Kitsap County is located in the U.S. state of Washington. As of the 2010 census, its population was 251,133. Its county seat is Port Orchard, and its largest city is Bremerton. The county was formed out of King County, Washington, and Jefferson County, Washington, on January 16, 1857 and is named for Chief Kitsap of the Suquamish Tribe. Originally named Slaughter County, it was soon renamed.
Kitsap County comprises the Bremerton-Silverdale, WA Metropolitan Statistical Area, which is also included in the Seattle-Tacoma, WA Combined Statistical Area.
The United States Navy is the largest employer in the county, with installations at Puget Sound Naval Shipyard, Naval Undersea Warfare Center Keyport, and Naval Base Kitsap (which comprises former NSB Bangor, and NS Bremerton).
Kitsap County is connected to the eastern shore of Puget Sound by Washington State Ferries routes, including the Seattle-Bremerton Ferry, Southworth to West Seattle via Vashon Island, Bainbridge Island to Downtown Seattle, and from Kingston to Edmonds, Washington.
According to the U.S. Census Bureau, the county has a total area of 566 square miles (1,470 km²), of which 395 square miles (1,020 km²) is land and 171 square miles (440 km²) (30%) is water. It is the fourth-smallest county in Washington by land area and third-smallest by total area.
In addition to occupying most of the Kitsap Peninsula, Kitsap County includes both Bainbridge Island and Blake Island. According to Puget Sound Partnership, Kitsap county has over 250 miles (400 km) of saltwater shoreline.
The portion of the county north of Silverdale is often referred to as North Kitsap, and the portion south of Bremerton as South Kitsap.
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