Thurston County is a county located in the U.S. state of Washington. As of the 2010 census, its population was 252,264. The county seat and largest city is Olympia, the state capital.
Thurston County was created out of Lewis County by the government of Oregon Territory on January 12, 1852. At that time, it covered all of the Puget Sound region and the Olympic Peninsula. On December 22 of the same year, Pierce, King, Island, and Jefferson counties were split off from Thurston County. It is named after Samuel R. Thurston, the Oregon Territory's first delegate to Congress.
Thurston County comprises the Olympia-Tumwater, WA Metropolitan Statistical Area and is included in the Seattle-Tacoma, WA Combined Statistical Area.
According to the U.S. Census Bureau, the county has a total area of 774 square miles (2,000 km²), of which 722 square miles (1,870 km²) is land and 52 square miles (130 km²) (6.7%) is water.
Major watersheds: Black River, Budd/Deschutes, Chehalis River, Eld Inlet, Henderson Inlet, Nisqually River, Skookumchuck River, Totten Inlet and West Capitol Forest.
As of the 2010 United States Census, there were 252,264 people, 100,650 households, and 66,161 families residing in the county. The population density was 349.4 inhabitants per square mile (134.9/km²). There were 108,182 housing units at an average density of 149.8 per square mile (57.8/km²). The racial makeup of the county was 82.4% white, 5.2% Asian, 2.7% black or African American, 1.4% American Indian, 0.8% Pacific islander, 2.2% from other races, and 5.3% from two or more races. Those of Hispanic or Latino origin made up 7.1% of the population. In terms of ancestry, 21.2% were German, 13.4% were English, 13.2% were Irish, 5.0% were Norwegian, and 4.7% were American.
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