General Information

Frequently asked questions


The Community

Edmonds, a vibrant city located just 15 miles north of Seattle and 18 miles south of Everett, is easy to reach by Amtrak and Sound Transit commuter rail, Community Transit buses, Washington State Ferries, automobiles and bicycles. Edmonds was a well-established town by the turn of the century and the present urban form preserves many characteristics of its historic origins. The community's location along the west-facing slopes of Puget Sound provides many amenities, including extensive views of the water and Olympic Mountains, access to four beaches and waterfront parks, and convenient access to a compact, walkable downtown area.

Historic Development

The community that became the City of Edmonds grew out of a homestead and logging operation started by George Brackett in 1876. Incorporated in 1890, the original townsite is now occupied primarily by the downtown and adjacent residential areas. The Great Northern Railroad reached the town in 1891 and for many years provided access for goods and passenger travel. Although fires destroyed many of the waterfront mills, shingle production continued to be the primary industry in the city into the 1940s. Ferry service to Kingston began in 1923 when a ferry terminal was built near the location of the existing ferry dock. The present ferry terminal was built in the early 1950s after acquisition of the ferry system by the State of Washington.

The city continued to grow during the 1940s and 50s, resulting in a more active role of the municipality in providing water, sewer and streets for residential and commercial expansion. The Port district was formed in 1948 and began waterfront improvements. Completion of Interstate 5 and increased growth in the Puget Sound region led to a gradual change in the character of the city with more emphasis on residential development and a decline in the retail importance of the downtown.

The City provides many amenities for residents and visitors. An active arts and cultural community contributes to the strong sense of civic pride widely shared in the community. There are numerous well-kept residential neighborhoods, a viable economic base, and an active, involved citizenry.

Population and Employment

As of April 2011, the population of the City of Edmonds has grown to 39,800. The rate of population growth has been relatively stable at about 1% per year with major increases occurring primarily as a result of annexations in the 1960s and 1970s. Based on forecasted continued growth at 1% per year, the population in 2025 is projected to be 44,880.

Over the last decade, employment within the city has grown somewhat faster than population, increasing about 2.7% per year. In 2000, the city had an estimated 10,154 jobs with the largest portion of those in services (39.5%). Retail trade and government accounted for 26% and 14% of employment, respectively. The remaining 20.5 percent of the jobs were in construction (7.6 percent); manufacturing (1.6 percent); wholesale trade, transportation, communication and utilities (5.5 percent); and education (5.8 percent). 


The existing transportation system consists of a complete network of arterials, collectors and local streets. Three major arterials provide links to major centers and to the ferry system.

The Burlington Northern Railroad runs adjacent to the city's shoreline; the rail line is currently used for freight, AMTRAK passenger rail service and Sound Transit commuter rail service. Bus service is provided by Community Transit throughout the City and a Community Transit station was opened as a part of the Sound Transit Edmonds Station located between Dayton and Main Streets in 2011.

The Edmonds-Kingston Ferry connects south Snohomish County and north King County with the northern Kitsap Peninsula and points west on the Olympic Peninsula via the Hood Canal Bridge. This ferry route carries the highest number of vehicles and second highest number of passengers for all state ferry routes.


Area: 8.9 square miles
Shoreline: 5.2 linear miles
Population: 39,800
County: Snohomish
Incorporated: 1890
Form of Government: Mayor/Council
Mean January Temperature: 40.1 degrees
(average low=35.2 degrees)
Mean July Temperature:

65.2 degrees
(average high=75.2 degrees)


Annual Precipitation: 37.2 inches