Thurston County, with a population of 250,000, is one of the fastest growing counties in Washington State, increasing by 22 percent between 2000 and 2010. The county was long inhabited by Salish Indian groups before the arrival of European descendent settlers in the 1800’s. It now has several distinct communities. The larger communities are Olympia, the state’s capitol, with a population of 45,000; Lacey, population 40,000; and Tumwater, population 17,000. The smaller communities include Yelm, population 5,900; Rainier, 1,800; Tenino, 1,535; and Bucoda, 660. The Chehalis and Nisqually Reservations have tribal enrollments of 833 and 715 respectively. More than 82,000 people live outside of these communities and the unincorporated area makes up more than 86 percent of the county’s land area.
Look at Communities and Economic Development under Statewide Resources on the left for more information on issues that are pertinant to communities.
Extension programs and employment are available to all without discrimination. Evidence of noncompliance may be reported through your local Extension office. All programs comply with federal, state, and county regulations.