefined municipal structure that does not currently exist anywhere else in the state. Under the plan, township status would prevent the annexation of the area, which would be named Peasley Canyon Township. The King County Council declined to act on the proposal, and the county elections board denied the group a ballot item. Annexation of thearea would add 20,000 people and almost 7 square miles (18.1 km²), creating the sixth largest city in Washington by population, at over 106,000 residents and nearly 29 sq miles (75 km²). On August 21, 2007, residents of the proposal PAA voted to reject annexation by a vote of 66 to 34%. The city's current PAAs include the Star Lake and Camelot neighborhoods in Lakeland North and the neighborhoods of Parkland, Lakeland, and Jovita in Lakelands South. The city annexed Auburn's West Hill in 2007. While Federal Way had previously considered Auburn'sWest Hill, Auburn annexed that along with Lea Hill in2007.


According to Federal Way's 2019 Comprehensive Annual Financial Report, the largest employers in Federal Way are: Amazon, Microsoft, and Starbucks. The city's unemployment rate is at 4.7 percent. The unemployment rate for Federal Way is 3.9 percent. Federal Way has the highest rate of unemployment in the city. The town's economy is the sixth largest in the U.S. behind Seattle, Portland, Seattle and San Francisco. The economy is one of the fastest-growing in the nation, according to the city's report. It is also the fastest growing in the state, with an unemployment rate of 3.7 per cent. The largest employer in the town is Amazon, followed by Microsoft, Starbucks, and other companies with more than 1,000 employees. The biggest employer in federal Way is Microsoft, with a workforce of more than 50,000 people. The City's unemployment rates are at 3.8 per cent, the highest in the United States. In the city, the unemployment rate has been 3.6 per cent since the start of the year. The highest rate is 4.0 per cent in the City of Federal Way, the report says. The state's economy has been growing at a rate of 4.2 per cent over the past five years. The U.N. has the largest employment growth rate in the region, at 6.1 per cent; the city has the third highest unemployment rate. The United States has the lowest unemployment rate, at 2.9 per cent and the lowest rate among large cities.


Federal Way is located in the southwest corner of King County at 47°1847N 122°2021W (47.312960, 122.339173).According to the United States Census Bureau, the city has a total area of 22.46 sq mi (58.17 km²) Federal Way has a warm-summer Mediterranean climate, abbreviated "Csb" on climate maps. The city experiences warm (but not hot) and dry summers, with no average monthly temperatures above 71.6 °F. According to the Köppen Climate Classification system, Federal Way experiences warm but not hot summers. It has a dry winters, with average temperatures of 50 °F (3.7 °C) and a dry springs, with an average temperature of 40  °F (1.8 °S) The city is located at 47.1847 N 122° 2021W, and its elevation is 47.1747 N 122 °W. The U.S. Census Bureau estimates the city's area to be 22.26 sq mi (57.65 km²), of which 22. 26 sq mi are land and 0.20 sq ft (0.52 km²) is water. Federal Way is in King County, Washington, and has a population of 2,816. It is located near the junction of Interstate 5 and Interstate 90. It also has a junction with Interstate 90 and Interstate 405.


As of the census of 2010, there were 89,306 people, 33,188 households, and 22,026 families residing in the city. The racial makeup of the city was 57.5% White (51.6% Non-Hispanic White), 9.7% African American, 0.9% Native American, 14.2% Asian, 2.7%. Pacific Islander, 8.3% from other races, and 6.6%. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 16.2%. The city has a large Korean American population at more than 5.5%, or 4,978 in the 2013 estimates. The population estimate for 2021 was 99,037 people, 37,677 housing units. The median household income was $68,672. 29.4% persons age 25 years and over had a bachelor's degree or higher. The average household size was 2.67 and the average family size was 3.24. There were 35,444 housing units at an average density of 1,592.3/sq mi (614.8/km²) The city's median age was 34.9 years, with 28.2.% under the age of 18, 9.9.% from 18 to 24, 33.1% from 25 to 44, 21.1%. and 7.6.% who were 65 years of age or older. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there are 93.6 males. The city had a median income of $49,278, and the median income for a family was $55,833.

Local media

One newspaper is published within Federal Way, the Federal Way Mirror. The city receives additional coverage from most major media sources in both Seattle and Tacoma. The Federal Way Historical Society worked with Arcadia Publishing to publish Images of America: Federal Way. The book is a photographic history of the traditional Federal Way area. It was published by Arcadia in 2008 and is available on for $10.99. For confidential support call the Samaritans on 08457 90 90 90 or visit a local Samaritans branch, 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 United States, call theNational Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 800-273 8255. For support in the UK, call the Samaritans on 08457 909090 or  visit the  Samaritans.


Federal Way is served by I-5 (exits at 348th Street, 320th Street and 272nd Street) and US Highway 99. The Federal Way Transit Center, located on 23rd Ave S, was opened in 2006 and provides bus services. There is an ongoing project (Federal Way Link Extension) to extend Sound Transit light rail from the Angle Lake Station in the City of SeaTac to the Federal Way transit center. In January 2017 the final route was approved. Construction began in 2020 and the line is expected to open for service in 2024. It is expected that the line will be completed by the end of 2024. The line will run from Angle Lake to Federal Way and back again. It will cost $1.6 billion to build and is scheduled to be completed in 2023. The station will be located at the intersection of Federal Way Boulevard and 23rd Avenue S. It has a bus stop on the corner of 23rd and Federal Way Avenue S and a parking lot on the other side of the street. It was built in the 1970s and is located on the site of the former Federal Way High School, which was closed in the 1980s and 1990s. There are no plans to build a new high school in Federal Way. The town has a population of about 2,000 and is home to a number of small businesses. It also has a public library and a community center, which is open to the public for special events and events. The city has a large number of parks and trails.

Air Quality, Water Quality, Superfund Sites & UV Index

The Air Quality index is in Federal Way, King County, Washington = 36. 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 Federal Way = 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 101,030 individuals with a median age of 35.8 age the population dropped by -0.67% in Federal Way, King County, Washington population since 2000 and are distributed over a density of 4,300 residents per square mile of area (1,600/km²). There are average 2.65 people per household in the 31,117 households with an average household income of $57,742 a year. The unemployment rate in Alabama is 9.40% of the available work force and has dropped -0.88% 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 28.84%. The number of physicians in Federal Way per 100,000 population = 334.8.


The annual rainfall in Federal Way = 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 = 151. 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 72, 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 Federal Way, King County, Washington which are owned by the occupant = 52.91%. A housing unit is a house, apartment, mobile home, or room occupied as separate living quarters. The average age of homes = 27 years with median home cost = $220,570 and home appreciation of -14.96%. 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 $10.66 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 $4,538 per student. There are 19.5 students for each teacher in the school, 764 students for each Librarian and 707 students for each Counselor. 9.61% of the area’s population over the age of 25 with an Associate Degree or other 2-year college degree, 18.99% with a master’s degree, Ph.D. or other advanced college degree and 7.16% with high school diplomas or high school equivalency degrees (GEDs).

  • Federal Way's population in King County, Washington of 2,044 residents in 1900 has increased 49,43-fold to 101,030 residents after 120 years, according to the official 2020 census.

    Approximately 50.70% female residents and 49.30% male residents live in Federal Way, King County, Washington.

    As of 2020 in Federal Way, King County, Washington are married and the remaining 44.36% are single population.

  • 33.1 minutes is the average time that residents in Federal Way 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.

    74.00% of the working population which commute to work alone in their car, 15.41% of the working population which commutes to work in a carpool, 5.93% of the population that commutes using mass transit, including bus, light rail, subway, and ferry. 2.93% of the population that has their home as their principal place of work.

  • Of the total residential buildings in Federal Way, King County, Washington, 52.91% are owner-occupied homes, another 42.51% are rented apartments, and the remaining 4.57% are vacant.

  • The 35.07% of the population in Federal Way, King County, Washington who identify themselves as belonging to a religion are distributed among the following most diverse religions.

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