Tukwila is a city in King County, Washington, United States. It is a suburban city out of Seattle. The population was 19,107 at the 2010 census. The population was 20,018 at the 2015 Estimate from Office of Financial Management. The City of Tukwila is a community of communities: residents of many diverse origins make Tukwila their home, a large commercial center draws workers and consumers to the city daily, and industry thrives with the confluence of rivers, freeways, railroads, and Seattle-Tacoma International Airport. Tukwila is consistently ranked one of the more dangerous cities in Washington State, with a high crime rate.

Tukwila welcome sign

Tukwila sign.

History Edit

The earliest people in Tukwila were the Duwamish who made their homes along the Black and Duwamish Rivers. The name "Tukwila" is the Chinook Jargon word for "nut" or "hazelnut", referring to the hazelnut trees that grew in the area. The Duwamish lived in cedar longhouses, hunted and fished, picked wild berries, and used the river for trade with neighboring peoples.

In 1853, the first Caucasian settler was Joseph Foster, a Canadian pioneer who had traveled to the northwest from Wisconsin. Foster would become known as the "Father of Tukwila" and serve King County, Washington Territory in the legislature for 22 years. Today, the site of Foster's home on the banks of the Duwamish River is part of Fort Dent Park, which also served as a military base during the 1850s Indian Wars. Foster's name is memorialized in the Foster neighborhood of Tukwila, where Foster High School is located.

In the early years, the small village grew into an agricultural center and remained a trading point in the upper Duwamish River Valley. Population began to grow and industry followed, largely farm-oriented commerce. Early electric rail trains traveled along Interurban Avenue in Tukwila, connecting to Renton and a line to Tacoma. The Interurban Railroad operated a commuter line from 1902 to 1928, making it possible to travel from Seattle to Tacoma in less than an hour. The first macadam paved road in Washington State was in Tukwila and bears the name of this new method of street paving. One of the earliest paved military roads is located in the city.

Tukwila was incorporated as a city in 1908.

Geography Edit

Tukwila is located at 47°28′42″N 122°16′32″W (47.478243, -122.275432).

According to the United States Census Bureau, the city has a total area of 9.58 square miles (24.81 km2), of which, 9.17 square miles (23.75 km2) is land and 0.41 square miles (1.06 km2) is water.

Seattle is located to the north, Bryn Mawr-Skyway to the north east, Renton to the east, Kent to the southeast, SeaTac to the south, Des Moines to the southwest, and Burien to the west.

Commerce Edit


Westfield Shopping Center.


A typical industrial road in Tukwila.

Tukwila's location at the confluence of rivers, freeways and railroads has made it valuable as a center of commerce. Westfield Southcenter (formerly Southcenter Mall), Puget Sound's largest shopping complex, is located in Tukwila, as well as a number of Boeing corporation facilities. Tukwila is also the location of several Internet and Corporate datacenters, including Microsoft, Internap, the University of Washington, Savvis, AboveNet, digital.forest, HopOne, and Fortress Colocation, these are mostly located in Sabey Corporation's Intergate Seattle campus near Boeing Field. It is only 5 minutes from Seattle-Tacoma International Airport. Over 45,000 people work in Tukwila.

The Museum of Flight is an air and space museum located in the extreme northern part of Tukwila, adjacent to Boeing Field. Tukwila is also home to the Rainier Symphony, which conducts several performances each year at the Foster Performing Arts Center in Tukwila.

Law Enforcement & Crime Edit

Law enforcement is enforced by the Tukwila Police Department as well as the King County Sheriff's Office.

According to the Uniform Crime Report statistics compiled by the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) in 2012, there were 200 violent crimes and 3,161 property crimes. Of these, the violent crimes consisted of two murders, 20 forcible rapes, 98 robberies, and 80 aggravated assaults, while 282 burglaries, 2,493 larceny-thefts, 386 motor vehicle thefts and 6 arson defined the property offenses. Therefore, it was named "the most dangerous city".

The crime figures stated above are based upon the permanent resident population, and therefore may be inflated somewhat as Tukwila's daytime population is much higher. This is due to Tukwila's status as a daytime destination for employment, shopping, dining, and lodging; the latter is the result of the proximity of SeaTac International Airport. Also, among Washington cities, Tukwila has been in the top ten for retail sales per capita, bringing tens of thousands of people within the city limits; this has the effect of localizing any crime committed by shoppers from out of town to Tukwila.

Media Edit

The Tukwila Reporters is the local newspaper for Tukwila.