Published on October 13, 2021, Updated on May 12, 2022

About King County, Washington

King County is situated in Washington state in the United States. According to the 2020 census, the county has a total population of 2,269,675, making it the most populated in Washington and the 12th most populated in the U. S.  Seattle serves as the county seat and is also Washington’s most populated city.

King County is one of 3 counties in the state that comprise the Seattle–Tacoma–Bellevue metropolitan statistical region. Around two-thirds of the county’s population resides in the suburbs of Seattle.

On February 24, 1986, the King County Council adopted a motion to rename the county in honor of civil rights icon Martin Luther King Jr. but retaining the name “King County.” Because only the state has the authority to charter counties, the modification took effect on April 19, 2005, when Governor Christine Gregoire approved Senate Bill 5332 into law, which offered that “King county shall be renamed in honor of the Reverend Doctor Martin Luther King, Jr.” effective July 24, 2005.

On February 27, 2006, the County Council agreed to endorse Councilmember Larry Gossett’s motion to modify the county’s insignia from an imperial crown to a picture of Martin Luther King, Jr. The new logo was presented on March 12, 2007. The Gable Design Group created the new logo, and a committee comprised of Council Chair Larry Gossett, King County Executive Ron Sims, District Court Judge Corrina Harn, Prosecutor Norm Maleng, Sheriff Sue Rahr, and Superior Court Judge Michael Trickey chose the particular image. The flag bears an identical logo.

Martin Luther King Jr. went to King County only once, in November 1961, for 3 days.

King County has a total area of 2,307 square miles (5,980 km2), of which 2,116 square miles (5,480 km2) is land and 191 square miles (490 km2) is water (83.3%). The county is almost double the size of the state of Rhode Island in terms of land area. Mount Daniel, at 7,959 feet (2,426 meters) above sea level, is King County’s highest peak.

The County is bounded on the north by Snohomish County, on the west by Kitsap County, on the east by Kittitas County, and on the south by Pierce County. To the northeast, it also shares a tiny border with Chelan County. In Puget Sound, King County encompasses Vashon and Maury Islands.

King County houses 2 federally recognized tribes, the Muckleshoot and the Snoqualmie Indian Tribe, as well as several additional unregistered tribes. The Muckleshoot Indian Reservation is southeast of Auburn and had a population of 3,606 residents in 2000.

The Snoqualmie tribe’s casino property was designated as a reservation by the federal government in 2006, but few tribe members reside on or near the reservation.

Cities we serve in King County, WA