Also known as 'Pacific Northwest', Washington is located at the northwestern most part of United States . Often termed as 'Washington State ' so as to eliminate any confusion with the national capital - Washington D C, the state offers opulent geographical, climatic and cultural diversity. Washingtonians - as the residents of Washington State are popularly called - constitute of the fifth largest Asian population, dominated by the Filipino community. The state leads in agriculture and agriculture based occupations. Home to Bill Gates – the wealthiest man across the globe - It is one among the only seven US states that do not levy a personal income tax. Washington state also does not collect corporate tax.
Founded by the black pioneer George Washington Bush and his white wife Isabella James Bush, starting with four white families in Tumwater, Washington, the state came into being as the 42nd state in US on November 11, 1889. Ever since, there has been no looking back, as the state has grown manifolds in terms of population and infrastructure with an estimated population of 6,395,798 as per 2005 US census. The population of Washington State grows every year due to immigration from outside US, migration within the country and natural increase. Over ten percent of the total population comprises of residents of foreign origin, including German, English, Irish, Norwegian, Mexican and Filipino. Historically, the richness of Washington State population is further glamorized by the unique cultural contributions of many Native Americans tribes, which are renowned for their totem poles and their ornately carved canoes and masks.
The State also presents rich spectrum of religious beliefs within the vicinity, with as many as twenty five percent of the residents identifying themselves as non-religious. In fact, statistics reveal highest percentage of non-religious people and lowest percentage of Christian population in the Washington state as compared to any other US state.
A land of contrasts by all means, Washington state sports deep rain forests of the Olympic Peninsula, hand in hand with the semi-desert east of the Cascade Range with not a single tree in sight. While Mount Rainier – the highest mountain in the state – is covered with more glacial ice than any other peak in the lower 48 states. The peak is also one among the several volcanoes in the Cascade Range. The Palouse region of southeast Washington is now almost a farmland.
The geographical variety gives rise to equally diverse climatic conditions in the Washington State. While the western Washington boasts of a mild oceanic climate, the east of the Cascade Range sports a much drier climate owing to the semi-desert. The proximity to North Pacific Ocean coupled with the continental air masses of North America and the Olympic and Cascade Mountain ranges determine the prevailing climatic conditions at large. The large semi-permanent high pressure and low pressure systems of the North Pacific Ocean cause a wet season pattern that is often termed as the 'Pineapple Express'.
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