About us

What is a city?

Cities build and operate most of the public infrastructure systems that ensure health, safety, and environmental sustainability. Cities manage land development, protect open space, and build and maintain parks. Cities are the systems that run so efficiently and effectively, you might not even notice they’re there! Things like streets and sidewalks, trash, parks, transportation, police, fire, water, stormwater, and sewer are all services that cities operate.

About Washington cities

Cities provide a sense of place, a network of relationships. As people change jobs or decide to raise a family, they settle in communities with a quality of life that fits their lifestyle. They buy homes near amenities like markets, good schools, hospitals and parks. Businesses locate where their employees want to live or where a brain trust already exists.

Check out AWC's elearning What is a city? and earn CML credits.

Washington State has 281 cities and towns

Cities are where people live, learn, work, and play. They range in size from 50 to more than 700,000. More than 4.7 million people live within Washington cities.


Most jobs are found in Washington’s cities

Every day, all across Washington, people commute to cities where they congregate and collaborate.


Washington is growing

By 2025, 833,000 people are expected to move to Washington State. That’s the equivalent of another Richland, Vancouver, Tacoma, Spokane, Bellingham, and Yakima combined!



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